Friday, 5 July 2013

Once Upon A Time…

…about four years ago, I used to belong to the Monday Night  Knitting Group at Borders. Then Borders closed and the group moved to Sainsbury's Coffee Shop…and we got caught up in buying Cornerstones…and I sort of dropped out.


The thing was, in the beginning, my knitting was oddments of random wool, cast on and off with ancient needles inherited from my late MIL, whilst the rest of the group all seemed to have Proper Projects. They used elaborate patterns, and genuine Alpaca yarns spun by Patagonian virgins on the banks of the Rio Grande, knitting up on fine bamboo needles turned on lathes by elderly Chinamen. My stuff was mostly small projects like baby vests for charity, and I felt somewhat inferior** with my leftover, hand-me-down materials.


Bob said I should go and buy some new yarn and knit something for myself. So I went off to Button Boutique and purchased a lovely Rowan pattern book – and a good, but rather less expensive Patons yarn to work with. I began the top in 2008, and knitted away at it each week, until I left the group. Then for over 4 years the WIP has been in my knitting bag, inside a plastic carrier bag.


I got it out recently, showering myself with confetti in the process. Yes, biodegradable bags really do biodegrade! For the last three weeks, I have been finding strange little bits of plastic like Lux soap flakes drifting round the house.

I was pleased to find I had knitted the back and both fronts of the cardi, but that I had started one sleeve and made a huge mistake in it [was that why I had given up on the project? I don’t remember]

However, I have challenged myself to complete it before our holiday in August. I have unpicked and reknitted the first sleeve and completed the second. Doing the button band, making up, and selecting buttons remain. My version is plain, I am not doing the big white spots, just a pattern in the rib. I will finish it this month. I will. And now I have blogged about it, as a further incentive to get it done. Watch this space!

[**I should say that people were very friendly, nobody actually made any disparaging remarks about my knitting – I just felt less ‘pukka’]


  1. Looking forward to seeing the finished article! I know what you mean about the carrier bags biodegrading and turning into confetti - I had one in the bottom of a rarely-used rucksack and when I pulled it out - well, confetti is a good description!

  2. What a lovely thought , to have confetti all over the house!
    I remember going to a quilting group, where most people had beautifully folded fabric, graded by colour, all the gear for measuring and cutting, and were obviously VERY experienced. I had a small heap of fabric, ironed that morning, scissors and vague ideas of what I was going to do. I know the feeling!

  3. That's how I feel about knitting groups...I'd feel so embarrassed by my 'knit all the way' cat blankets*.
    Jane x
    *posh name for rectangle of knitted yarn.

  4. Be warned blogging about it may not be enough to get it completed...I blogged about my cardy for my new born niece that went a bit wrong with a similarly cheery 'Watch this space!'...but my niece is 1 next week and the cardy is still not finished :-(

  5. I haven't done much knitting lately, but I've been *thinking* about knitting and how pleasurable it is. I feel a little outside of the circle of serious knitters because I can't quite build up an enthusiasm for knowing what all the best yarns are and the newest designers, and so on. Well, what you said (which was brilliant): "They used elaborate patterns, and genuine Alpaca yarns spun by Patagonian virgins on the banks of the Rio Grande, knitting up on fine bamboo needles turned on lathes by elderly Chinamen." I never manage to get to that level.

    Can't wait to see your finished sweater!


  6. Good for you, Angela!! I have an older friend (80s) who had many, many unfinished knitting projects. When we began meeting weekly at her house to knit/crochet, her first objective was to finish those projects one at a time. It was fun to see her pull out sweaters and scarves from 50 or 60 years ago! Still in decent shape, still with their patterns. She slowly worked through them.
    I know what you mean about working with inferior materials. At our prayer shawl ministry, the prettiest shawls are made by two ladies who have a real eye for color combinations. They take leftover partial-balls of yarn and put together the most luscious shawls, using this gift for color. So be encouraged! Using old leftovers can give great satisfaction!

  7. Oh,Angela. You're a hoot! I think those kind of knitting groups are best to be avoided. I go to one on Wednesday evenings at my local library and they're the nicest bunch of folks. I can usually be found knitting with alpaca on my bamboo needles but only because I found the wool in the bargain bin at my LYS (it really is soooo soft and luxurious!) and got the needles with a voucher I was gifted for Xmas!Good luck with your little cardi. It looks lovely. (sure it wasn't a little furry visitor who made the confetti in your knitting bag?)Have a good weekend. x

    1. LYS -that's Local Yarn Store, right?

    2. Sorry, yes, it's 'Ravelry-speak' for wee wool shop!

  8. I feel completely like this at Hookery!

  9. I always used to feel like this at mother and toddler groups!


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