Years ago, my little sister and I had a very lovely lady as a neighbour. She was our Aunty Gill. I remember her fondly; hours spent sitting on her living room floor by the fire, watching childrens’ television, drinking tea, dipping in digestive biscuits… and learning how to knit.
I can’t even remember what she taught me to make. But I can recall the thrill at laying my eyes on her bursting bag of wool remnants, playing with the different size knitting needles and watching the yarn run through her fingers at an incredible speed. Aunty Gill was so good at knitting, all you could hear was the ‘click, click’ of the needles and she ran the magic through her fingers without even looking down at them.
Twenty years later, I’m expecting my first baby. I’ve been crocheting on and off for about 12 years, but had not picked up a pair of needles since my after-school days. I’ve been studying various items which have been knitted or crocheted. Several people had admired my crochet, but said I should take up knitting again as it opened the doors for even more possibilities.
I brought a pair of needles; picked up a random ball of wool and decided to see if I could jog my memory. I cast on… knitted a small line of stitches, then turned. Triumph! I could plain and pearl. But that was about it. I couldn’t recall how to cast off, or anything else!
There’s a lovely little haberdashery in St Nicholas Market, which stocks a small amount of wool and patterns. So I picked up a book of basic knitting patterns: First Steps, Learn to Knit and a selection of Sirdar Snuggly Wool to start a baby blanket.
It took me a while to get going, but soon it came flowing back to me and a month of evenings later, we had the finished product.