Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Many moons ago, I took up knitting. I didn’t put it down until I reached my teens. My teenage years were a great time of growth and creative freedom. A place, where I discovered Dave Fanning’s music radio show, boys, teenage disco’s, the challenge of trying to get into over-age disco’s and getting drunk on a single bottle of Ritz. Knitting took a back seat as I started to explore, reach out and set down new boundaries. Ah….the wasted years! Understandably, growth and renewal does create a lot of waste. Fortunately, I returned, with my tail between my legs, head hanging with needles in hand.
Thankfully, knitting had moved on since I wiled away an evening dreaming of Eddie Vedder, while facing a spotty, skinny bloke named Jim. Knitting had become useful! Memories of the 80’s were of oversized, asymmetrical, hairy mohair jumpers which should have come with a health warning, as you gasped your last breath just trying the damn thing on. Worse still: the awful “Auntie’s” Aran sweater. I have huge grá for Aran sweaters, Aran Stitches and hell, the Islands are pretty good too. My aunt, is a talented knitter. However, she was prone to stark tradition when making Aran sweaters, using the greased, ‘wire wool’ effect yarn. The condemned attire touched the nerve endings of every unfortunate Irish child who had a relative who knitted, which covers every Irish child growing up pre-mid-1990’s. The sweaters were scratchy, tight around the neck and it was difficult to move within one.
Getting back to point, knitting has moved on for the best. Not only have yarns maintained their practicality, even seasonality, they are also beautiful.
What to do with all of this beauty that nature (and hand dyers) have endowed us with…. In the words of Vogue Knitting: Take Risks…Love Knitting!