My grandma taught me to knit when I was about 11 years old and I took to it like a sheep to the field ... I knitted from then on, for my kids and their kids and then I stopped. I was done with knitting for several years.
In 2009 whilst in Bakewell, Derbyshire I happened upon a bookshop sale and purchased a book at a snip of a price called Designer Knitting with Kitty Bartholomew ... An American, she and her teenage daughters modelled the sweaters and cardigans and she seemed like a bit of a rule-breaker and I found her an inspiration.
Overnight I became a "born-again" knitter. I realised that I could knit with anything - yarns of course, but also stripped-down sheets and duvets, shirts from charity shops, string and polythene bags. There seemed no end to the fun to be had by knitting and also creating your own patterns and not following someone else's rules.
Bathroom, playroom rugs knitted from old sheets.
In April of 2010 I started a community creative knitting group in Poynton called The KnitGirls .... there were about half a dozen of us and we met in the local pub The Vernon Arms. We have just celebrated our two years together and are now about 25 in number. When we're seen clacking away as we talk, laugh and have a drink together I think others recognise that with the resurgance of interest in knitting, the amazing yarns to be found and the fabulous patterns and inspired invention of knitters that the image of rocking-chair grannies with pinc-nez and little tight bun in the nape of the neck should now be dispelled!
Within our KnitGirls group at present there are those who are knitting intricate lace patterns, cable sweaters, trendy baby gear and several of us entwined in red, white and blue wool as we produce mounds of bunting to decorate the shops in our village for the Jubilee celebrations in June.
Last autumn whilst in New England with my family, I was so happy to have the pleasure of teaching my own grandchildren how to knit .... Elias, then 5 years old was captivated by the process and then his sister India knitted her own headband .... next there was Pandora and Ivy and some of their friends. It was a precious time for me.
I now knit on public transport, in the car (not when I'm driving), at the seashore, in waiting rooms wherever - I'm into extreme knitting and totally proud of the art! Apart from the pleasure of creating something lovely, the therapy of knitting should not be underestimated .... there has never been a day since that 2009 "born-again" moment when I have not picked up my needles and got caught up in that rhythm of knit one, purl one .... it helps to calm me down, gives me time to think more clearly and creates a happiness within - you should try it .....