Thursday, 9 October 2014

Knitting Nora.

You might have gathered that I'm generally a creative person. I've tried my hand at many different crafts over the years - some are lifelong skills that I still dust off and use, others are things I've dabbled with for a while and set aside.

As a 'crafter-who-dabbles', I enjoy looking through catalogues like Hobbycraft or Panduro or Search Press for inspiration, but I'm always drawn to the knitting sections.

Knitting is probably the craft I most consistently enjoy. My mum taught me to knit when I was 7, and I can remember many Sunday afternoons where we sat watching an old black and white musical on the telly, with three sets of pins clacking away (myself, Mum and Helen). In fact, at one stage there were four sets going, because my brother wanted to knit a jumper for his Chief Scout's Challenge...

Over the years, knitting fell out of fashion. Wool shops disappeared - Mrs Matthews' shop in town, with cubbyholes crammed with woolly wonder, lived on in my memory while market stalls filled with nothing except vividly coloured acrylic double knit stepped in to plug the gap.

The rainbow jumper I knitted in the 80's when mohair was
fashionable (if a pig to knit with!) 

In recent years, knitting has become fashionable again - so much so that today, there are at least three market stalls selling wool and patterns, plus a lovely craft shop with a good selection of more unusual yarns.

I have, for the first time in many years, had a go at something other than socks, I knitted myself a gorgeous patterned tunic top in silky cotton...

My odds-and-ends socks, from leftover sock wool

Anyway, today the Search Press catalogue arrived. It appears knitting is definitely very popular - crochet too - as there were ten pages of knitting and crochet books. Ten! There were shawl, scarf and sock patterns... flowers and animals galore... stitch dictionaries... vintage patterns... Granny squares... even boot cuffs and tea cosies. And then there were some weirder things to knit...

'Woolly Woofers... no self-respecting dog is seen in the park without the latest cashmere cable knit...'

'Knitted Meerkats... twenty fun characters...such as a bikini-clad babe, a rock star complete with guitar...'

'Knit the Alphabet... great for jewellery, gift wrapping and home decor...'

'55 Christmas Balls... Arne and Carlos crafting...with their Norwegian-inspired ornamental balls...'

Actually, I quite like the sound of the last one, (stop sniggering!) because I LOVE making Christmas decorations. And it'll make a change from socks.

Right, where's the order form?

Taken at my last guide camp in 2011; we knitted squares as a camp challenge, which were made into blankets and donated to Age Concern. From memory, they ended up with thousands of squares and hundreds of blankets... 


  1. I'm with you there. I shouldn't be allowed in Hobbycraft (I might never come out again). Like the socks and the Guide Camp blanket by the way. Let's hope the Guides get the bug. It's good to see the revival of knitting and crochet and the like. This morning someone from work, that I only indirectly know, came and asked me if I would teach her to crochet. I was delighted, and said yes...

    1. Yay! Although I've never mastered crochet myself - I can do a basic chain, single and double stitches like you do on a granny square, but that's my lot. Oh - and edge a blanket of knitted squares! A bit like I can sew, but only by hand - hate sewing machines!

  2. There's a lot you can do with that. There's a whole book about granny squares!

    1. One day - when my wool stash won't fit in the drawer under the bed any more...!