I recently rekindled an old passion, knitting as a hobby. My nan was a fantastic knitter, and my mother, whilst I don’t think she’s knitted or crocheted for many years, was decent at both. I must have been about 10 when I first tried my hand at knitting. My mother taught me the two basic stitches and, right away, I was knitting scarves. In fact, for a long time, that’s pretty much ALL I could knit. I stopped for almost 28 years. Life has a habit of taking over when you’re a teen and adult. I moved to Nigeria, then to Ghana, had to make friends, head off to school, then started working – well, you get the picture.
About two years ago, after many years of not touching a needle or wool, I bought myself both, and, with the help of YouTube, began practising what I vaguely remembered. But really, it’s been since last year, that I really picked up the pace and started attempting real knitting. The problem with me is that I grow bored of anything very quickly. So, after churning out about six scarves for friends and family, ordering handmade labels (aren’t they cute?) and stitching them onto the above-mentioned scarves, I figured I had to start producing other items that a) didn’t take me as long as knitting a scarf and b) were a bit more challenging.
I decided to try baby booties with the help of a video as I can’t read patterns yet. Oh, I understand the basics like CO, BO, K1 – but that’s pretty much it. I like One Hook and Two Needles videos as she writes the pattern on the screen. That way, I’m hopefully learning to read them better and I can still see what the product should look like at any stage of the process.
I knitted a few baby booties – yay me! In all, I think it takes me about four hours to knit and stitch up a pair. I haven’t seen that many haberdashery shops in Reading, so my go-to place for knitting needles, wool and tapestry needles is John Lewis. I love their selection of yarn, and they have delightful colours for booties. These two shades are my favourite so far. I added ribbons to the white with lilac spotted wool and I think they look perfect. The pastel rainbow wool was too busy for me to add any decoration, in my opinion. I think it works better on its own. The white pair are for my godfather’s daughter as she recently had her second son.
Row 1: Knit, Row 2: Purl
I’ve started this scarf for my aunt and my aim is to have it completed by the beginning of autumn. If you’re a beginner like me or looking to take up knitting as a hobby here’s a tip: do not use stocking stitch on a scarf, or for that matter, any other item that will lie flat. It will curl as you can see in the image.
Sometime last year I came across Wool and The Gang in one of the London Underground stations. I found some excellent tutorial videos on their website and signed up for their newsletter. Last week, they sent a mailer announcing their latest wool, Tina Tape Yarn, which I think looks gorgeous and is great for vegans and contains no nasty chemicals. I think that would be terrific for knitting a blanket for a baby and the yarn is on my current knitting wish list, along with this Zigazag shopper kit which I’m confident I could probably produce, with a little help of course!