“In. Around. Out and off! That is how you make a stitch.”
“Use your finger. Use your finger girl! You are not driving a car around a corner, you are wrapping the yarn around the needle. Keep your elbows close to your body and hands on the needles!”
A few sentences drummed into my skull as a young junior school girl. I was learning to knit. It was a long slow struggle, I seldom had the same number of stitches in any consecutive row. Mind you, I was an expert on lacy knitting, pity the holes were unintentional and grew by the hour!
I remember one winter’s afternoon that mammy sat patiently by the fire with me, struggling to show me how to go about the task. The weeks of belittling in school had me so tense that the stitches were too tight to move along the needle, never mind from one needle to the other.
One of my brothers (two years older), came to ask a question, but became intrigued as he watched what mammy was doing. He eventually slipped quietly out of the room and headed for the kitchen. Ten minutes later, as I was still struggling, he returned to ask “Is this the way to do it mammy?”
He found a ball of twine and two wooden skewers, then set up about twelve stitches and arrived back with about six inches of perfect garter stitch!
I eventually succeeded but preferred to crochet, it is less of a problem losing stitches or having to rip back if an error occurs. Knitting has made the slow comeback for me in recent years and I am enjoying that form of needlework right now.
In Dublin last week, I was playing with a cowl worked in the round. While decreasing stitches, I struggled with the stitch markers I had. I think Elly was frustrated with me constantly counting stitches so she appeared with a beaded stitch marker that she had made and asked if it would help. It was just perfect for slipping over the needles so next day she made a selection of them for me.
Beaded stitch markers made by Elly
Finished circular cowl.
While browsing online the other day, I came across this: Knitted Glass
Maybe this time, I will sit on my hands and leave the hard work to Carol Milne.