Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Knitting Nightmares

I’m letting out an embarrassing little secret here – so don’t tell.....  I’ve TRIED to learn to knit so many times.  But I just can’t get the hang of it! 

My nan used to knit a lot when I was a little girl, and I spent hours sitting with her, trying to learn to knit myself.  She helped me to knit little things for my dolls to wear and once, when I was a bit older, she supervised me while I made a bootee for my cousin’s baby.  Unfortunately, the baby never received her gift, as I never got around to making the second bootee (she turned 18 a few weeks ago, so it’s a little too late now)!!!
A few years ago, I was given a scarf-knitting-kit for Christmas.  My mom showed me how to knit again (I’d forgotten everything I’d learned before) and, with her there to fix all my mistakes and do all the tricky bits for me, I (well, we) managed to finish the scarf.
Then I forgot it all again! 
But, over the past few weeks (with the summer holidays approaching), I’ve been thinking about what crafty things I can work on during my travels.  We’ll be doing a lot of driving (to and around the UK), and going on a cruise around the Norwegian fjords.  Well, I can’t take my sewing machine with me!  I was chatting about this very serious predicament with a friend last week, and she volunteered to teach me to knit!!!  I thought it was only fair to warn her of my knitting history, but she bravely left her offer open.....
We spent Saturday afternoon in the garden, with our cups of tea, balls of wool and knitting needles.  And I learnt to knit – AGAIN!!!  I was able to cast on and knit a few rows – all by myself!!!  We decided that I would make a square to begin with.  Then I could knit a few more and maybe turn them into a blanket.....  or perhaps just a little cushion.....  or maybe just finish my one square and turn it into a pin cushion!?!  After my friend left, I managed to knit a few more rows.  But then I made a mistake, forgetting whether I was meant to be knitting or purling.  I tried to fix it, but ended up getting cross and unravelling the whole thing.  I started again, messed it all up again, and unravelled it all again!  What I need is a live-in-knitting-fixer!!! 
Here is my third attempt.....  

so far, so good this time.  I’ve ordered a book that I HOPE will show me how to fix my mistakes without having to unravel everything (and teach me how to tell whether I’ve just been knitting or purling – because I can never remember), and it’s going into my suitcase along with all my knitting gear.  I am DETERMINED that, after my holidays, I will have at least one finished square to show you!!! 
If you're reading, thank you Saffron!!!  You are one patient gal!!!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Sewing Club Successes

Without fully considering the enormity of the challenge that lay ahead, I offered to lead an after-school sewing club for 5 to 7 year-olds.  I know what you’re thinking!!!

The first few weeks were slow-going (I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I used the phrase ‘one step forwards, FIVE steps back’)!

However, at the risk of sounding ever-so cheesy, I have to say that I REALLY admired the girls’ enthusiasm for sewing, and the concentration and determination they put into learning something new.  I learnt something from THEM in that respect!

Considering how slow progress was at the start of the term, I was REALLY proud of the girls’ finished projects!  So, I thought I’d show you the little bookmarks they made.....

Aren’t they cute!!!
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