This month’s Slice of Life rang lots of bells and made me smile. Fran hooked a couple of teenagers and I may well have added my three-year old grand-daughter to the list of knitting machine enthusiasts. There’s always lots to do when she comes, as I’ve loads of paper and pens, books and crayons. She sits on my knee at the desk and we flip from stickers to dinosaurs and stamps to Play-doh as we while away many happy hours.
The last visit included mummy, daddy and her other granny, so we were all sitting round chatting when she announced that her bunny was cold and needed a scarf. I was ‘volunteered’ to make one, so we went up to my knitting room and she pounced on a luscious ball of multi-shade bright lime and emerald yarn with lots of shiny green knobbles. (Smooth DK? Not a hope!) I found a short pair of knitting needles and we went back to join the others. Having cast on six stitches and knitted a bit to start us off, I sat on the floor with her between my legs and we managed two rows. She held the ‘sticks’ and lassoed the yarn round the top of the needle, until dismay set in. She stood up. pulled it off the needles and with her hands about eight inches apart, announced she needed it ‘this long’, not just a tiny square!
For years I’ve had a Mattel toy knitting machine tucked away in a corner, which was holding much promise as we opened it up. There were balls of lemon, mauve and pink yarn sitting neatly on the top, soon destined to become a scarf for dolly. Instructions? What self-respecting machine knitter needs a manual? Having used one of those little French Knitting machines for years, I worked out a way to cast on and, with an easy turn of the handle, we were soon knitting. Round and round she turned and out of the bottom popped the knitting. We changed colour twice and, in no time at all, made a very fetching scarf to keep dolly warm. Slightly in danger of strangling herself, she pulled the rather short strip tight round her neck and waltzed through to the adults. She pushed the hand knitting out of sight behind a cushion, with the style of Joan Lafferty and announced: “I’ve made a scarf for my dolly, but this is proper knitting on a machine and I can do it”. It was huge fun and if ‘each one can teach one’ we’ll soon have a full-scale revival on our hands!
Do come and join us on Saturday 3rd March at Bournemouth School for Girls in Castle Gate Close, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth BH8 9UJ. There will be lots to see, try and buy and do bring a hand-knitting with you. We could try conversion tactics or, at the very least, have a really good knit ‘n’ natter!
April 2018 – our 32nd birthday issue
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