Well they keep saying knitting’s the new cool, don’t they? So in the spirit of that, some mum friends and I have formed a stitch ‘n’ bitch circle. The idea is that we get together every few weeks, lubricate ourselves with tea (or wine, if we’re feeling really racy) and let our needles fly in time to the patter of idle gossip. The fact that most of us have never cast on in our lives has not stood in our way: fortunately one of our number is a kick-ass craft supremo, and under her tutelage we’ve set out to master this gentle pastime – and maybe create something we can be proud of while we’re at it.
I had my first lesson the other day, and let me tell you, it’s not as easy as it looks. My tea went un-drunk and if there was any bitching, it went right over my head because I was so busy trying to concentrate on what was growing – with excruciating slowness – on my needles.
Apparently, a key aim of knitting is to keep the same number of stitches that you started with. Ideally, you don’t want to gain any extra, or to lose any. Our esteemed team leader nearly choked on her chocolate hobnob when she totted up the total number on my top row and found it was 42. As I’d started with 20, it’s fair to say I’d lost my way fairly significantly. Another key aim – and this much is probably obvious – is to end up with something that’s hole-free. Hmm. So, an epic fail on both counts, I’m afraid.
Doggedly determined to have fashioned a thing – and I didn’t really care what manner of thing – by the day’s end, I kept going beyond the session until I had, well, it’s hard to describe what I had, really, but I think we’re probably talking small woollen trepezium. My mum cast it off for me, then she helped me make a seam in it, and gather the top slightly.
Et voila. An egg cosy. I gave it to a friend the next day, for his birthday. Once he’d stopped laughing, he seemed quite pleased with it. (Although really, when you think about it, life has no need for egg cosies. You put your egg in your egg cup, then you eat it pronto, right?)
So. I have a new, somewhat addictive hobby, and I’ve made a start on my next project: a phone sock. To be perfectly honest, this is the same as an egg cosy, only without the gathered end. But still. I don’t think I should aim too high on this. Baby steps, and all that.