Tuesday 12 November 2013

The blanket that should have been my first knitting ta dah

Remember way back when I started knitting? (There's a whole post about it here) I built my stitch repertoire and skills up by following the monthly instalments from The Art Of Knitting mag. Each month there was a pattern for a new square for the patchwork woollen blanket. The mag came with revolting yarn and I decided early on to use gorgeous yarn so I could enjoy every moment. Well, when I say I 'enjoy', that isn't what really happened. I'll admit to crying over my knitting as I was learning. I found it frustrating. 

I wasn't naturally good at it to begin with. I couldn't pick up a dropped stitch and had to unravel so much I wondered if I may as well stick to crochet. But I rarely give up with anything. I'm a stubborn bird. To my detriment sometimes but often, like with knitting, to my benefit. I'd say my stubborness (is that even a word?) is a good thing on the whole. Actually, as I think of it, stubborness with a little laziness maybe the perfect combo. You fight for the important and let the trivial slide. Yes knitting is important to me! I love it...now.

I couldn't say if I prefer knitting over crochet though. They each have their attractions. There are few crochet garments I would wear aside from mittens, scarfs etc... I've not found a cardi pattern I'm dying to hook up. Where as I have hundreds of knitted cardi's, jumpers and even skirts ear marked in my ravelry account. 

I don't love knitted patchwork blankets like I love crochet patchwork blankets. I do have deep fondness for this blanket for all it taught me but the back of it looks a right mess to me. The seams aren't neat even though I mattress stitched them. A crochet blanket tends to look good from all angles. Of course a solid knitted blanket would look nice from both sides. 

I will always be both a crocheter and a knitter for I like them for different reasons. If I'm watching a programme on TV that needs a bit of attention then I would always opt for some simple knitting so that I could keep my eyes on the TV, I can feel where the needle needs to go whereas with a hook I have to look. 

I'll never abandon my hook, not least because it makes me feel connected to my Great Grandmother who I never met. Nanny Laura. She was my Mum's Mum's Mum. There's a mouthful. I was very close to my Mum's Mum, Nanny Dot. She gave me my nickname Cuckoo. I loved her dearly and miss her fiercely. My heart can't reconcile that I've not seen her for eight and a half years. I digress, my Nanny Dot used to talk about her mother a lot. From all accounts Nanny Laura was an amazing woman. My own Mum loved and misses her grandmother the same as I miss mine. 

My Mum saw a spiritualist/medium chap a few years ago. Now, you may or may not believe in these things but sometimes they aren't vague and they truly know facts that they could not pick out from body language alone. I'm not going to go into a debate about authenticity here, sometimes I want to believe because it comforts me, other times the scientist in me whistles through her teeth. Anyway this spiritualist described my Great Grandmother and gave a few other personal facts for verification. He told my Mum that Nanny Laura had been watching members of our family waiting for someone to show an interest in the things she was good at in life (I know this sounds stupid) and she had decided that she would give her skills to that person. The medium told my Mum that Nanny Laura had chosen me. Funnily enough when I sat with a book to teach myself properly how to crochet (my Mum had shown me in the past but I couldn't retain it) I had the most enormous sense of de ja vue. It was like I suddenly knew what to do. I never struggled to hold the yarn and control it. My hook felt like an extension of my hand. My tension was fine immediately. I felt a sense of contentment in those early days that I'd not felt in that precise way before. I could almost smell a new smell. I'm sure I'll lose some followers for saying all this and I know I sound barmy but I speak the truth. This is how it was. I seemed to instinctively know what I was doing all of a sudden. Shame I wasn't given the gift of knitting. That was blood sweat and tears!

And now for a little silliness. Those of you who read my blog and know me in real life will know Mr C and will find this pic of the poor man hilarious. 

Yes he was in pain.....because his Father was removing a plaster from his leg. The wuss!!!!!!



  1. Your blanket is wonderful, well done for keeping at it! I felt the same about crochet as it doesn't come naturally to me, funnily enough I was talking to my sister today about learning to knit! :) x

  2. I've never enjoyed knitting in the past, but since crochet has become part of my life I have become more inclined to give it another go. I agree that some of the crocheted garments can look pretty dire, but once you sift through the rubbish sometimes you can find some real gems. I am following a blog called untangling knots which has lots of knitting hints and tips, none of which I will probably use!
    xXx Helen

  3. I know just what you mean - I have a pinterest board dedicated to the things I will knit when I get round to learning! Its the clothes especially. Just not enough hours in the day!
    Missing you my friend - feels like a long time since we've caught up. Mind you I was blogging about the summer trip so that made me reflective! Nice to get a cuckoo fix in blogland too....fee xx

  4. I've always coveted your knitted patchwork blanket. If I ever do learn to knit, I should love to make something similar but I'm not holding my breath. Knitting doesn't come naturally to me at all. I do try now and again but it always ends in a paddy.

    I'm not a big pattern follower. I like to be in a position where I picture in my mind exactly what I want to make and then have the ability to do it. I can do that with crochet.

    If I'm very truthful, I prefer the look of knitted items and the drape - it's quite hard to emulate that in crochet but I constantly try. I've never been the biggest fan of holey crochet. (I daresay several thousand crocheters will be throwing their hands up in horror at that statement!)

    You've told me the story about your Nanny Laura before and, yes, I do believe it's credible. Funny thing is I've always had a similar feeling about drawing and painting. I really don't know how I know some of the things I do, if that makes sense? It's not something I do very often but very occasionally, if I'm feeling receptive, something else takes over and I can surprise myself. My grandmother was an artist.

    Perhaps we are, as you suspect, both completely bonkers but I wouldn't have it any other way.


  5. Your blanket is really lovely, it looks perfect.
    My husband walked in the kitchen yesterday with a new pair of trousers on and I noticed the long sticky label still attached down his leg. I grabbed it at one end and ripped with glee. I said to him, "lucky for you that wasn't a plaster!!!"

  6. I know that feeling, I lost my Nana 15 years ago this week, just weeks after having my eldest, and the older I get the more I miss her. She wasn't a knitter or a crocheter but a cook and baker and I know I ger my instinct for this from her.
    I love your knitted blanket and if I ever force myself to learn I hope I'll be as good as you
    Claire xx

  7. I won`t say what I think about mediums,but my grandmothers both taught me so much,one taught me how to read and cook,the other,knitting sewing and crochet as well as all the life lessons they taught me,I like knitting because it looks neater than crochet and I like crochet because its quicker and easier to correct your mistakes,but I am the opposite to you don`t have to look at crochet but I do have to look at knitting as I am doing it.

  8. My god, how much patience do you have?? Well done for sticking with it and getting through!

  9. I love your blanket, I do some knitting sometimes but I am not an expert and at the moment I feel more crocheting.
    I totally believe what you say about your nana, I have always been a person who trust even that part of life that it's invisible, so...

    Lluisa x


  10. I wish I was ready to let crochet take a back seat so that I could concentrate on bettering my skills at knitting and sewing....but i'm not. There is still so much I want to do with crochet and I know I won't be happy and focused with anything else until I get it ALL out of my system. I am in awe of your multi talents my friend xxxx

  11. I love that blanket, a little bit different from the usual crocheted throws I see around, and that final picture of the Mr did make me laugh!

  12. Your blanket is is very pretty.
    Julie xxxxxxxxx

  13. I love your blanket it looks brilliant from where I am sitting and very cosy to. I keep meaning to knit a blanket I have just made 2 snoods for my greyhounds and the amount of times I dropped stitches and had to unpick the whole lot and start again so many times but like you I carried on with it. I would love to learn moss stitch and Arran. The only ones I know are knit one and pearl and plain. I do love to crochet though and that's what I am doing at the moment a very large triangle free style blanket its relaxing and unlike knitting if you make a mistake its kind to you. Enjoy your blanket it will be lovely to snuggle under on the sofa now the cold weather is here. Hope your little family is well its a while since I have been here, dee x

  14. Agree with you on the knitting/crochet thing - both have their place and purposes I think. Though, funny enough I find if its mindless TV crafting its crochet I go for not knitting! Currently attempting a crochet cardi... not at all sure... x

  15. Oh your blanket is so beautiful - well done for persevering, it was so worth it . It was such a good idea to use lovely wool and make the most of the project.

  16. I'm the same with knitting and crochet. I choose tv stuff that doesn't need tons of concentrating and counting. Love both of them though.
    Spiritualism is part of our everyday so sounds normal to me, I just don't talk about it on my blog. Maybe I should one day. My man is a natural healer and psychic. I grew up in a house that had spirits bothering me which freaked me out big time when I was younger. Mediums have told me things that norther person could know and I know I'm not soft in the head like some might say. X

  17. I love your blanket! I've wondered a few times whether you carried on with it, as I remember your first knit club and you talking about it! You've done amazingly well since then and anyone that met you now would think that you'd been knitting your whole life! I only wish I'd moved on as fast as you, knitting guru#2 (second only to Suzie beans, which is not a bad thing!) xx

  18. Aww cuckoo, I am a rubbish blogger and bloggie reader these days, I NEED MORE HOURS!!! I so get what you wrote about the medium and the smell etc. I have 'smelt' Bud around me at times and when I had that week off work I was 'led' to a bag that I had forgotten that I had which had a quilt in it that my greatgran and Bud had both worked on, I washed it and when it was dry I wrapped it around me and cried and cried for a week, I miss her so much (and now I am blubbering again!) I just want to curl up in her lap sometimes and sook. You have done a great job on the knitting and the blanket looks great. I did have a chuckle looking at the photo of Toby hehe.
    Much love Sandi xoxo

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