Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Unwearable Ambition.

During my teenage years, I made many, many things to wear. Some of them must have looked surprising on the remote Cumbrian farm where I was brought up, but I had learned to sew and my ambition soon outstripped the dressmaking skills of my poor mother who acted as technical consultant. In fact, my friend Janice and I, inspired as always by the fortnightly adaptations shown in "Petticoat" for its basic pattern, churned out a garment every week.

Knitting, however, was another matter. It took so long for a start, and it was impossible to alter once it had been constructed, unlike sewn items. Still this didn't stop me knitting a neat little jumper in turquoise nylon four-ply. In moss-stitch, with a square insert at the neck knitted horizontally so as to allow pintucks to be included, it was a challenging knit. So neat it looked in, I believe, "Woman's Weekly", so dainty. "Neat" and "dainty" not words that really describe my own style.

Next up was an Aran sweater, again an ambitious choice. Who knew that blackberry stitch had such apronounced bias pull to it, so that the neckline was pulled completely out of shape? It was also a close fit, not a good feature in an Aran. But I learned a lot from these failed projects, more than from any garter stitch scarf in a big yarn.

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