Yes, knitting and crochet! This seemed like a natural step for someone who loves crafty things and seems to collect knitted "people", tea cosies, blankets etc. I tried to get on the course last year but had left it too late and it was fully booked by the time I got round to applying. Well, this year there was none of that and I was on the 'phone the day the applications opened! That was a couple of months ago and I've waited very patiently for today to come. I even managed to wait until last Friday before raiding John Lewis for wool and a few essential supplies.
We were a group of about 12 people. Some of my fellow classmates has attended the earlier course and so were not absolute beginners. The consensus amongst the rest was that we'd like to try crochet so that's what we started doing. Perhaps we shall move onto knitting at a later date. It took me a while to master the first chain but I soon had it sorted thanks to our cat sitter who, bizarrely enough, also happened to be taking the course. Funnily enough, she didn't even recognise me without a ginger or black furball attached! She'd done crochet before so she helped me out. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm could not make up for the fact that I found it very difficult to hold the crochet hook and feed the wool through because I have arthritis in my hands. I've practised quite a bit today and although I know what I am meant to be doing, it's very slow progress and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to make it work because I have to keep stopping every thirty seconds and rewind the wool through my fingers. Ah well, I guess some things are not meant to be. My little chain might be the furthest I get...
I've spent the rest of the afternoon fiddling with all things knit and crochet related. I've built up a little stash of vintage pattern books which are so bright and colourful, it cheered me up just looking at them.
There are some fab projects inside. Lots of which seem to centre around tea cosies. Whatever happened to the tea cosy?
Well, if I don't master the art of crochet or knitting, I have been enjoying amassing a little collection of knitted items over the past year or so. These can be picked up really cheaply from car boot sales and charity shops. Given the time and skill put into making these , they really are a bargain. I hope whoever knitted these toys knows how much I like them and how in awe I am of their crafty skill.
My nan is also a very prolific crocheter. She is now in her mid 80's and fills her days happily with crochet. Unfortunately, I cannot get her to produce "granny squares" anymore, like the blanket on top of the stack below. She made this for me when I first went to uni. Crikey, make that 15 years ago, I feel ancient! The one on the bottom of the stack, in lilacs and minty greens, she made for me for my bed in the first flat I bought (with a mini version for my cat!) I like it that each one reminds me of her and a different time in my life.
She still enjoys making blankets ( as one big square rather than lots of little ones) and these make welcome gifts for friends who have had babies and also for the Muchkin, who seized one and takes it to bed. They keep my knees warm during these colder Autumn days.
All in all, not quite the day I envisaged so I must surely be due a glass of wine about now. On a cheerier note, our coal was delivered today so hopefully this evening, we shall enjoy our first fire of the season.