Monday, March 05, 2007


Several of my online friends get a lot of enjoyment out of knitting. Most notable of these is probably Dominocat whose projects often leave me in awe. Plus, I am the honoured owner of one of those projects which is amazing.

I've considered doing knitting on many occasions, but have so far always rejected it on the basis that I am simply not creative. In "art" at school, when you were given some paper and some pencils/paints/whatever and told to create a pretty picture, I was the kid who sat there in front of a blank sheet of paper with a dopey expression. Eventually the teacher would suggest an object, and I would do my best to draw it accurately, with varying results. In later years when it was suggested that we might like to paint "interpretations" or "feelings" I was even more at sea. It made no sense to me whatsoever and it was with relief that I entered my GCSE years and was able to do straightforward academic subjects.

However, of late it has occurred to me that while I'm not creative, I am good at following instructions. I started by making a couple of soft toys from kits, like this badger. Then I picked up one of these knitting bees for something to do with my hands when I can't sleep, can't concentrate, and can't move about. I've now created several yards of bee-poo, as Steve insists on calling it, and wanted to try something just a smidgen more challenging, not to mention useful.

So I have ordered a scarf in a bag kit, containing all the necessaries - beginner's instructions, needles, and wool. The order should be processed by the end of the week and then the kit should be here about a week after that. An actual scarf may or may not occur, we shall have to see, but I'm taking the plunge.

Should it all go to plan, I will then be able to start terrifying Steve by knitting baby-clothes... ;)


Anonymous said...

That badger is just the cutest thing ever! I should get my badgers making them (wait, does it involve sharp things? We don't let them have anything sharper than safety scissors under tight supervision!)

I should elaborate: badgers are 5-10yr old members of St John.

I also used to have one of those knitting bee things, except mine was a doll, and it was called a knitting Nancy. I made a huge amount of bee-poo, which I rather hope is still in existance somewhere, out of every old scrap of wool I could get my hands on. It took me a couple of years.

Mary said...

Hi Jo

The kits for the badger and other soft toys can be found here.

The pieces of fabric are already cut out, but you do need safety pins to hold pieces together and of course a needle for sewing with, although it doesn't have to be a super-sharp needle.

Oh, and as regards the bee-poo, part of the reason there's so much of it is because I'm not entirely sure how to cast-off, so I just keep going and going and going...

Anonymous said...

Because you've got me intrigued, and because I'm supposed to be working!! It's quite an interesting page in it's own right - and has instructions on how to end bee poo. It also has pictures of knitting nancies, including the two that I had as a kid (the first two pictured under "Knitting Nancys come in all shapes and sizes". The exact ones. Very exciting. Far more exciting than it should be.

Anonymous said...

You might like counted cross-stitch - sticking a needle through one hole and out the other to make pretty pictures :-). Smaller projects don't actually involve too much counting!

Mary said...

Thanks for that Jo!

Hi Vic. I've considered cross-stitch in the past (the ME/CFS specialist I saw begged me not to do it for various reasons) but I don't think I'd get much out of it to be honest.

fluttertongue said...

There comes a time in all more-house-bound-than-not people's lives when they decide to be crafty. Try as I might I just cannot get into it - I think it comes down to frustration at making too many mistakes and the hearty desire not to be awful at something. I'm impressed you've got this far and I wish you the best of luck with your endevours - you clearly have more patience than many others!

Mary said...

Hi Fluttertongue. I don't know that I'm patient... you should see me when I fail at something, it's not pretty, especially if there's somebody sitting next to me going "it's easy" *leans over me* "you just do this and this and this and this and it's done!" I already know they can do it. I want to see if I can do it, and if I can't, I want to be able to cock it up without anyone watching and then try it again in my own sweet time. If someone's showing me up and making me feel inadequate, I get very upset.

What I am, is persistent and methodical. I will happily unpack something, check I have all the parts, carefully read through the instructions to make sure there's no hidden surprises, and then steadily work at it. I like instructions. It used to drive my ex-husband mad, he was one of those people who saw instructions with anything as an affront to his capabilities.