Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Knitting and the Unholy Experiment

making a stitch, one
Originally uploaded by girl_of_bats.
The last few days have been mostly taken up with knitting activity. This has had two main facets - the Group, and the Unholy Experiment.

The Unholy Experiment was Steve's idea (go on, you can all act surprised now). We were having a Lazy Monday, with no plans to go out or to do anything particularly energetic, partly so I could be ready for Active Tuesday (which turned out a lot more active than I'd imagined). He was fidgeting with small screwdrivers while printing off some study notes, and I was curled up knitting.

Him: Would it be possible to knit on screwdrivers?
Me: I don't see why not.
Him: How geeky would that be, knitting on screwdrivers! X, Y and Z would be so jealous!
Me: (taking screwdrivers) It would be tricky, but definitely possible... hmmm... go grab the orange yarn.

Click on the picture to go to my flickr stream and see more process photographs.

I am pleased to confirm that yes, knitting with screwdrivers is perfectly possible.

We used one Phillips-head and one flat-head, but it would be easier with two Phillips-head screwdrivers. The main problem we encountered was that the screwdrivers are not of a uniform diameter - there's the thin black bit which is just shy of 3mm (US size 3), then the smooth silver bit is 4.5mm (US size 7) and the ridged silver bit, as well as being ridged (gaa) is 5mm (US size 8). We could have overcome this by using larger screwdrivers with handles, but I feel that the weight of the handles would have made knitting even trickier and dropping/fumbling one of them and thus losing stitches even more of a possibility. The second difficulty was avoiding tearing the yarn with the sharp bits. The third problem was that while knitting needles are made to slide comfortably against each other, these scrape. It's not as pleasant a knitting sensation as normal needles offer.

They're going to come and take me away soon, so moving swiftly on, Active Tuesday.

Someone on flickr had recommended Web Of Wool as being "the best knitting shop in Leamington" so I decided I had to try and find it and that Tuesday would be a good day to do this.

53 Regent Grove, Holly Walk. I didn't know Regent Grove but Holly Walk is where Social Services and the Jobcentre and all that sort of thing are. I decided Regent Grove must be some sort of house-name (it's that sort of area). I figured a wool shop would be easy enough to spot, and set off.

Alas, Regent Grove is NOT a house, but a street which then morphs into Holly Walk. Alas also, Web Of Wool not only looks very much like a residential house from outside, but is next to a florist, which is bright and colourful and very "there" in the way that florists are, and it's near a corner. Because of the arrangement of dropped kerbs and crossings, I didn't go all the way along that strip of pavement - I looked along registering "hotel, florist, couple of regular houses" and then started scanning the pavement for my next crossing point.

After two and a half laps of Holly Walk I decided the hell with it and wandered into one of the businesses to see if their receptionist could offer a clue. She directed me to what appeared to be a tailor's shop, and thankfully they were able to tell me that Web of Wool was "next to the florist's over there".

About half an hour of poddling about on the scooter, I wasn't disappointed. Web Of Wool turned out to be as nice and relaxing and friendly a shop as you could wish for. The lovely Anna helped me look for a pattern that might be good, helped me pick some yarn for the project I chose to do, and also told me about their knitting group, which is on Tuesday evenings.

So after a rest at home, Steve drove me back into town and I attended my first ever knitting group. It was great! Since leaving work, I've become really unused to sitting in a room with several other people. But everyone was really welcoming, and while I couldn't participate much in discussions, it was nice listening to other people chat rather than reading it off a screen. The knitters were helpful when I ran into trouble with reading my pattern (it still looks like a cat jumped on the keyboard to me) or wanted to check something. It took a lot out of me, which was a foregone conclusion. But I took away several email addresses, and I feel that I'll be welcome to join them again next time I'm in Leamington, and hopefully I'll be able to make a couple of friends over here. Not next week though, as tomorrow I'm going back home.

Steve came to collect me and we went to get something to eat at a nice, quiet place. To be honest, we could have gone to the Ritz or McDonalds and I wouldn't have noticed the difference, I was so shattered. But definitely happy.


erasmus (aka jiva) said...

I'm deeply jealous. I'm yet to find a knitting group at all in my area. BOO! I want local knitting friends!

Mary said...

I refuse to believe that you are the only knitter in your area.

Asking around all the local yarn shops you can find is a likely bet, or maybe if you search flickr you'll find people in the area with the tag "knitting" popping up in their photostream?

Anonymous said...

Wow! So you can knit with screwdrivers! I'd look at the pictures except for some reason although I can look at your Flickr, our company's firewall classifies the pictures of the unholy experiment as "Adult Material"! Maybe its the combination of words like screw and experiment... Or maybe some dodgy persons have commented!

Mary said...

How strange...

Anonymous said...

That entry made me smile all the way through :D

Mary said...

Jo: Good!

Hope you're feeling better :)

Carie @ Space for the Butterflies said...

Hi Mary, glad you found us on Tuesday and glad you had fun - you know we're all purple addicts so you fit right in!
See you next time you're over this part of the world

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you, I am now :)

Hope the knitting continues to go well. I love the idea of knitting on screwdrivers (but you'd never get them on a plane!) (You're not allowed knitting needles either.)