I knit so I don’t kill people

I saw the heading for this blog on a t-shirt. It made me smile. I do knit a bit which always seems to surprise people. “Really? You knit, Ruth?” as if that is the strangest thing in the world. Perhaps they associate knitting with being a little old-fashioned and they see me as a hip and trendy young thing. Perhaps.

Like most people I learned to knit at school. I did the obligatory Dr Who scarf when I was young, and then giant shapeless jumpers which were not fit to be worn outside. The common thread (hehe) here being that those things can be knitted on large needles with chunky wool so they grow quickly. I never did have much patience.

Over the years I have dabbled with other crafts. I am a bit flighty when it comes to crafts. A new one will catch my eye and I have to go out and buy all the stuff and then I get bored. You know how it is. A house full of unfinished projects. There were the cross-stitch years where I sat until the early hours of the morning desperate to see how it was going to work out. But failing eyesight put an end to that as I couldn’t see the eye in the needle, let alone the tiny little holes. There was the one tapestry that I bought on Iona, gave it a go and couldn’t work it out at all so had to give it to a friend to finish. (Still not framed.) There were the beads everywhere in the jewellery years when everyone had to buy a pair of Ruth’s earrings. There were the Fimo years when I made little rainbow brooches, and the Cursillo years when I knotted rainbow friendship bracelets. More recently there was the candlemaking kit. Anyone want a candlemaking kit?

Friends will also know that I can’t go past a Craft Shop sign without a big detour and and a big dent to my budget. Silk tie-dye scarves, little wooden stools, pottery of all shapes and sizes, stained glass bits and bobs, smooth stones with pretty designs. You name it, and I have it cluttering up my shelves.  So far I have resisted the card-making only because it arrived on the craft scene at a time when I was so busy even I knew that it was never going to happen.

Then along came prayer shawls. I don’t know how many I’ve done over the past ten years but there have been a good number. They are easy to knit, they are chunky and grow quickly, and for me they are meditative too. We’ve recently had a wee surge of prayer shawl knitting here at Christ Church and it is lovely to see the joy on peoples’ faces when they get one put round their shoulders. (Excuse me looking like a rather sweaty madwoman in these photographs but I had been busy serving tea and it was rather warm that day.) The prayer shawl in the middle is the one I was knitting on Skye which has much hate for bagpipers knitted in it so it is still lying here waiting for an exorcism.

prayershawl Freda

20130919_120650Prayershawl Joyce

Lately it has been bizarre scarves knitted from one ball of wool. I tried the flouncy ones but it was really beyond my expertise and I have to get someone else to cast off for me. I told you I do plain and purl and that’s it, ok?  I bought a beautiful delicate purple scarf at a Craft Show for a fairly large sum of money and then kicked myself when I saw the yarn in a wool shop for a fiver and realised I could have knitted it myself. So I have. This is the latest project – infinity scarves made from Firefly yarn to sell at our Christmas Fair. Mind you, knitting with two cats can be challenging so I have learned to keep my ball in a bag. Genius! Now if I could stop them sleeping on the finished item it would be even better.

Firefly colours  Firefly scarves

I even got a sewing machine from one of my oldies who was downsizing and had great plans of making trendy bags and suchlike. I can’t thread it. It lies waiting, Perhaps in my retirement?

We’ve started a Craft Group at church. It began as a Prayer Shawl group and we got started on that. Now we bring along our knitting, crochet or whatever we are working on. We share ideas and show one another how things are done. This week we had a visit from Norma who showed us how to make Christmas decorations and here is one I made!


So as you can see I’m a bit of a flibbertigibbet when it comes to crafts. A bit like a magpie really. Something catches my eye and I’m off buying the kit before I’ve really sussed out if it is possible or not. But I do know that I’m never going to manage something gorgeous like Fair Isle or Arran. After all, I do like to half-watch TV when I am knitting and that is never going to happen with all those tricky patterns. Think I’ll stick to my simple crafts that look more exotic than they are. Bit like me really!


7 thoughts on “I knit so I don’t kill people

  1. Wonderful! I don’t so much flit between craft projects as let them fester for years insisting that they are finished before I start something else. I am currently knitting the Scarf of Doom for my husband which needs to be finished by Winter (not sure which Winter). This follows the Tea Cosy of Terror which lay unknitted for a couple of years as it had fairisle bits in. It worked out OK in the end!

  2. Yep – me, too, Ruth. This reminds me that I have two balls of lovely off-white cashmere that I meant to make into a light wrap still in a box somewhere. Turns out it’s not chunky and took too long to get very far…. I think creative people need to create pretty often and yet there are all the other things to be done (like read books!) that interfere.

  3. Tea cosies! That’s my next project. Saw some old fashioned ones in the Green Wellie Stop for exorbitant price. Thought that I could have a go at retro ones…

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