Today I am straying slightly from Sewing with Sweet’s main venture into the world of knitting! I have always done a little knitting to entertain myself while watching TV, which I have spoken about on previous posts. However, now I have decided to talk about why I started knitting.
My Granny has always been such an inspiration for me. I think it is because I’m entirely intrigued by her – she died when I was three years old but I have very well formed memories of my time with her (I realise that these aren’t memories per se, but me remembering the memory). I can still tell you now how her house was arranged and how I saw a family of foxes in her garden when I was sat on top of the chest of drawers on her landing. Or indeed, when she was pushing me in my pushchair along a lane in my village – very vivid memories! However, my most cherished memory is of her knitting for me. When she became ill with a brain tumour she came to live with my parents. My mother was very pregnant with my sister at this point and I remember lots of time spent sitting on my Granny’s bed in our spare room with my mother. I also remember her sitting in our sitting room knitting me clothes for my doll called Frances, whom she had bought for me. I was a very fashion conscious (read demanding) little girl and insisted on Frances having a full wardrobe. I would hold the wool metres and metres from my Granny and she would give it a little tug when she needed more. She knitted all sorts of clothes for Frances – her own little socks and everything! She died fairly shortly after this in the amazing hospice in Esher, the Princess Alice Hospice, which I try to support as much as possible.
Consequently I became entirely obsessed with her. I imagine this is because I lost this very inspiring lady too young. I learnt to knit at the age of 5 to be like her and I also learnt the clarinet and did my Grade 8 exam because she played the clarinet. I always used to imagine her coming to the school concerts I played in if she had been alive. She also played the organ, so I like listening to Widor’s Toccata. I have travelled to India because she was born there. I also went to Camodia, and weirdly enough saw some photos before I went of her there with my Grandpa before the time of the Khmer Rouge…so bizarre that we were going there to see the effects of the Khmer Rouge and when they had been there, this had not yet happened.
What I have found most odd about this is that I don’t even know what she is like! I think she must have been very kind as I fond memories of her, and my father has always said what a lovely mother-in-law she was, but ultimately, I do not know her, and yet somehow, she has infected every part of my life and so many decisions I have made. I even have a Rightmove alert set for the village and then the town, too, that she lived in, just in case I happen to find something there for myself!
Obviously losing anyone in your life has a huge impact and many hours will be spent wondering what they would have said or done in a particular situation. I, unfortunately, didn’t have much time with any of my grandparents – I never met my Grandpa, and then my father’s parents also died when I was 6 and 13 – but I’m not bitter about this; many people don’t have parents, and I like to carry the happy memories with me through life.
Onto the reason for the post…the jumper! It is the Hadley jumper from Stitch & Story. I like the big knit and chunky wool, and it was a good ‘Easy+’ pattern, but my issue is that I bought this as a kit, and it didn’t have enough wool! I ran out and was using tail ends to finish it! Very infuriating. It has a very weird neckline, as well. It is basically a series of holes that I think could look very good if you were an excellent knitter, which I most certainly am not. It is also very short. It does describe itself as boxy, but when I wear a knitted jumper, I am more up for a large cosy long jumper, not one erring on the side of cropped! I definitely won’t be making this again, but it has inspired me to try knitting another jumper. It is a shame as I loved everything about the Stitch & Story kit – it arrives in a nice box which I used to store everything in and they send you eco friendly wooden needles – what is not to love?!
I am currently sat here wearing the jumper and feeling very cosy on an August sunny evening (I would point out that I started knitting this in about March last year!). Charlie and I were at two great weddings this weekend and I’m feeling particularly delicate! In need of an early night!
Have a lovely week,
In loving memory of Phoebe Frances Bridcut, 23rd February 1930 – 5th October 1992