Monday, 23 February 2015

#21 Learn to knit

I'd expected the first thing I would cross off my list of 41 things in my 41st year to be something that took some physical effort. Progress has been made in a few areas- my skiing is getting better and I've fixed a puncture under supervision. I've been riding my bike like mad, training and planning all sorts of adventures , and I really thought I'd have got a nice winter climbing route in by now (perhaps I'm riding my bike too much?).

First faltering stitches

Anyway, it turns out that the first challenge to cross off my list is number 21: "learn to knit".  The island has an unusual community arts project underway called Arran Woollen Woods and yesterday I took myself along to a skills sharing workshop hosted by Arran Eco Savvy. I was pretty nervous, I'm not a creative person, but I like the idea of the woollen woods project and want to contribute.   Anyway, to cut a long story short, it turns out that learning the basics is easy, and also addicitive.  Under the guidance of my patient teacher Nicki, before long I was knitting and purling my way through a ball of wool.... reluctant to stop.  It was only when she offered to let me buy the needles and yarn from Eco Savvy and take it all home that I put the gear down for a break.

Dino has it's first square.
They used to say "the devil makes work for idle hands"... and knitters have long extolled the virtues of their craft. I can only agree. Through the hypnotic motions of the needles and fingers I can feel my mind emptying and restlessness evaporating.  I'm not at the stage where I can talk and knit at the same time but I already know that life is going to be different from now on.  No more boring journeys fiddling with my smartphone.... The dreary wait for overdue teenagers at DofE checkpoints will be fun and long tent-bound nights will never seem empty again. I've already ordered four more wool colours, and although I'm a long way off knitting a red squirrel, I'm going to help "yarn bomb" a life sized wicker dinosaur with coloured squares.

I also tried my hand at needle felting. Despite stabbing myself in the thumb several times I made a fuzzy mushroom- also to add to the woollen woods project.

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