7.11.2006

Farewell yarn buddies

I used to knit many moons ago.

PICT0094

I picked it up from my mum when I was pretty young - probably in Primary school. It all started when I saw her knitting a top using a gorgeous ivory silk cotton blend. Her hairstylist had started knitting and convinced my mum to make something too.

I don't think that was the first time my mum knitted. (I'm guessing young women those days were forced to learn this in school as a compulsory skill - they definitely learned to cook & sew. This was so even for me.) I guess she was just recalling a rusty skill. She knit using circular needles, which I found to be fascinating. She was a very neat knitter, I remember, and the yarn had a lovely sheen.

My mum taught me how to cast on, knit & purl (he beauty of knitting - everything orginates from these 2 stitches) and I got some needles and yarn.

I had a ladybird (a children's series of hardcover books) book on knitting which also had instructions for simple projects - that was probably my first book on knitting and I referred to it a lot. For some strange reason, I only recall one of the projects which was a knitted tie (!!) Oh, and a small coin purse with a little flap and snap closure. I really enjoyed that book.

Over the years I picked up more stuff along the way, mostly from reading more books and trying out the patterns there. My favourite yarn haunts were the old Daimaru, Yaohan at Plaza Singapura and a small shop in Far East Plaza. I would be most pleased after buying yarn, or some knitting accessory like row counters or stitch holders. That feeling of excitement and anticipation after making a good craft purchase remains with me today.

By secondary school, I had graduated to Vogue patterns and even managed to influence my dear friend Charmaine into knitting. Remember our multicoloured angora sweaters, Charm?! It was our ritual to knit after exams. There was a period in between the end of exams and the beginning of the school holidays where we would have to go to school, but there would be no lessons. We just had to turn up but were mostly left to our own devices. So there we were, 16 year old students knitting like little ol grannies. I didn't care if it was unhip or uncool - I just liked my knitting. I recall going sleepless on countless nights just because I was so close to finishing and was impatient to see the finished product.

However, I was never a very good knitter. What I mean is, I could handle all the stitches just fine, but I neglected all the little details that made a good finished garment. I hated making tension squares. Sometimes I would check, but usually I didn't. I didn't block my pattern pieces properly. So the finishing suffered - my stuff never looked professional or (in my eyes) decent enough to wear. The devil is in the details, they say.

So I ended up with a trunk full of knitted garments - not only were they highly unsuited to the Singapore climate, they were also rather clumsy looking. I think I only ever wore one of my many sweaters, and even then, rarely.

I knitted erratically after secondary school, and eventually stopped for a long period of time. I lost the patience to knit an entire garment - but revived it briefly while I was working because I thought I should have some sort of hobby outside of work. But I did smaller projects like scarves for friends going overseas and shawls for myself. But even that short lived interest fizzled out.

Today, I found the remnants of my yarn stash, sitting in an old bag on the floor of my workroom. I decided that it was time for them to go. So I'm passing them over to Jovien of Knitting 24/7 whom I met on Craftster. She is a far better knitter and I know she'll put them to good use.

The knitting equipment and books, however, stay.

Never say never - I just might pick up those needles again one day.

4 comments:

Charmaine said...

the yarn still look beautiful!!!! i recall knitting with MUCH foundness PM!!!! sigh! and i still like to think our knitted stuff can still be worn..... they look pretty good if you don't examine them too closely :P

Alicia said...

Oh for goodness` sake, you were a fantastic knitter! I remember all these incredibly advanced-looking creations that you used to churn out ... still dare to deny???

charmaine said...

oh boy i need to start checking my comments for typos.....

emy said...

Such a pity since you have such great fashion style!

But I can't wait to see your new line! :)