31 August 2007

Still got it

This is just to reassure the girls that the knitting was not lost in the move. The knitting lives on. This evening, in Riverside, I managed to sneak out three rows. It really is like falling off a bike - once you've done it, you never forget how.

[I am two-thirds of the way through square 5. ]

21 April 2007


M and I were taking BART to San Francisco; modern art, playgrounds and cream puffs were on the agenda. This was to be a big day. I was mentally prepared to take my relationship with needles and yarn to the next level; with Joe Public as my witness, I had decided to occupy myself on the half hour journey with the production of blue square the second.

A cheery middle-aged gentleman got on the train at West Oakland, and squeezed into the seat opposite. It was apparent from the amused look on his face that his curiosity was going to have to get the better of him. It was a very short-lived struggle. As we hurtled into the Transbay Tube, he leaned over and smiled conspiratorially.

"How did you get into that?"

I was sheepish, but honest.

"Well, you see... I was drunk one evening..."

06 April 2007

Cast on, cast off

Six months into my knitting career, I seem to have slipped into old habits. These would include "not knitting".

I was snapped out of my cosy, needleless complacency by S's unexpected reappearance in Berkeley. An inveterate knitter herself, she immediately announced that she was to be spending her last evening at knitting circle in El Cerrito, site of my initiation into this brave new world. The same new world that I was thoughtlessly shunning. Well, this was not to be allowed to continue, clearly.

Petitioned by multiple telephone calls, and flattered by the request of my attendance, I assented and set off for the BART. Stepping into 'Melody', the dive bar where it all began, I immediately was put at ease, the decor pleasingly familiar. And also familial - oddly reminiscent of the houses of my Gran and great aunt in Wales. The generous (and dirty) vodka martini most certainly helped too.

Building in confidence, I requested assistance from the assembled luminaries - my first project, the approximately square blue acrylic something-or-other was quite possibly the correct number of rows, but it was still firmly attached to the needle. How could an effective separation be achieved? A leapt to my assistance, and began patiently explaining the process of 'casting off'. It was gratifyingly easy. Within minutes, my creation was free to make its own way in the world.

What to do now? The evening had barely started, and I still had a big glass of spirits and yarn a-plenty. Clearly, it was time to increase further my skill set. After a few dud efforts, I began to form correctly the hand shapes and loops necessary to cast the yarn back onto the needle. And then, needles firmly back in the groove, I knitted 11 rows straight, seemingly oblivious to every distraction, including the attempts of everyone else to go home...

28 February 2007

Bloody hell I'm good

I sat down on Sunday morning and accidentally knitted five more rows. And I did another one right now. The thing is now square. What do I do with it now?

25 February 2007


My first attempt at knitting in a few months began inauspiciously. My technique, which is much a work in progress as my 'project' temporarily deserted me, and I managed to transfer the whole edifice from one needle to the other, backwards! With some heavy duty assistance from M (involving pulling the whole thing off the needle, threading it back on again the right way around, and then answering a query perhaps every two minutes) I managed to get back to where I started, and add a couple more rows. I clearly have some way to go yet. (About nine more rows, if I want to make it square.)

20 February 2007

In the beginning...

...there was a plane ride. From the other side of the world.

There was jet lag. Savage jet lag. The sort of jet lag that addles your mind and derails your train of thought halfway through. Determined not to submit to sleep before times, and thus prolong the disorientation way into the next week, I had agreed to meet my housemate in a bar in El Cerrito. It was his birthday, and there was to be a celebration. There would be girls there, he told me. Girls who knit.

I ordered a rum and coke from the bar. I had some vain hope that the meagre caffeine ration would sustain me. I sat down with the party, trying desperately to say something coherent, to get involved in the conversation. In retrospect, I realise that, in my confused state I was vulnerable to suggestion, but then they do say that hindsight is 20-20...

They were passing needles around, smiling, laughing. Inviting me to try. Just the one time. Go on. Everyone else is enjoying it. Don't be a square.

I guess the pressure got to me. I took a needle. And then another. After all, I reasoned, it won't hurt to have a go. And it felt... good.

Before I knew it, I'd knitted eight rows.

I'm not sure what it's going to be yet. I guess it's going to be something blue. And rectangular. Or maybe square. But that's knitting for you - who knows where it's going to take you?