Regular readers have already heard me ramble on about how I started knitting as a child - the long, holey, black and white scarf I made for my Dad, the pixie hat which earned me my Knitter Badge as a Brownie. Plus
the way I always knitted my way through Wimbledon fortnight - excusing my apparent inactivity on the grounds that my Dedication to the Knitting Needle enabled me to produce everybody's school jumpers for the winter term over the course of the tournament.
These days, it's knitted characters that have me hooked. And for this I have to thank the redoubtable Jean Greenhowe, producer of dozens of knitting patterns which are not only easy to follow but also make other
people think you are cleverer than you are. The thing is, Jean can be trusted. When Jean says that the two legs I have just knitted may look a bit short but will be fine once they have been stuffed, I believe her. Whole-heartedly. Jean will not let me
down - and how did she know that I was looking at these two pieces of knitting and thinking: "A bit short?" Jean is a mind reader, along with everything else.
She always tells you precisely how much
your heads and bodies and (little) legs should measure, once stuffed. In both centimetres and inches because Jean understands that we may not all have Mastered the Metrical. No other knitting pattern designer is a patch on Jean!
If I needed confirmation, then I have it today because I am struggling with a pattern which is not of Jean's designing. It's a pattern for a very beautiful blue tit, which is destined to hang in my new grandson's nursery when
he is born. The baby, I mean, not the blue tit whose creation relies on my ability to translate a pesky pattern which I downloaded from the Internet. The Internet has a lot to answer for.
If I hadn't made the mistake of showing the pattern to the Middle of the Darling Daughters she would be none the wiser when I simply produced Jean Greenhowe's robin in blue, white and yellow and passed it off as a blue tit. Different colours = different
bird, but - and it's a big but - same, easy-peasy pattern. But she's seen the darling Internet blue tit, with its sweet little wiry legs and delicate colouring. Nothing else will do now. That's not what the M of the DD's is saying, by the way. But
I saw her face. So, seriously, nothing else will do.
Here's the problem. Internet Blue Tit takes not two ordinary common-or-garden knitting needles, but four double pointed needles. Internet Blue Tit,
in short, involves Knitting In The Round. On a very small, fiddly scale. I'm all fingers and thumbs and I've only got as far as his little head. Where are you when I need you, Jean?
I will not
be defeated. Not by Internet Blue Tit, anyway. It's a knitting pattern for heaven's sake - what can be so difficult? Four double-pointed needles? Well, the more the merrier, that's what I say. Life is a challenge, isn't it, and I'm not going to fall at
the first hurdle, and - well, you get my drift, there's only so many cliches I am willing to include in one blog.
Knitting is what Nannas do, isn't it? Alright, so I don't wear my hair in a little
grey bun on the top of my head and I don't spend my every waking hour in a rocking chair with a crocheted rug on my lap to keep me warm. But I do knit. And by hook or by crook, and by double pointed needle, I'll knit that tit if it's the last thing I