Last year I helped out at the knitting and stitching show at Aintree, making new knitters for the UK Hand Knitting Association. It was intended (in my head) as a day off where I could relax, spend time with my people, plus if I’m lucky, show one or two folk how to knit or crochet.
It turns out, the last time I did this, I was gainfully employed by myself, so I went on a weekday. This time it was Saturday.
From 0930 when the doors opened to finally being relieved at 1400 I didn’t get *any* time to relax or have a break. I lost count of the new knitters created, partly because by the end I was delirious with hunger. Even when I was due to knock off, I had to turn down a new punter pleading the need for food. Those of you who have encountered me when I’m hungry will know that this was a dangerous time for everyone.
In that time I made several new knitters, showed a 9 year old how to cable, made almost as many crocheters, including one failure (a left-handed lady who claimed she was unteachable, got the hang of it just fine then threw her hands up and said “well, clearly it’s just not to be, I just can’t get the hang of it”. I concluded that she likes the kudos of being unteachable.) and quite a few left handed people (an aside – in both knitting & crochet you use _both_ of your hands – why does hand preference make a difference? My left-handed mother knit in the same direction as me, she taught me to knit, what’s the problem? Debate for another day, maybe!). All in all, from the Mission Accomplished point of view, box well & truly ticked.
Also, the stand was populated by a lovely lady whose name I forget, but she started out working at Rowan alongside Kim Hargreaves and her mother. I’ve admired Kim’s work for a loooooong time, indeed recently inherited a book from my mum of her designs. Some of them stand the test of time (indeed, I fully intend to make one of the jackets… Soon!) but most of the book is firmly rooted in the soft-focus fashions of its published date. You need to have longer than shoulder length tightly permed dark hair to carry off most of the designs! It turns out Kim is a lovely, lovely person, which pleases me because her web presence is quite cold, impersonal and Rowan-style corporate.
Anyway, this is all a _very_ roundabout way of introducing another pre-Christmas project. At Aintree the UKHKA stand had a beach theme and the plan was to have knitters make a triangle for bunting, which was then pinned on the wall. Needless to say, my knitters produced no additional triangles, but I did learn the very simple method for churning them out, and saw how good it can look even with slightly scrappy pieces.
I decided that Lily needs one of these.
The basic pattern: cast on 3, knit either 3 or 4 rows straight (I can’t remember, and if I’m honest, I had trouble remembering and counting rows while I was making them) then increase at each end of the next row. Finish with a cast-off which leaves you with the classic row of ‘V’s at the top, then break the yarn. Or leave enough for sewing in on each side & just start again.
This being an ideal train project, I ploughed through making the triangles in 4 different colours, but then had a quandary over what colour to make the joining string. We will put to one side the fact that Steve said people would think I was odd for knitting small triangles. We will put next to it the fact that the train gang did ask in a fairly mystified way what I was making.
To join it, I used the cream from my jazzy cardi – the same project all the other colours were from. I had a day off before Christmas to do some preparation and to watch Lily’s India Assembly, so before piling into school I watched Avatar and put the bunting together.
10 chains between each one, and a slip stitch in each of the cast off stitches across the top of the triangle.
It didn’t take long, and my next challenge was how to pack & wrap it without it becoming tangled. I went with a bit of a parcel effect which seemed to work OK.
The bunting now adorns the head end of Lily’s lower bunk, where I like to think its acting like a bit of a dream catcher.
Suffice it to say, it’s quite hard to get a good picture of this at any time, but especially hard at this time of year!
After many months if thinking about it, one set of bunting (finally) done!