Lesson Two: Loosen Up.
Lesson two began with a very distraught Grandma, worriedly admitting that she had lost the pattern for the ‘Diana’. Diana is amiss. In a cleaning frenzy, Diana had managed to embed herself in the ether of 1950’s patterns and world-changing-event articles. Luckily days before, Grandma had taken Diana to my Dad and asked him to photocopy it on his Whatsit. Dad had done this, and passed it on to me. Unfortunately, I had left it at home.
Nevertheless, Grandma and I set out taking a bit of a wild guess at the ways and wants of Diana. Grandma offered me a glass of wine, hurriedly explaining that she’ll put an ice block in it. Grandma is under the impression that any alcoholic beverage with an ice block in it does not really count as alcohol, and therefore will not affect the result on any hairy breathalyser-testing incidents.
Grandma began telling me of the book she had been reading, John Howard’s ‘Lazarus Rising’. It always comes as a somewhat rude shock to me that most of my extended family are staunch Liberal supporters. I push it to the back of my mind and then before I know it I’m sitting at Christmas lunch roaring with laughter over Tony Abbott, and then someone pronounces, “But he’s got some pretty good ideas.”
However, it was interesting the way Grandma sympathised with Howard, feeling that they grew up in a similar era, in simple times with stern upbringings. We also spoke with nostalgia of Paul Keating, the polly of my childhood and also an amusement to Grandma somewhat.
Returning to the politics of knitting, Grandma explained to me how to achieve the effect of bordering on the matinee jacket. It’s quite simple… I happily knit one row, then purl the next up until the last 12 stitches where I knit again. Repeat and repeat. I was quite pleased with the result. Then we reduced it to 6 knitted stitches on the border. I quite like this effect – it’s so simple and easy and could look great on a scarf as a bit of a border perhaps?
Grandma happily left me to knit, occasionally taking the work off me to do a few rows or check my knitting. The first time she was examining it she was off on another conversation, then suddenly remarked,
“You need to loosen up, Darling.”
Ego deflated, I realised she was referring to my knitting tension.
Thankfully this improved as I went, and she was praising my efforts by the end. Grandma has left it with me to complete a further 10 rows or so, before next week’s lesson.