Lesson Four: The Folly of Youth.

My Grandma is a liar.

Contrary to last week’s promises that she would only progress with Diana using skills she had already taught me, and was only going to follow on from where we left off just a bit more to speed the process up, this is what I found when I arrived this week:

Diana, in an unrecogniseable form, suspiciously close to completion. Grandma had apparently even unraveled our previous hard work and re-knitted it according to the pattern which we had, after all, guessed… when it had gone missing. This now means that Diana is 100% not knitted by me, and I may feel a slight fraud to attempt to pass it off as my own work ‘with some guidance’. Or maybe I will anyway. What the hell.

Grandma excused this blatant abuse of my trust as an attempt to get things moving, forever frightened of the lurking impatience of youth which she keeps expecting to rear it’s ugly head. Grandma is convinced that if a project takes too long I will give up on it, and I can’t tell her otherwise. However, her second reasoning was that with one side completed, I will have something to use as a guide while completing the other side, to ensure I’m not botching it up, and to make it easier for me to do at home. Fair enough.

We continued on with the Diana together, knitting one row while decreasing one stitch each time, and then purling the next until the last 7 stitches, which are knitted. Grandma read the instructions for me, but I tried to read them too, to try and make some sense.

There are a few key facts that I am beginning to understand about knitting patterns:

1.)  They don’t make sense.

2.)  Long before texting came along to massacre the English language, knitting patterns were achieving this quite nicely.

3.)  inc. = increase. st. = stitch. tog. = together. rep. = repeat.

4.)  “K.23, inc once in next st., K.12, inc. once in next st., K.5” reminds me of reading the first chapter of ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

5.)  If someone who has presumably been reading these patterns for more than 60 years still has to read them out loud, sometimes twice, and then refer to them again 2 minutes later… I am not liking my chances of learning this skill any time soon.

6.)  If I ever have to follow a knitting pattern on my own I may succumb to Grandma’s theories of youth-as-quitters.

Also, this week I finally remembered to bring my laptop. So Grandma and I sat down with our wines and perused the World Wide Web. First I showed her the Etsy store, though this didn’t impress her as much as I thought it would. Though when I told her that anyone could sell their handmade goods, she sighed and reminisced on how many handmade goods she had made over the years. Perhaps if Etsy had been around back in the day, Grandma could have run quite a sound business. But then again, so could have many others I suppose.

Next I showed her this blog; it’s the first time she had seen it and of course I didn’t want to bore her reading it all, but I showed her a couple of sentences which she found quite amusing… even the friendly dig at her political views (phew). Grandma had a lot of questions about how people would find the blog, and who was reading it. I assured her that there were not many. At all.

I showed her another blog I’ve been following; Kazual Kreative. She liked this a lot and empathised with the difficult search for a good pattern for Booties.

Lastly, Grandma and I did some online shopping, just as I had suggested to her previously. At first this did not go so smoothly. Grandma has grown very mistrustful of brand names she doesn’t recognize, and high prices which may not be justifiable. She insisted that it was dangerous for us to order online, in case the colour came out completely different once it was delivered, or the quality was bad. I told her for 30 bucks, I was willing to risk it.

Our saving grace was finding an online store that Grandma recognized and trusted. The Bendigo Woolen Mill also had a great selection and a user-friendly website (remembering that my own tech skills are a little sub-par). We have chosen to go with the 8 ply 916 Yellow Ochre 100% pure wool, for our next project we’ve picked out: a rather fetching jumper for yours truly.

Don’t worry, I’ve taken the knitting project home this time, to prove my worth and continue on 12 rows un-guided. Grandma showed me a neat trick of how to ensure I keep in track with 12 rows… write 1-12 on a piece of paper and cross them off as you go. Grandma had already done this, and went to give me the sheet of paper. I suggested that maybe she keep that one and I can write this on another piece of paper (I meant at home). Grandma misunderstood me and took another piece of paper herself, wrote out 1 through to 12 on it, and handed this to me instead.

It appears that Grandma does not have much faith in my ability to count to 12. But I kept it anyway.