A few Christmases ago I asked for a pair of knitting needles and a couple of cheap balls of wool so I could try my hand at this age old craft.
I don’t know what made me want to start knitting, I think its because when I used to be able to see I loved nothing more than to get my pencils and paper, and spend hours drawing anything and everything around me.
Whether it was a vase of flowers, or something from my imagination, it didn’t really matter as long as I was drawing, I was happy.
So after I lost my sight I didn’t have another outlet for my creativity, other than singing, and sometimes you just want to sit quietly with your thoughts.
Christmas came round, and my boyfriend bought me a pair of circular knitting needles and a ball of pale blue wool to start practising on.
There was only one problem with this new found hobby, I didn’t know how to knit, and I wasn’t entirely sure where to start either.
We spent Christmas day round Matt’s parents, where I discovered his step dad knew how to knit… And after finding this out he showed me how to get started.
By the time I got home I had already knitted a few rows, and I was really excited to carry on knitting my wholly… something.
Accept when I woke up the next day I couldn’t remember how to make a single stitch at all, and its safe to say it went down hill from there.
In a fit of passion I threw my knitting needles down, convinced it was impossible for me to do, and that I would never be able to knit.
In a corner my needles stayed until almost a year later, when I joined a Stitch And Bitch group.
If your not familiar with Stitch And Bitch, then it was set up by a lady in America who wanted to knit, and meet knew people at the same time.
This is not exactly revolutionary, but it turned a craft that is usually quite insular in to something sociable.
So I went along to one of these meet ups in a pub just outside of Reading, and the girls there were absolutely lovely, and not at all how I expected.
I had this vision of old ladies out on a Wednesday night,but I was completely wrong, they were all girls in their twenties and thirties, drinking cocktails whilst knitting teddy bears.
They showed me how to get started casting on, and then carry on with a simple knit stitch, and in no time at all I had a sizeable knitted square.
I felt so proud of myself for managing to knit even a small amount, especially when I had written this hobby off as no good.
After a few months of going to the group, I managed to break my ankle… but thats another story entirely, it meant I couldn’t get to the group for quite a while.
So a year of knitting on and off, producing extremely wholly projects, and I decided to set up my own Stitch and bitch group in my local area.
I put the idea out on a Facebook group called gossip girls, and I got a fantastic response from lots of people that knew how to knit, or wanted to learn.
Eventually we decided on a regular time and day, and we set our first meet up for a few weeks later, giving everyone time to get supplies.
We all met up in the local pub, and I was surprised to see just how many people turned up to join in, and there were even some newbies to be found.
I brought my lilac scarf that I was trying to work on as a Christmas present for my mum, trying is the operative word here, as it already sported some very lovely air wholes.
Almost a year on and I’ve knitted blankets, both big and small, hats, scarfs, bags, and there is so much more I want to get my knitting needles around.
I always look forward to meeting up with the rest of the group as we don’t stop chatting, and have even been known to stray on to a few odd topics… How did we get on to Fifty Shades Of Grey again?
I can’t recommend this hobby enough, or tell you how much I’ve learned from the rest of the experienced knitters, but I would definitely advise anyone to go along to an S&B group if your curious.
Knitting has even been linked to improving your mental health, as it gives your mind a task to focus on, and helps to keep you relaxed.
Go on, try it, you may just enjoy it if you give it a go.