12 March 2008

Tea Cosies and Crafty Genes

I come from crafty genes. My grandmother was a very creative lady, incredible at knitting, crochet, macramé, sewing etc. She even dabbled in that string art stuff that was around in the 70s. Not to mention the fact that she was a lovely painter and accomplished singer.
When she has the time to commit to a project, my mother is fantastic too. She kept my family clothed trough many lean years thanks to her trusty overlocker and sewing machine. When she picked up her knitting needles, she made some lovely things. For me there was a jumper with my name in intarsia and for siblings, some beautiful baby clothes and I recall a jumper for one of my brothers. I am not so sure what she has been up to in recent times, but knowing her she is still wearing the same reading glasses prescribed 20 years ago and would struggle to see her work. (and if I am right you can bet your last dirham/ dollar that there will be a comment about it below before too long)
(Some of Mother's knitting. My intarsia jumper and my sister Rhianon's sweet outfit)
As a child I knit just a little, knowing how to cast on using the cable method, knit and purl but nothing else. I did sew and have come back to it several times over the years when the need arises and Granny taught me macramé. Laugh if you will, and dismiss it as an outdated craft but I am about to call on those long lost knots to make some reusable bags to take to the supermarket for my fruit and vegies.
Anyway, back to knitting. The first time I had even given knitting a second thought as an adult was when we discovered Steiner (Waldorf) education. All Steiner children learn how to knit. When G was 17 months old we started going to a beautiful playgroup at our local school where G loved playing with the knitted toys. At the time I dismissed my ability to knit because of my left handedness. Not many people understand this, but if I were to watch someone demonstrating a technique right handed I actually feel nauseous. My brain just can’t compute. Actually sitting here thinking about it is making me feel very queasy.
Around B’s birth, 2 ½ years ago I became friends with some very talented knitters on the Gold Coast. I loved seeing their work but still dismissed the idea that I could do it. Soon after, I was on the hunt for a decent tea cosy. Despite trawling the internet and craft markets, I just couldn’t find one I liked. What I did find was lots of patterns which made me realise I just needed to find a way to learn to make my own. Thankfully, there are some excellent left handed instructions on the internet- not the ignoramuses who say that continental is the way to go. Just because the wool is held in the left hand does not make it left handed knitting at all. The right needle is still doing all the dexterous work. (ok rant over)
I was in possession of Granny’s needles so only needed to dash down to spotlight to choose my wool and I was off.

The result, a lovely simple tea cosy which has not been seemed very well, but it does the job all the same. The reason I am thinking and posting about this is I bought myself a gorgeous new tea pot for Christmas but it is smaller than the one that I use the old cosy for so I had to make a new one. This time it was not two garter stitch rectangles sewn with a dodgy matrass stitch but still a very simple design. A k2 p2 rib in the round, a few holes which were crocheted afterward for strength, and some shaping toward the top.
Just in case you aren't sure, the new one is on the right :)

1 comment:

  1. Susan Marguerite22 May 2010 at 10:33 am

    OMG... how have I missed this post for so long.

    HA, I have had new glasses for about four years now, but those old reading glasses you refer to are in the F-250 in case I forget my glasses when I go out and I need to read something... like an ingredients list on a product I am about to buy.

    I love that picture of you and Rhianon, are there any pictures of you wearing that jumper where you can see your name?

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Lisa