They say you never forget…

I’ve heard it said that you never forget how to ride a bike. ‘They’ say it all the time, whoever ‘they’ maybe. ‘They’ however did not see me on that rented mountain bike in Scotland. It’d only been around 12 years since I’d balanced on 2 wheels; I had it on good authority that you never forget; what could go wrong? What indeed? I still have the scars and memories of the small crowd which gathered to point and laugh at my attempts.

So what is it ‘they’ say about knitting? Do you ever forget?

When our esteemed WI secretary invited us all round for an impromptu evening of knitting and nattering I couldn’t refuse. I love a good chat! Knitting seemed a small price to pay for an evening with new found friends.

I remember learning to knit at school. I made a red purse. I was good at various things as a child, saving money from doing small jobs, science and sport. It’s fair to say I was underachieving on the knitting front. In no time at all I’d earned more in the way of large old 10p’s than my poor attempt could cope with. The red purse stretched and sagged developing a pattern of holes so large that 30p could escape if I so much as looked at my red purse; I went back to saving up in a jar.

Fast forward 30 something years and here I am picking up needles again. This time all in the name of… we don’t know what quite yet! The secret knitting wing of the St Helens WI, all knitting squares 20cm by 20cm without yet knowing why, ooooohhh! The suspense.

It soon transpired that like riding a bike it is possible for things to slip one’s mind. Sure enough I couldn’t remember how to cast on or off and the bit you do in the middle felt pretty hazy too.

Our Cara to the rescue for the knit and natter evening, novices welcome- thank goodness!

Nine in total made part if not the whole of the evening. Ability ranged from the unconsciously incompetent to the full on experts. Said experts could have knitted blindfold wearing boxing gloves I’m certain of it! Those with the knowledge and skills happily

shared with those of us who needed a hand. A very supportive and sharing atmosphere.

Knitting a square by starting at the corner was a new experience for me. Progress appears to be quicker using this ‘diagonal’ way and soon I was the proud knitter of a small triangle. Comment was made that this could form part of a rather dashing bikini style outfit, hence this method of knitting a square being named the bikini method.

There was some left handed fun, as one of the novices in the group was attempting to learn to knit right handed. If you haven’t gasped at the difficulty of this please spend the rest of today with your dominant hand tied behind your back and then get back to me on how difficult you found things!

There was much in the way of personal achievement during the evening with some members knitting a line for the very first time, others discovering the excitement of the bikini method. There was help with dropped stitches, advice on remembering which needle you’re using and drinks from our hostess to boot.

The best thing about this knit and natter evening? Getting together with others.

WISH has only been going for around 6 months and yet I feel I’ve known fellow members since the days when I really could ride a bike. Ladies, thank you for your company at knit and natter. To your fabulous sense of humour, your knowledge and expertise, your willingness to have a go, your determination to carry on despite dropped stitches and everything being back to front, to all of that I raise my ridiculously oversized glass of water!

Deb Connor

Thanks to Deb for the lovely write up. We will be holding more knit ‘n’ natter get togethers in the future at the request of the first group. So if you like what you’ve heard and couldn’t make the first one, not to worry.

You can see our squareometer for the secret knitting project at the bottom of the page here: Secret Knitting

Please do let us know if you have any completed squares to add to the tally. We’re off to a flying start, thank you for everyone’s enthusiasm.

Joanna Keenan - October 29, 2012 - 12:31 pm

Hi All, Have been searching for knitters in the St Helens area as an errand of mercy. I make my plea on behalf of Lucky Hens Rescue in Wigan who are a charity re homing ex caged chickens. The latest intake are in the worst condition they have ever experienced. Due to this and the current cold weather they are urgently in need of chicken jumpers. If anybody has some spare time/wool and can assist can they please, please contact myself or lucky hens directly. Time is off the essence as there are 300 very poorly chickens. Thank you so much for listening. Regards Joanna

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