Knitting Together

“By  Katherine Lymer”

It started as common desire to knit the same garment: “Amelia”, in Rowan’s Chunky Knits from quail studio – do you know it?  It’s an off the shoulder jumper, knitted in Rowan’s ultra-soft, Brushed Fleece. Sam first showed it to me, way back in October 2019, when we were working together at the Creative Craft Show in Glasgow. 

As a departure from the type of jumper that I’d usually knit, it was very appealing – although I was a little concerned about its practical uses (I feel the cold and didn’t often have the occasion to wear such a stylish top – even less so now!). Needless to say, any such hesitations were dismissed and especially after further chat with Sam.  And so, in the Autumn of last year –and through the power of Zoom – we started knitting together. […]

The global pandemic has, and continues to be, challenging for all of us – although, often, in completely different ways. Our way of life has been changed, with restrictions impacting on how we work and play.  It isn’t easy – and some days can feel worse than others. 

Some of us may be unable to access the support networks that we have previously relied upon (including friends and family), and so it can be easy to feel isolated and alone – even in a houseful of others!  Finding alternative ways to stay in contact with our chosen people has required imagination and energy but, and I hope you can agree, it’s been worthwhile.

In the beginning, the conversations between Sam and I focussed mainly on knitting – whether or not to knit a tension square, other projects we were knitting or interested in, progress with “Amelia” – but it quickly evolved into more and boy!  Am I so happy that it did! Sam and I are both mothers of boys. With Sam’s boys being that bit older than mine, it means that she has a clear understanding of my daily norms because, it turns out, some of these are (or were) hers too. 

This isn’t to say that such, err, “challenges” are exclusive to boys – we all know that every child is unique – but there can be some common threads.  It’s been heart-warming to unravel some of these as we knit together and it’s done wonders for my sanity to know that I’m not alone in all of this.

Forming connections has been one of the powers of knitting that I have long treasured.  When entering a room of crafters, it is easy to strike up a conversation with the simple question: “What are you making?” Busy hands can help quieten a busy mind and vocalising any thoughts or worries can feel less intimidating when holding onto the security of our knitting; we don’t have to make eye contact; we don’t have to speak for long. 

Equally, we don’t have to say anything.  We can sit and knit, still and sure of the accepting company around us and, once settled into the familiar rhythm of our knitting, we can listen and absorb the knowledge gained and shared over generations – and not just about knitting.

Video-conferencing tools, such as Zoom, have enabled us to knit together when we need to be physically apart.  Of course I miss the warmth and closeness of sharing the same room as other crafters, but I’d take the virtual “knit night” over none – any day!  Even those days when I feel devoid of energy and hope – in fact, those are the most important days to chat.  Meeting with like-minded folk can be a tonic! 

They can restore our faith in humanity and ourselves by sharing any successes and struggles, big or small – theirs or ours. There has been many a time when I’ve been convinced that I’ve been “too tired” to Zoom only to find myself revived and strengthened afterwards.  In the company of crafters, we can be ourselves – however it is that we show up that day.

We are starting a fortnightly knit night on Tuesday 26th at 7.30pm where you will be sent the link for zoom. Please do show up – with your knitting or crochet, cup of tea or glass of something else – it’ll be lovely to see you.

Being inspired by the girls from Rowan at The Glasgow creative craft show and hitting it off with Katherine we got to work on what we could knit together that was not beyond my capabilities.  I love chunky knits and as a beginner 5mm needles and above, always appeal to me, with it potentially being a quicker knit (well quicker than I could with a 4 ply or double knit).  The Amelia appealed because I love the look of something chic and one day when all this is over – we can go out and look chic!

Our weekly zooms have allowed us to chat about being mother of boys, which has led to very entertaining ways of dealing with situations that arise.  When we are not sorting out the world of boys we are hunting for the next project to do.  This knit along has given me a focus and uplifted on the toughest of days.

We were two people that came from completely different backgrounds of work and two different knitting skill sets and yet this worked beautifully.  We can’t wait to bring you our next project.