I mentioned yesterday that I had picked up a copy of a "learn how to knit" magazine. I have a number of crafty mums among my friends and am somewhat enamoured by the Kirsty Allsopp vibe going on in our playground lately. One friend does amazing things with vintage china, candles and plants ( check out Re-made by Sam on facebook) while another turns wood into beautiful platters and tea light holders.
Now I in no way imagine this magazine will transform me overnight into the sort of person that envelopes her children in hand knitted sweaters and presents family members with hand knitted scarves and gloves at Christmas. But I thought it might be fun to have a go and imagined myself ensconced by my open fire looking like a 1950s mother while my quiet,clean children ( probably wearing sprigged dresses or flannel shorts and fair-isle pullovers) amused themselves with puzzles and wooden cars and stuff. Or knitting at coffee mornings as small groups of us nod serenely over the needles as we discuss vital issues of the day all the while sipping earl grey and nibbling scones. ( homemade obviously!)
Enthused by some small measure of success with casting on and knitting a few rows I picked up a couple more 99p kits for two of my non-knitting friends and suggested we enjoy a bit of knitting and bitching'.
Luckily these friends have known me for a long time and accepted my gift and suggestion with the tolerance and mild amusement one normally reserves for small children who ask if they can fly to the moon in their cardboard box.
And we duly gathered this morning. Fire lit, tea brewing, hot cross buns ( not homemade) in place of the scones. We even had some classical music on the iPod to set that vintage feel to the proceedings.
Well, what can I say. It turns out we are less 1950s mothers and more like 1970s club-circuit comedians. There were lots of x-rated versions of "oh deary me" and all I can say is that it was a good job all the children were at school as we cackled and swore, dropped stitches, poked holes in our fingers and generally made a complete hash of what the magazine called "a simple garter stitch".
We blamed the wool, the needles, the instructions. Well. Two of us did. We ignored the fact that one of the three of us turned out to actually be quite good at it. ( We think maybe shes done it before?) But we had so much fun it really didn't matter that our squares were mangled, wonky, uneven and full of holes. It was £2.97 well spent. Our tea went cold, the smart phones we normally fiddle with lay untouched. We did manage to scoff the hot cross buns but if you knew us personally that wouldn't surprise you.
And while I post this still laughing at our efforts I'm actually a little bit proud that I've made a wobbly start to learning a new skill. Although I think it will be a long time before Kirsty needs to worry about the competition!