During a recent session in the Neuro Café, the discussion was about taking up new interests and knitting or crochet was mentioned. My philosophy in life, especially during these later years, has been to say that if one door shuts another should open. So many doors had been shutting in my life (long distance walking, tennis, skiing) and knitting was one of them. Even hearing the word knitting that evening made me choke with sadness as I gave up knitting when I was diagnosed with my Parkinsonism 2 1/2 years ago and realised I’ve never said goodbye to it properly. The only door I’d opened was dabbing idly on my iPad at Word games, but I longed once more to feel the purposeful pull of the yarn through my fingers and to know that I was making something for someone who would love and appreciate it.
I resolved to re-introduce knitting to my life. This took quite a bit of organisation I can assure you as another thing I seem to have lost is the ability to sequence and organise myself. I had to search out the needles, find a pattern and find some yarn before making a little hat for the newborn son of one of my ex-pupils. It was a great struggle to get it completed as I kept dropping stitches and finding loops of stray wool or even holes appearing out of nowhere! However, I did finish it, wrapped it up and sent it over to the new dad who was absolutely delighted and sent me a photo of his small son wearing it.
Since retirement, knitting had become a central part of my life. My current project would accompany me everywhere and I would whip it out on trains, airports and whenever there was any sort of lull. It was such a pleasure to knit things for my grown-up children and also for grandchildren, and then I discovered the pleasure of sock knitting, and that was something all the family loved as they are all long-distance walkers and particularly enjoyed wearing a pair of granny knitted socks. But the biggest thing I’d been involved in started from spying a tweet in the autumn of 2013 from the producer of a film about a Lincolnshire family in World War I. She was looking for knitters and I thought goodness me this has got my name on it as have done much research World War I and also love knitting. What followed was one of the most absorbing and interesting projects I’d had the privilege and pleasure to be involved with.
Here is a link to the project: https://youtu.be/FAI35q5giJE.
The final event was an exhibition at The National Archive at Kew: