Saturday, 17 September 2011

A New Start

This is my first attempt at blogging so be gentle with me. I'm still not really sure what I'm doing or even who I'm doing it for. Or if anyone will be interested in reading it. I just feel the need to express some of the things I feel about life and what is going on in mine. I've been ill recently and off work for a few months so have had some time to think about things and to see what is important to me. The truth be told a lot of it has been spent in a zombie like state unable to concentrate on much beyond what's on TV. So perhaps now that I'm starting to feel better and my brain is beginning to function again, I am inspired to use it creatively. Whatever the reason - here I am.
So why knitting as a theme when there are so many other aspects to my life? Well, I've been a knitter most of my life. I'm 54 now and I was taught to knit by my Auntie Evelyn when I was 5 years old. Since then I have knitted on and off over the years as the urge takes me. Not constantly. But there are times when I just feel the need to pick up my needles and knit. It has been a therapy of sorts and has brought me a lot of pleasure. And provided me with some great pieces of knitwear. I do prefer to knit little things, especially baby things, and often the more complicated the better. There is great satisfaction in seeing something special taking shape on your needles and knowing that you created it.And that it may give someone else pleasure. So, in spite of my interest in many crafts and creating beautiful things, knitting was the first skill I learned and the one I return to the most.
Recently I read a book on my Kindle called "The Knitting Circle" by Ann Hood. Great wee book. It's about a circle of women who have all had great personal tragedies to come to terms with and how they were helped by taking up knitting. I had a recent experience that confirmed this to me. I spent nearly two weeks in hospital and for part of that time I was in a side room on my own. It was good to be away from the busyness of the ward and have a bit of peace and quiet to recover. But it can be also a lonely, frightening experience. Too much time to think about yourself and to worry. After a few days I was moved out into the main ward. The old fashioned kind with ten beds. What we used to call "Florence Nightingale style". That was a bit of a culture shock.The ward was busy and full of women of every age and with every kind of illness. I was a bit overwhelmed and felt a bit shy but I quickly determined that I would try to get to know at least the ones in my immediate vicinity. I did this with mixed success. One lady in particular, on my right hand side was very elderly and slept most of the time, not taking part at all in what was going on in the ward. When I spoke to her I didn't get much response. Then I took out my knitting. I am knitting a little green cardigan for my youngest granddaughter, Isla. Just a simple cardigan because of my lack of ability to concentrate just now, It had an immediate effect. People who had barely acknowledged me before, stopped by my bed to see what I was doing. One particularly unpleasant nurse even asked to have a look!! Isabell, a sprightly 88 year old in the opposite bed, struggled out of bed and crossed the ward on her two sticks to see what I was up to. As she lay in bed that night she called across to me to tell me that when she got home she was going to be looking out her needles. But most amazingly of all, the lady on my right (also called Barbara) had been sat up in her chair by the nurses. She actually instigated a conversation about knitting. Admittedly a short conversation but a conversation none the less.
So why knitting? Because I do believe that knitting does bring people together and creates a bond. In this day and age of austerity it is also a good way to save money. An easy way to create something beautiful. And it is excellent therapy for the troubled soul. So whilst this blog won't all be about knitting it will be a central theme, something to hang all the other things going on in my life on. And hopefully you will get something out of it too. Maybe you are also a knitter. Maybe you would like to be able to knit. I would love to hear your comments.


  1. Barbara, so glad you are beginning to feel more like yourself! I've missed your Ambassadors and knowing that you were ill, well that has to be hard.
    Praying that you get back to strength very soon, and I'll tune in to see what's on your mind! Glenda

  2. Thanks Glenda. I enjoy seeing what you and Randy are up to on Facebook. You have great adventures! God bless