I’ve never really had anything knitted for me. My mother was coerced by me to try and knit something for me. In the winters, all my classmates wore at least one item that had been lovingly knitted by some woman in their family. It probably has something to do with growing up in the South, but my mother never really understood the point behind knitting. Why would anyone sit down with yards of yarn and needles and do something that required such great levels of concentration? She never had seen any knitting been done in her family. And these are customs of habit. And familiarity.
She took up knitting one winter. My memory may fail me slightly but the yarn was thick and bright orange. I don’t know if she bought that yarn or if it was gifted to her. But there was enough of it to make two sweaters. She embarked on the project. She gave up in the middle I think. Perhaps a friend of hers finished the job. But what was to be a bright orange full sleeve sweater turned out to be a sleeveless and slightly tight. I also discovered then that I had a strange reaction to certain kinds of wool. It left my face red and puffy, and I constantly wanted to scratch the insides of my throat. She loves me to death.. my mother. But she can’t knit. Actually, being a supermom, she probably CAN knit, but she doesn’t like to.
I associated knitting with a certain kind of afternoon activity. In Delhi, you can see lots of people on extended lunch breaks in the winters. The men sit with their cups of tea and the women drink tea too. But they also knit. A furious vision of flying yarn on needles, automagically becoming something, someone might want to wear. I never really thought much about knitting before I met rr. She knits, and oh! so beautifully!
Thus it was that rr embarked on the Hat For Neha Project (HFNP). I found the colour I liked and she began knitting furiously. In fact, today I saw her live in action knitting a sock. Perhaps it was the sheer range of colours on the yarn, or maybe it was that complicated process that took four needles. But it was beautiful to just watch her knit away as we were getting back to Central London on a train. She’s changed the way I look at knitting. I am seriously considering learning the art.
And the hat that she knit me? It’s warm, comfortable and I have it on good authority (rr’s) that it makes me look rather nice. I didn’t want to take it off, even when the sun was out.