Purly Queen

Last night was the second of my knitting classes over at the gorgeous Knit One on Leicester’s Queen’s Road.

If you are local to the city, and you haven’t been, you really should. It’s a beautiful shop, immaculately curated (and I use the word curated advisedly), and the staff are friendly, knowledgeable and eager to help whether you are a total novice like me, or an artist in the ways of wool.

They run classes in knitting and crochet. I signed up for the six week beginner’s class, and already have a hankering to follow it with the advanced class straight afterwards. It’s fair to say that I’m hooked.

I will confess to having been in twice since my last lesson a week ago to buy more wool and needles. I also got one of the lovely ladies to teach me how to cast off earlier in the week. I have a project I have set myself and I needed to cast off before I could start my next piece or do any more practicing. At this point I had two sets of knitting on the go.

Last night we learned the purl stitch. There are two basic stitches, the knit stitch, and the purl stitch. When you can do those you can do pretty much everything else, as all the other things are different combinations of knit and purl. I had already done a lot of practice with my knit stitch, which, when run together is called garter stitch. Last night I alternated rows of knit and purl, which combine to make stocking stitch. I cannot say that purl came naturally to me. I need a lot more practice.

Other ladies in the group moved on after a few rows of purl to try ribbing and moss stitch. I stuck with purl. I am quite clumsy when it comes to anything practical I have to learn with my hands. I get there in the end, but I have found that the more I repeat what I’m doing, the better I get. I need to get to the stage where I’m really not thinking too much, I’m just doing.

The nice thing was that everyone was happy to get on at their own pace, and we all spent an hour and a half sitting round the scrubbed pine table, knitting away in our own sweet time, asking for help now and again, chatting now and again, and occasionally falling into companionable silence.

I love it.

I had to dash home for my grocery delivery, and when I got there I even showed the delivery driver what I’d been doing. I think he was impressed!

On Tuesday at the pub quiz, Kim and I ended up talking about our knitting, with our friend Marya joining in with sage advice (she is way ahead of us skill wise). Yesterday morning at breakfast, Oscar announced that he also wanted to learn to knit, so I popped along to my mum’s local charity shop where I had spied a huge jar of knitting needles on the cash desk for fifty pence a pair, and a massive basket of assorted wool at various prices. I bought him a pair of nice, chunky needles and some manly, mustard coloured wool that is also nice and chunky, so that he can see what progress he is making quickly, and in a spare five minutes yesterday afternoon we sat down together and he learned to cast on and knit – with a little help.

Now to get Jason into it.


8 responses to “Purly Queen

  1. Splendid progress, very impressed with the extra visits to the store. Just two small points – continuous knit rows are garter stitch and alternate knit/purl rows are stocking stitch. Good for Oscar on joining in. Is Tallulah at all interested?

    • I shall change this now! Thanks Sharon. I thought I might have got it wrong. Tallulah is already knitting!

  2. One of us! One of us! Also you can let Oscar know that knitting used to be a very manly thing to do – trawlermen would knit their own jumpers and socks out at sea, and soldiers in the trenches would knit their own socks using a stitch invented by Lord Kitchener (as in ‘your country needs you’). And that it’ll be an extremely useful skill come the petrol wars and inevitable Zombie Apocalypse *nods sagely*.

  3. I believe I did mention that sailors were big on knitting. I will make sure to mention the zombie apocalypse. As you know, we take that very seriously in this house!

  4. Definitely going to check that one out when I’m up in Leicester at the end of the month

    • Queen’s Road is a lovely part of town. While you’re there check out Salvador Deli and the book shops too. x

  5. Will we soon be calling youThe Purly Kween?

  6. Yes! And I shall knit myself a purly suit!

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