Tena koutou, ko Rachel tenei

I’m the other kiwi here at the back of the bus – kiwis can’t fly, but we do seem to turn up everywhere!

I learnt to knit when I was a teenager. First my mother taught me, then my grandmother had a go, then my mother tried again. At some point it stuck. I wasn’t super keen on knitting per se, but I loved the idea of doing something that my mother had learnt from her mother, who’d learnt from her mother, and so on. I saw it as a subversive act – and I still believe that in our age of instant gratification and mass production and consumption, knitting is incredibly subversive.

Having always been an innate back of the bus knitter I ignored the rule about starting with a hat or a scarf: my very first project was a sweater. And who needs a pattern right?  Having also always been an impatient knitter, I knitted a sweater before I’d learnt any increases or decreases. So my patternless sweater had a square neck and wide sleeves. And no neckband, waistband or cuffs. And I wore the damn thing because I was so inordinately proud of it.

The knitting slipped away for a long time. Every few years I would play around again but I don’t think I ever actually finished anything apart from some tiny toys.  And then, like so many other knitters, I had children and the knitting bug struck.

Luckily for me, the wave of internet knitting sites struck at the same time, and all of a sudden there were patterns, and tips, and blogs, and videos, and everything a beginner could want. And a few years later there was Ravelry. So I knitted and knitted and knitted; still mostly without patterns, but I started reading lots of patterns and my sweaters got better. At that point I mostly knitted with whatever was on special at the local K-Mart: my daughter’s rainbow boucle jersey with the red eyelash trim and my other daughter’s lime, hot pink and purple striped feather and fan jersey are still spoken of in tones of awe by other mothers. (I’m choosing to believe it’s awe and not horror…)

Last year I signed up for the 12 in 12 2012 group on Ravelry, hoping it would help me not just sit around swatching and accumulating unfinished projects. It did that, but it also introduced me to a group of crazy, funny, wise, wicked and wonderful women, who have become friends, despite the physical distances between most of us.  And what I want most from this joint blog, is for other people to share the incredible fun and sense of community that has sprung up.

As for me, I think this sign my daughter made and stuck on the front door pretty much sums it up:

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One response to “Tena koutou, ko Rachel tenei

  1. My dear Rachel! You are a riot. Where oh where is this sweater of rainbow boucle and red eyelash trim??? I need to see them both. And I love that sign – I might have to steal it for my own door :).

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