The story….

I am usually in the process of knitting something and usually I am knitting the same wool for the second or third time. The mistakes I make are varied and I rarely learn from them but I do eventually produce finished articles, some of which I wear. I am an expert unraveller.

Last Saturday I realised that the piece I had just cast off was some five centimetres too short and I chopped at the cast off and raged at myself as I unravelled. This garment is in its second iteration. The first was three years ago in distant Hillswick in Shetland. We were spending three summer months in a converted barn in the north of mainland Shetland not far from the place where I spent my first year or so. The knitting was one of my projects, the wool specially selected and an unusual pattern with uneven edges and shapes had been chosen. The knitting went well, the resulting garment did not. I had no occasion to wear such an odd looking thing – the me I had imagined didn’t really exist…

One of my ‘lockdown projects’ was to get out all the wool that needed to be reknitted and to get it done. The garment was unravelled and the wool weighed. A simple useable pattern was chosen and I started and then last Saturday….

Two other things you need to know. While we were in Shetland I bought some Shetland wool and a pattern. It was for a short sleeved jumper in three colours with a simple Fair Isle pattern. What’s more it was to be knitted all in one piece – no seams – and on circular needles. Last summer I finished it and wore it, the first piece of knitting I had completed with no unravelling ….

There is another object in my picture – a bowl which has been broken and mended with gold ( Japanese Kintsuga – 金継ぎ, “golden joinery”). This was our daughter’s present to us on the occasion of our golden wedding last year. This inspired me to think about how I might use the golden wool left over after I had finished my Shetland jumper ( I had bought too much by mistake!) and decided to weave a little bit of gold into my reknitted garment


flawed creation re-formed

wound gold heals

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