Friday, 10 December 2021

Christmas knitting

does not have the same urgency about it in Downunder. It is summer here. It is unlikely that hats and mittens, cowls and scarves, socks or thick woolen garments are going to be needed for some months - if at all. (One of my other worries about climate change is that we might not need those lovely, snuggle woolly things any more...but then, I am a knitter.)

Over the years I have made "soap bags" and "lavender sachets" and little "sleep pillows" - the latter filled with a variety of nice smelling things which (supposedly) help one sleep. They are small projects. They are portable too.

I have occasionally fiddled with things like stars and trees and angels and more  in order to decorate trees. That sort of knitting does not really appeal to me.  I like to make things people can actually use rather than just look at for a few weeks of the year. 

This made things rather awkward when an acquaintance phoned. She sounded desperate. "Cat, the woman running our Christmas workshop has let us down. Have you got anything I could use to teach the ladies something?"

I understood what she meant. She needed a copyright free pattern that could be distributed. It had to be something that could be made in the space of a couple of hours. It had to be something simple enough for a wide range of abilities. It also had to be cheap and attractive. If the women in the group could also learn something that would be a bonus.

"How many?" I asked trying to sound interested but looking at the growing list of things I need to do.

"Five - oh and maybe M... if she wants to come."

Ah...that changed everything. M... is someone living here for only a couple of years while her husband is on contract. She is a lovely person but she is profoundly deaf and communicating is a huge challenge for her.  On the few occasions I have met her face-to-face we have got by with gestures, some common or easily guessed signs, and finger spelling. I have been delighted to find that the little "community" church group her husband found to attend has also tried to include her despite the communication issues. Several days ago she gave me another blanket square and,while she was here, she saw something I had made. It's tiny and there is actually very little knitting involved but there is plenty of scope for embroidery or other embellishments which would suit that group. I showed M... how I had made it.

"Actually M... could show you all how to make something. It's something I showed her," I said and explained. 

I knew there would be some hesitation at this - on both sides - so I said, "I'll show you as well of course...if you can come around before the class."

We settled on a time and, late yesterday, I actually showed B.... how to make two simple things. I also emailed the patterns to her so she can print them off. 

She had sent a message to M... to ask her to come. I sent M... another email telling her what the class was about and asking her to help. The response came back - a row of anxious looking emojis and then a smile face with, "I will try."

The class will learn a lot from M....


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