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Knit One, Purl One and Pass Slipped Stitch Over

The Joys of Knitting

With 2012 being one of the most stressful and horrible years of my life, I had to try several ways to beat the stress. 

Every problem brings upon a million suggestions and almost every day I got new advice to try

  • walking
  • talking
  • ranting 
  • raving
  • blogging
  • homeopathy
  • sleeping pills
  • psychiatric counselling
  • tarot healing
  • past life regression
  • making deals with God
None of them seemed to work and I’d reached such a stage of desperation that if any one had told me to count backwards from 1000 while walking backwards with my eyes closed on a crowded Mumbai street in peak traffic, I would have done it – just to experience a good night’s rest of dreamless sleep.
Finally, it was this last month that I discovered the true key to happiness – knitting.

Alas! With Mumbai’s brief  and warm winters, knitting is a skill quite alien to me despite the compulsory set of booties and mittens we had to make in school. Apart from learning what k1, p2, psso meant, knitting remained a mystery  – a troublesome skill we had to learn during lessons called Home Science or Needlework. While all of us hated those lessons in the afternoon, especially when the teacher ripped out an untidy hem that took almost half the afternoon to do,  I realise now how essential they are ! With Home Science going out the window,  girls today who are highly educated career women with great jobs that pay so well don’t know a thing about needles and thread they’d rather staple up an undone hem or buy a new trouser rather than darn a tear. Their fingers are more adept at punching numbers and keyboards and  they are handier with swiping their credit cards than they are at threading a needle or sewing a seam.

Oh those poor things! I feel sorry for them for not only have they lost a skill that would have them run up their own “BESPOKE” wardrobes but as I found, these women have lost access to a  great stress buster. Embroidery and knitting are great ways to calm the mind. Unlike the iPad or mobile phone which is downright antisocial, needlework has an elegant grace to it, something that soothes the spirit of even those just watching you work, slowly and steadily one stitch at a time. Women find knitting easy to do while in company and there are several celebrities in Hollywood who have discovered its therapeutic qualitites.

The Code of the Sweater Knitters

My recent foray into knitting was purely by chance – With her nesting instinct strongly kicking in, Anna Shetty was seized with a great desire to knit. So  with great enthusiasm we trooped down to the shop at Arora Towers off Pune where I found a measly selection of wool. We rummaged through my mother’s stack of pattern books dating from the 40s and found a pamphlet of adorable babies wearing adorable knits. Unfortunately the instructions weren’t adorable and definitely weren’t meant for a first time knitter. It was only a matter of days before her enthusiasm waned and  my curiosity was aroused : I was determined to learn how to debunk the code of the knitting pattern.

And after several attempts at deciphering the language, figuring out the instructions, knitting and unravelling inches of finished knitting and  picking up dropped stitches I finally managed to finish  the garment – a pale cream Matinee Coat.  It was with a sense of immense satisfaction that I tied the delicate bows of satin ribbon to finish it off. Now the only question is will it fit the baby ?

But I’m not too worried because I’ve discovered a new Mantra 

Knit your stress away!

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Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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