GUIDE TO THE GENTLE ART OF MAKING SCARVES
Description: The best thing is that it looks hand-made. The oh-so desirable hand-dyed new wool varies in thickness from fluffy dreadlock to tight twisted string. It makes random fatter stitches that look like cool loops and hide my hiccupping tension. The scarf is 18cm wide (15 stitches, just because that looked right) and 158cm long (enough for once round the neck with a Dr Who dangle), in a blur of
buttery yellows and pinks. Three skeins of Colinette Point 5 100 per cent wool (£6.10 each) Brittany 12mm birch knitting needles (£6.10) Crochet hook (£1) Total cost: £25.40 I won’t have to pay for the tools again, of course. Time to make: 5hrs 45mins – spread over four evenings and Aneeta Patel, pictured, holds regular two-hour classes (£22, 07940 850458; www. knittingsos.co.uk), and her book, Knitty Gritty (£14.99, A&C Black), is full of absolute beginner-proof instructions and patterns. Run by enthusiasts, the UK Hand Knitting Association (www. ukhandknitting.com) is a mine of information on classes, knitting groups, shows and shops. A couple of quirkier websites are also worth a visit: the Victoria & Albert Museum’s (www.vam.ac.uk) – type “knitting” into the search box for history, free patterns and blogs; to “whip your knitting into shape”, try www.domiknitrix.com. For a gossip and a knit try UK-wide Stitch n Bitch (www.stitchnbitch.co.uk) about 14 daytime Bovril visits to the kitchen. With thick wool and needles like tent pegs, the scarf grew gratifyingly quickly – a real confidence booster.
Beginners’ knitting survival guide