“Knit, purl, that’s all there is to it.” 

Or so my mother said when she taught me to knit at the age of eight.

She made it look so easy. Her needles clicked away merrily as she watched TV. Occasionally, she glanced at the hieroglyphics of the knitting pattern, as the garment grew before my eyes.

I started with a scarf of red and white stripes, but soon moved on to more interesting things – a grey hot water bottle cover for my uncle, a pale blue teapot cosy for my aunt, a maroon balaclava for my brother, a striped beanie for my dad, and some fingerless gloves for my pen pal.

In my teens, I made cardigans for myself. I was going through my egocentric phase and wouldn’t have considered knitting for others. It was definitely all about me.

As an expectant mother, I made a cream matinee jacket and booties for the baby in my tummy. When the baby became a toddler, I made vests and cabled jumpers. As the toddler grew into a boy, the jumpers became “prickly”, so that was the end of that.

Clarrie's vest

In my late twenties, I embarked on my most ambitious project yet, a complex Aran jumper with a roll neck for my husband, but the marriage ended before the jumper was completed.

In my thirties and forties, the knitting needles lay idle. I was too busy with career, study, family problems, ageing parents, romance.

After remarrying, I took up the needles again to attend to some unfinished business. I knitted my new father-in-law an Aran jumper. Not the same Aran pattern, a different one, but complex nonetheless.

My babies’ babies now wear my creations and, as yet, I’ve heard no complaints about “prickles”.

My mum was right. “Knit, purl, that’s all there is to it.”  Clarrie 3