I love that rhythm and meditation with outcome of knitting. It is one of the ways that I unravel my day as my beautiful wooden needles unwind my tension and create from a strand of wool a piece of a garment. However, up to now, when I came to assemble the finished pieces into a cardigan often it had a homemade look rather than a beautiful handmade one. It was therefore with great relief that I went yesterday to one of Laughing Hens’ Knitting Workshops on Knitting Finishing Techniques.
Laughing Hens is based in the rural depths of Kent. As I drove down there early in the morning the undulating green fields of the garden of England filled me with such a sense of pleasure. Here I was witnessing views which have barely changed in centuries and which have inspired millions to stand up to defend our green and pleasant isle. I listened in the car to recordings of Winston Churchill’s Greatest Speeches. All in all it was a very English experience, and yet it was also beyond nationality, beyond time. He talks a lot about values such as devotion, duty, valour, courage. His delivery is neither bossy, nor intimidating: it is inspiring, concise and to the point. When he criticises others there is no tone of condemnation, merely disappointment, better luck next time.
I was glad to have had such a rallying cry in the car because I needed to keep all my wits about me as I went through an intense learning experience with Vikki, our tutor for the day. Millie watched through the glass door, escaping in occasionally to join us (and partake of the fruit oat slices and lemon drizzle cake, which she thoroughly recommends). She loved wandering free around the garden and learnt that chased chickens don’t fly off like fat London pigeons. At lunch she felt rather disappointed that she had the same old food that she gets at home, while we all sat down to a very authentic dhal, basmati rice and cucumber raita followed by new season rhubarb and stem ginger crumble with whipped cream. The bewitching smells from the kitchen had only hinted at how delicious it would be.
While our morning was dedicated to learning different casting on and off techniques, the afternoon was all about how to join different bits of finished knitted pieces together so beautifully that they appear as one piece. Ahh, how I appreciate learning the wonders of professional tips to make knitting seem impossibly seamless.
I left Laughing Hens with a changed approach to my knitting. Till then, I had not felt attached to the finished product almost kidding myself that it didn’t matter. That was really because I didn’t know how to do the last little bit, to make it all come together beautifully. This workshop has breathed into me the spirit of knitting and being proud to keep going to the end, knowing that the result will be victory.
Thank you Nicki, Vikki and all at Laughing Hens. I’m looking forward to returning soon for the Laughing Hens Crochet Workshop.
Knitting and crochet allow a woman to access part of her creativity. We use this in the Be the Woman You were Born to Be... Course.