Friday, 4 September 2020

Baking on hold - knitting again

I used to knit – first for Number One Husband in the days before central heating.  He still has two of the sweaters but they are so heavy he is unlikely to wear them again unless the heating fails! 

I then knitted for my children: those were the days when a home knitted red and white scarf sufficed for an Arsenal supporter unlike today when the kit changes every year at great expense. I remember knitting a chenille jumper for my daughter - my mother in law bought the yarn at the Knitting and Stitching Show.  It was horrible to knit with and M&S brought out something very similar at half the price.  She still wore it to shreds.  Number One Son had a Fred Flinstone jumper - I still have the pattern somewhere. 

I then knitted for the grandchildren – each one had a blanket when they were born and some sweaters etc when they were little. Home made is not so desirable – my label can’t compete with the trendier ones.  

Early in the lock down the former sheriff and Past Master of the Framework Knitters, Liz Green, put out an appeal for knitted squares for blankets to be distributed to those who need them at the start of winter.  This seemed like an excellent idea especially as someone else was going to make them up, the tedious part.  We are watching TV or listening to music and being rather more sedentary than usual so anything to keep the hands occupied.  

In August Liz wrote, “This blanket was made by seven people and includes members of six different Livery companies.  We have received such a positive response to the project and we now have sixty blankets either completed or in production.”  This one included some of mine.

Having reminded myself how relaxing knitting is I looked for more very simple projects.  There is a charity called Knit for peace and they collect knitted goods (and spare needles etc) to distribute where needed.  This prompted me to dig out all my old knitting kit and go through it all.  As in sorting out anything this was a trip down memory lane as well.

I found packs of Milward sewing needles which were my mother’s – still in perfect condition.  Henry Milward is a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Needlemakers and the family had a very long association with the trade going back centuries, ending in the 1980s and some of the brand names still exist.  

I also found the lovely rosewood knitting needles which I was given on the visit, lead by Henry Milward in his year as Master, to Needle Industries in OotyKamund (Ooty) in the beautiful Nilgiri hills.  I have several pairs of their bamboo needles, the nicest to knit with. The brand name is Pony – available in all good haberdashery departments and I didn’t realise that that was a Milwards brand as well. In fact many of the original engineers at Needle Industries trained in Redditch and when we visited they were still using some of the equipment. 

Here is some information about the company Henry Milward and Sons. Here is a short documentary which the Needlemakers Company sponsored about the craft which is interesting to watch. 

More about knitting later….

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