Sunday, 16 September 2012

A knitting tip from my mum...

When I knitted my first pair of slippers for felting, I made sure I used one ball per slipper and saved the leftover bits for the next one. I was worried that the join/knot would end up in the area I walked on and didn't want slippers with a lump in their sole. If you are using multiple bits of wool, MAKE SURE the joins are at either end of a row!!

I have just started my second pair and thought to myself “I know, I'll use each leftover bit to make a pretty top to each slipper” and off I went. Can you spot my mistake?

Yep, I had forgotten that what currently looks like the top of the slipper, will in fact be the back of the ankle and foot. Ah well, guess each one will now have a go faster stripe!

When I was quite small, maybe 6 or so, I have a very clear memory of my mum, unpicking a jumper she had presumably got from a jumble sale (what happened to those), and knitting with the black 'poodle' wool to make a new garment. I watched in fascination as she spat on one hand, then rubbed furiously to join her two ends of wool together. I asked what she was doing and she showed me. 

I have always knotted mine and not taking enough care on this slipper, realised that I would end up with a knot in the middle of a row and quickly learnt how to take the row back to the beginning.

All of a sudden, and without warning, that long lost memory appeared in my head like a non-stop video. I unravelled both ends of wool to around 2 inches. Spat on one hand - you could of course use water:) - laid both ends on top of one another in a straight line, rubbed furiously and hey presto, they felted together. You can only do this with 100% wool.

I hardly knew my mum, she died when I was small but that memory popped into my head, clear as day.

Thanks mum, and although I may not have known you very well or for very long, I still love and miss you, even after all these years. I wish I could phone you up when I have baked a cake to come and share some with me, maybe you do!

The memory we just shared together was very powerful and I know, without a shadow of doubt, that you are with me, every day, and I will see you again. xxx


  1. Beautiful memories, thank you so much for sharing them x FM x

  2. A very nice knitting tip :)
    Your slipper is coming along nicely, I think the stripe looks good.

  3. Ah, I remember my mum doing that as well!

    I lost her when I was 11 - she had the first of very many, very damaging strokes and lived in hospital for the next 26 years

    I am so sorry that you lost your Mum at such a young age - I feel my loss so much and would love to be able to share what I do with my Mum.

    But as long as we can remember them , I think they are always with us :-)

  4. Oh, what a wonderful memory. I always think we owe so much to the women who came before us.

    Have you ever tried what I've only heard referred to as a Russian join? It will work on non wool yarns, too.

    I like it when I am using up scraps for things like crocheting granny squares.

    1. Thanks for that, just checked it out, might try it next time, especially when I'm using a mixed wool.

  5. Sounds a good idea, I will try it next time I am knitting with wool.

  6. I'm so glad you had that memory. It must have been so very difficult to lose your Mum when you were so young - it's unimaginable for me. I'm sure she is with you, just as I'm sure that my Dad is with me. Sending love and hugs, dear friend. x

  7. What an excellent tip and such a lovely memory of your mum. I too, often want to phone my late mum to ask a question or share something with her and I firmly believe it is at those times when she is with me.
    Patricia x

  8. Thank you all. I must admit, it made me cry to do that post, it was so powerful.


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