When Gingerbread Mammy was a young 'un, she was - apparently - a champion sock knitter. This is the legend she perpetuated all through our childhood: "You should have seen me turn a heel! I turned the best heels in the class!" Apparently, she churned out socks at the speed of light but although we saw her produce the occasional scarf or baby sweater, we never got to see the Mythical Socks. Readers, this is the challenge Gingerbread Mammy and Gingerbread Lady are going to undertake when I get home in spring: she is going to teach me how to knit socks.
In advance of this great mother-daughter bonding session (which will probably be gatecrashed by my other sisters, first to mock and then to sulk because they're not being taught to knit socks and then to mock again because you can buy a 5 pack of socks for €2.99 at Primark), I have taken to the needles myself - I'm kind of like Rocky in training for the big fight. Yesterday evening I tackled double pointed needles again.
First off, for the crafters amongst you, let me just say that I tried the Magic Loop method and knitting with 2 circulars. They seemed awfully fussy: lots of dangly wires and pulling and yanking. Besides, many years ago I saw a woman at a doctor's surgery knitting with DPNs and she did it so neatly and daintly that I fell in love. I became determined to learned. I tried, and I tried, and then I tried again. Each time ended in a blue cloud of cussing: starting off with DPNs is like playing cat's cradle with an evil steel octopus. Those needles are very poky and if you don't keep an eye on them, they'll entangle themselves in the yarn, your hair and - most bizarrely - the lace of your bra (through two layers of clothes!!)
But yesterday I got beyond the starting horrors and managed about two inches:
Now, I know you're all very kind people, so you'll rush to reassure me that it's not too bad for my first attempt. In fact, it's dreadful. In a couple of places I purled instead of knitted and vice versa. My stitches are wobbly and when you turn it inside out, you'll see that I even managed to drop a stitch twenty rows back and I didn't notice:
But I showed those knitting needles who's boss! = Me! And I have about a dozen minor puncture wounds to prove it, but they're not the boss of me! So, being the glutton for punishment that I am, I'm going to rip back and start again - and I'll keep at it till I can produce a piece of ribbing that actually does not look like something the cat dragged in.