“Did your mum knit a lot?” This is the first thing that the teacher who had taught me aged 6 said many years later to me when I met her at the the school I had gone to aged 4 1/2 – 7 1/2 as they were having a celebration event for being open for 50 years and had invited past pupils and all previous teachers.
Not only did this teacher have an incredibly good memory but it made me so happy to think this was the memory she had of my mum. My mum at the time did actually knit a lot. During the early 80’s she knitted all of my school cardigans (this was long before the introduction of school embroidered sweater jumpers). I was her model wearing all her new designs
- Leg warmers (it was the 80’s)
- Snoods (look them up if you’re not sure what I mean they’re incredible for keeping out the chill I actually bought one a few years ago when they made a brief reappearance)
My mum had the majority of the parents at the school asking her if they could buy items she could knit for their children!!!
“Yes at one point she had knitted something for the majority of the school.”
This also meant she would be busy quite a lot knitting orders (on a knitting machine mostly) but she was also part of a team that knitted jumpers to be sold in shops and she had to knit so many before the lady who owned the business would come and collect them.
I often sat in her knitting room watching her and playing with all her buttons which years later my son sat and played with.
My mum was also part of a knitting club which she went to once a week held at a local community centre (I don’t think much knitting happened there they usually had lots of cake and tea)! The group put on a fashion show for charity knitting everything and getting everyone involved in going down the runway showing the items. I too was involved in this modelling a blue knitted skirt and snoopy design jumper and also a black and pink jumper dress. One lady even modelled a wedding dress that was knitted complete with veil!
The group of ladies also had a market stall which was in an old covered market. At the time it had a cobbled floor entrance with steep steps and on each side of the entrance was a run of family ran butcher’s and fruit and vegetable stalls. If it had been raining it was a little slippery and although as a child I didn’t wear heels you could easily twist your ankle and I saw many ladies get their heels caught in the cobbles.
The ladies took it in turn to keep the stall running and I spent many half Saturday’s sitting on the floor of the stall playing with my toys whilst my mum served customers who bought lovely knitted items.
So why am I telling you all this? A lot of my childhood was spent around wool and knitting and although I never managed to learn to knit properly as a child I am now slowly learning as an adult. The old style market may have gone and my mum doesn’t knit as often now but these are some of my happy memories of my childhood and as a parent I now feel some responsibility that my children have fond happy memories of their childhood, I wonder what they’ll say in 20+ years?