Mairi’s Battle With Knitting


Many people have been using the extra spare time they have during lockdown as an opportunity to trial a new hobby. I turned to knitting.

A few days before the lockdown commenced, when we were told we were about to start working from home, I headed to my local craft shop and made a resolution to teach myself to knit.

The thought of being stuck inside and glued to my laptop screen all day working made being on a screen in the evenings very unappealing.

Knitting seemed like the perfect antidote.

Getting started with knitting

The assistant in the craft shop was very friendly and happy to help.

I explained I was keen to knit a scarf, but had never knitted before. He provided me with a pattern, the right amount of yarn and what he considered were the best needles to use.

On arriving home, I immediately unpacked my yarn and got started, with a newfound wave of enthusiasm for knitting.

I was confused by the instructions on my pattern at first, unfamiliar with the language of knitting.

However I soon noticed an explanation of the various abbreviations on the reverse of the pattern.

I then took to the internet, and was surprised by how many useful videos there were out there demonstrating how to do the various stitches in my pattern.


Ready to go! Photograph by Mairi Hughes.

Stitching struggles

I am ashamed to say, however, that months later I am making very little progress with my scarf.

So far I have only managed to dedicate a few Saturday afternoons to knitting, and have quickly been getting frustrated each time.

Having discovered just how difficult knitting can be for beginners, I have great respect for accomplished knitters.

I have also realised I had unrealistic expectations about how quickly I would be able to teach myself!

However, all in all, the challenge has motivated me to keep going. I am determined to complete my scarf before lockdown is lifted and life becomes busy again.

While frustrating at times, I have really enjoyed switching off the TV and doing something tangible.

I am looking forward to the feeling of satisfaction when my scarf is finished and I can wear my achievement.

I definitely recommend taking up knitting — with a warning that a lot of patience is required.

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Mairi Hughes