Colleen Figg

That old ball of yarn...

2008-05-09 08:42

Colleen Figg

My sister-in-law, who visited recently, was appalled to discover that I don't possess a sewing kit. "You don't own a sewing kit??" she said, in tones of utter incredulity. Eyes on stalks.

I thought I'd better not press the issue and tell her I've got three tops in the jolly old cupboard that I never wear because they're missing buttons or the hem's gone out.

Poor woman would have had a stroke, and to think I'm entrusted with the care of her brother, I could just hear her saying! I also didn't mention that if any sewing or darning or repairs of any kind do take place, they are done by her brother, and not by me!

I simply can't be bothered with feminine pursuits like crochet, knitting, sewing and embroidery.

Actually the fact is I don't know how to crochet, or knit, I can only do rows of plain, to make an endless scarf, and never learned to cast on and off, or to change colours midway.

So the best you'd ever get out of me was a red scarf or a grey one going on for miles until I ran out of wool or someone came to cast off for me. Whichever came first.

Drop off

Another problem was that I used to drop stitches, hence the scarf would get thinner and thinner as I approached the end, finally tapering off like some delicate lady's handkerchief corner, good only for mopping up tomato sauce or using as a leash on my cat, which I did from time to time.

At school I did some embroidery and did enjoy it, but certainly not enough to start lurking around haberdashery shops and discussing the merits of differing needle sizes with any other enthusiasts.

I also had a stab at tapestry, but that was also not really my thing; that hook and the wool set my bloody teeth on edge and I was sure that in the end people don't spend a great deal of time staring at tapestries - or at least not the people I know.

Seemed like a hell of a lot of work for very little return, really.

The thing would most likely hang on a wall for decades, collecting dust and spider webs, and once people had made suitable sounds of admiration about it, would be forgotten entirely.

No chance

This gave me to wonder just what I would have done, were I raised in Victorian society, where ladies were expected to be as adept at every domestic skill as possible, except for cooking. About the only blasted domestic skill I do have is cooking.

And that's only because I like it.

Oh, and washing the dishes; which I like as well, because of the warm soapy water and the fact that one can gaze out of the window, lost in esoteric contemplation that has nothing to do with needles and thread, or shades of cotton; or knitted booties for the neighbour's baby.

I'd be relegated below stairs, definitely.

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