As a child I was always frustrated with craft. My macaroni collage was never as nice as that kid next to me, my finger painting was always a bit smudgy, and the paper tie I had to make for Father’s Day was dumb (and redundant, seeing as my dad lived in Turkey). While my family may have been wonderful at teaching some things, craft was certainly not one of them.

Then one day, in the after school care craft room, I found a box overflowing with wool, cardboard rolls with little sticks poking out and wonder. I was intrigued and, once I had been instructed on their use, I quickly became obsessed with French knitting.

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Although to this day I have never discovered anything remotely useful to do with the metres and metres of rainbow nothingness that it produces, I felt like I’d finally discovered something I could do. I tried to extend myself, dabbling in pom-poms, tinkering with finger-knitting, but still I yearned for something more. Finally, I took the step. Turning to my best friend, the internet, I asked it to teach me something that seemed impossibly cool, how to knit, and holy snood did it teach.

Have you ever wondered what all those eccentric aunties and funny English teachers actually do on the computer? The answer is knit. Some of them make tutorials, some of them blog about it and a lot of them just hang out on knitting websites such as Ravelry (which is like Facebook but more knitting and less everything else). I went through YouTube, finding videos of old women explaining all the different steps. Slowly I got better, knitting socks and jumpers, and then making up stuff of my own. I had found my countrymen

So if, like me, you never had a crafty nanna to teach you the finer points of knitting, never fear. For out in the wild, wild web you can easily find somebody else’s nanna, crafty cousin, or Icelandic boyfriend to take you through it. So pick up some needles, grab some wool and join the party. If you’re feeling particularly anarchical you could even knit up a balaclava and start yarn bombing. Here are some good places to start:

And once you’ve figured all that out, why not use your new-found skill to help others by donating squares to Save the Children or Wrap with Love to make blankets to go to those who need them.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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