I count my stitches two at a time, others take them singly or in fives. I watch perfectly fluent English speakers whisper numbers in their mother toungue as they thumb their way along the stitches. We each have our own habitual ways of doing it, but counting is a part of what all knitters do. It’s how we find out where we are, where we went wrong and where to put it right. Counting matters – it steers us along the way to the end.
Now we are living through a time where counting is also going on all around us, but unlike our stitch counts, these numbers are monstrous.There is an enormousness to the pandemic which sometimes seems impossible to process. And as our lives shrink back to the tiny radius of home during the next weeks of lockdown, there is a danger that these numbers may feel overwhelming.
I can’t pretend there is a mindful way out of this strange and lonely time, but those stitches on your needles can hold a comfort and reassurance that is far greater than the little loops suggest. Working your way through the rhythms of the repeats and rows may take you somewhere more manageable when the news simply can’t.
And in case your counting leaves you realising that you’re a ball short of a project, I’m happy to say that the online shop is staying open throughout the entire period of the lockdown. We will continue packing, tying and posting out orders every day for faraway knitters. We have wool-by-bike for near-by knitters, and knit-and-collect for knitters who need to get out of the house. And of course we’ve got iKnit7 for knitters who are in the mood for a celebration. For full details of how things will work see the plan below.
Let’s take the next weeks one stitch at a time, and we will find each other in a beautiful load of new hats, scarves, sweaters and socks on the other side…