My mother taught me to knit, and I dutifully knitted all the usual stuff, culminating in delicate lacy shawls for all the babies of the family - and friends - and work colleagues - until everything went dormant and my home was a knit free zone. That is, until my daughter went off to knitting classes at a new place and I took up the knitting needles again in sheer self defence. But what to knit? I'd no need for jumpers or cardigans, no one within about five hundred miles (whom I knew) was expecting a baby, yet I wanted to show that I, too, could create beautiful and practical things.
The word "practical" sparked off an idea from childhood. My mother had used scraps of wool to knit blankets from squares: 20 stitches, quite often multi-striped, as no scrap of wool was wasted. We'd unravel the hand knitted jumpers when they'd outlived their usefulness and recycle the wool.
So I started knitting blankets: with a twist. This time I used diamonds instead of squares (far more interesting, as I'd be increasing or decreasing with every row) and instead of random bits of wool (I had none, all my knitwear was machine knitted, so non-unravelable), I went bulk buying in the sales and got a whole load of wool in shades of ice blue.
Several months later, I had enough squares for not one, but two blankets: one for Waterside, one for Edinburgh. What to do next? Surprisingly enough, another blanket!
This one was more ambitious, colour wise, I christened it pebbles on the shore. The background theme was brown, and there was some crinkly wool of autumn shades: brown, red and orange. There was also some soft brown with little flecks of warmer colours. I edged it with brown satin ribbon.
All this knitting went to my head, as the next idea was to use a theme of green. Getting green wool is not the easiest thing and the squares ended up roughly two thirds yellow-green, one third blue-green.
I'm now running out of beds, but somehow have even more wool than ever, so I'm proposing to use the leftovers to make hand crocheted rugs. And my resolution for the new year is to absolutely not buy any more wool until I've used up my stockpile.