Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Rules

Every challenge needs some rules. These are my initial thoughts. Which I reserve the right to adapt/change (break?) as needed.
  1. The Knitter shall travel along the entire length of every bus route in London that passes through zone 1, knitting whilst she travels.
  2. The Knitter shall endeavour to travel each bus route in one journey, but will be allowed to break her journey once.
  3. The Knitter shall wear an item of hand knitted clothing on every journey.
That is it I think. I will also try and keep a record of time spent, distance travelled and approximate number of stitches knitted.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

It all began with knitting coffee & cakes....

I am a relatively new knitter, I have tried to learn on and (mainly) off for years and it has never quite clicked for me. My stitches have dropped, my tension has been all over the place and frankly it has not been enjoyable: a chore rather than a pleasure and I have previously always given up on the process. All this changed in January of this year.

My sole WIP (work in progress) had always been tucked away and only caused mild pangs of neglected knitting guilt. I wanted to be able to knit; the wanting turned to a yearning as I regularly started to get off the 430 bus outside Stash Yarns in Putney. I looked longingly through the window in the manner of a small child at a sweetshop at an Aladdin's cave of beautiful yarns in all the shades of the rainbow and wanted to be able to do something with them. I even ventured in and muttered that I was "just browsing" and dared to stroke and feel the cornucopia of knitting delights. I was amazed at the variety of colours, textures, materials and the mere existance of multicoloured yarns that would magically produce stripes and patterns as they were knitted up. But I thought that all this would never be mine and that knitting and me were never destined to be friends.

All this changed quite by chance, I found a bag of beautiful yarns in a charity shop for £2 and managed to buy a circular needle for £1 in Tiger in Hammersmith and I gave knitting one last chance. And it CLICKED, with needing minimal help from Google I COULD KNIT!

Within 2 days I had my first finished object: a green striped beanie for my boyfriend that I was delighted with, and which he cheerfully wore. In January of 2009 I became a knitter! I quickly started going to Stitch & Bitch meetings (I had been on the mailing list for about 3 years and had deleted every e-mail with a little pang of guilt toward my neglected knitting bag), I bought more needles, lots of yarn and started knitting more and more and loved it. I am a convert and an addict to a craft that I never thought that I would master.

I started knitting on buses and really rather enjoyed it - people either talk to you about your knitting or give you a wide berth ("stay away from the scary lady with the pointed sticks"). Either suits me - someone nice sits next to me, or no one does, a win win situation. I was pondering spending a few hours sitting on a long bus route knitting, people watching and doing some more knitting and suggested this idea today to Cafe Stitch, two people said that they would come with me and the idea of knitting all* of London's Bus routes was born...

Madness maybe? But I am quite looking forward to it...

*I think that all will need some defining as Greater London is VAST and there must be hundred of bus routes so this challenge will need firm rules.