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This is the poem that performance poet Peter Wyton (my Dad) wrote after I told him I’d just been thrown out of a pub for knitting a few years ago.
THE NEEDLES AND THE DAMAGE DONE
My daughter. I brought her up. I taught her wrong from right
And black from white and all the grey bits in between,
Know what I mean? So what does she do,
The artless, heartless little moo? Frightens me
Fartless by sodding off to live in Brighton,
The Sussex Sodom & Gomorrah of yesterday, today,
Tomorrow and well into the middle of next week,
Magnet for every freak from John O’Groats to Lands End,
Chock full of gender-benders, boozers, cruisers,
Serial substance abusers – and unusually, I’m not talking muesli!
The stuff they smoke would make Puff the Magic Dragon choke.
The lengths they go to in pursuit of carnal satisfaction
Would put Casanova in traction.
And are all these salacious South Coast groins enough
To gratify the sole feminine fruit of my loins?
Is there no depth of depravity, no unexplored corporeal cavity
With which she is unacquainted? Brace yourselves, people.
Folk have fainted at this disclosure. Strive to maintain
Your composure. My wild, sensation-seeking child,
With a consenting partner, was sitting in a pub
When she was asked to leave – for knitting!
I must confess that when she said “Hold me, daddy,”
And told me, I was in stitches. I laughed so much
I bust my britches, and she looked at them penitently
And whimpered, ” Can I sew them for you, ever so gently? “
The poor kid’s crochet-hooked on yarn-based products.
She’s a fool for wool, a pushover for pullover patterns,
A slattern for tatting, an embroidery hoyden – and she’s not alone.
She only has to pick up a phone to unravel a whole skein
Of thread-heads, running a patchwork of internet chat rooms
Where they groom the unwitting into a total dependence
On knitting, an unsustainable greed for tweed.
Mind you, you gotta be hardy to survive in the sordid world of full Fair Isle
Cardy. Not for them the exquisitely stitched hem, the romance of
” Knit one, purl one. ” More a frantic clicketty-clack, flat on your back
And not an ounce of 4-ply. Addicts, wasted on worsted, rove Hove,
So bestial and rotten as to fleece old ladies for a single spool of cotton.
And the social cost of these lost souls is incalculable. When
They need a fix of mixed shades they’re reduced to visiting
Rough-trade haberdashers shops who can be relied upon not to call the cops.
Cast off by society, if they commit the impropriety of coming out
And parading their perversion in a pub or club, they risk a snub
From someone like the churl who told my girl, ” I don’t allow spitting,
And I don’t allow knitting! I know it’s crewel hard but, YOU’RE BARRED.”