One thing leads to another….

Both of my sisters live in different countries to me – I am here in Australia……next sister is in England…..and baby sister is in Cyprus.  The phone lines run expensively hot some days but there are also times when a quick question needs just a quick answer and a text/ sms is all that’s needed. Well that’s the idea.  Sometimes answers provoke more questions and long forgotten thoughts and ideas come pouring out that might not have done so if we’d been on the phone.

Take the other day.

I was having one of those silly can’t settle nights…..finding it hard to drift off to sleep again after a midnight trip to the loo ……thinking about some knitting I had on the go, and as happens my mind wandered, this time to ‘when did I learn to knit’  I don’t remember a time when I couldn’t knit but have no memory of being taught.  I must have been shown the basics some time- was it from mum or school?  No, not Mum because even though she was a good knitter she didn’t have the patience to teach.  If the truth be told she didn’t have much patience with me – full stop!

So mid morning our time curiosity got the better of me and out came the phone. Sisters dear…..when did you learn to knit……who taught you?

LOL – Next sister answered almost immediately- up for one of her nocturnal loo visits she heard her phone ding – it seems dad taught her.  She recalled him chanting the knitting mantra most of us have heard and used ‘needle in, wool round, pull through, slip off’. She suggested maybe Mum’s aunts did the teaching – mum had gone to live with them during the war and the timing with my age was right.  Could of been them because Dad was away at that time

We were laughing (10c a text and she’s laughing virtually at 2am her time) about most people my age (she being nearly five years younger) knowing how to knit and she wrote ‘all you war babies must have come out clicking, wearing knitted matinee coats, bonnets bootees and mittens – 

and then







a little snippet concerning mum and her knitting came flying cross the world, something she had never told ‘us’ but ‘had’ told our grown up baby brother one day when he’d been talking about women at work being stressed……obviously not a good day for her because she let rip.

Next sister wrote “She was pregnant with you, dad was abroad, it was a lovely day and she was knitting for you (in Wellingborough where she lived at the time and where I was born) she was sitting near the open window of an upstairs room ……the day the house was bombed.

She told little brother ‘that’ was stress modern girls wouldn’t understand’

Then my darling ‘naughty’ sister added the words – Bet she dropped a few stitches!!

As I said I’d never heard that story before so asked Mr G**gle for information on ‘bombing Northampton 1942’ and he came up with a special edition of a newspaper that had news clips from the second world war.  And there on the front page dated August 1942 was a piece about the war coming to Wellingborough.

Click to access wwii_60_year_commemorative_edition_the_link_1945-2005.pdf

Although I gained an insight into a possible reason Mum was always tense especially when there was thundery stormy weather, little sister confirmed mum didn’t teach any of us (she learnt at school) so I’m still none the wiser as to who taught me to knit lol

Were there any snippets in your life  that came to light many years after the event?

9 thoughts on “One thing leads to another….

  1. What wonderful relationships you have with your sisters, even though they are so very far away! What an experience your Mother had during the war! I hope to make it through this life without having to experience war first hand!


  2. I read the newspaper article you posted. It must of been terrifying for your mum and everyone else
    Maybe you learnt like I did. A little from person A. A little from person B and some from C andyou put it all together yourself.
    As pretty much everyone knitted in those days there was always someone around who could help with a question. So you didn’t get lessons, you picked up from watching, trying and having someone to ask or correct if needed on hand.
    This is how I learnt to cast on, knit and purl. The rest came much later when I used you tub


  3. Wow.
    My mother was bombed during the war and spent two or three days under the house waiting to be extricated. I am sure she would have agreed with your mother about stress. Laughing at your sister’s quip about the dropped stitches.


  4. Isn’t that interesting, and surprising that you never knew about the bombing.

    My grandmother taught me to knit, but I have completely forgotten now. I could do plain and pearl but I never learnt casting on or off. I half knitted a very long scarf because not knowing how to cast off, I just kept on knitting away. I think at some point it all unravelled. While my step mother can knit, she is also very skilled with her knitting machine.

    I’ve learnt more about my early life and the family than I ever needed to know, the good and the bad, but never a bombing.


  5. I didn’t have a sister so I envy your relationships with your sisters. My brother is great but a sister would be special too.


  6. My mother taught me to knit, purl, cast on and off. I became a very sophisticated knitter, based on that alone. My mom was a prolific knitter, too, and in the end we sort of competed for who made the most complicated pieces of work.


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