Monday, 4 August 2008

Spread the Wool

Exhausted from the craziness of the Innocent Village Fete. No, I didn't get carried away with the welly wanging, or go running around Regents' Park duck herding (although, naturally, I was tempted). No, I've been casting on miniature woolly hats in my sleep thanks to 5 hours in the Big Knit tent. The basic idea was simple - every year Innocent sell their smoothies with little woolly hats on them. Bless. For every hatted smoothie sold, they give 50p to Age Concern to help old folks keep warm in the winter. Nice. So we were trying to get people to buy a little knitting kit and have a go at making their own winter warmer. Witness the happy knitting mayhem:

I had to take this picture when it stopped raining. During the downpours, I couldn't actually move to get my camera it was so packed with people avoiding the weather - I say people, but there were definitely a couple of damp dogs and, I suspect, a few of the cannier ducks in there too at one point.

Yes that is a box filled with itty-bitty hats. There was a competition to guess how many hats and win a case of Innocent Smoothies. (And yes, those are two fake and remarkably lifelike chickens on top of the box and no, I don't understand the reference either. In fact the whole hay-bale, checked picnic rug, rustic rocking chair vibe was rather lost on most of the I Knit crowd - again with this bizarre rural, ye-olden-dayes image, do they think all knitters come from Walton's Mountain? Nevermind, a rant for another day...)

My first attempt at teaching someone to knit was not a great success, you'll be shocked to learn. Turns out my longtail cast-on method is not suited to getting someone knitting in a short space of time. In fact it scares the crap out of them. So thank god for Claire, who kindly pointed out an oh-so-logical, foolproof and non-scary method. As with most things knit, everybody does it all a little differently and one of the fun things that day was simply watching how other people were knitting.
So armed with this new information, further attempts were rather less painful. At one point I had a group of 6 teenage friends on the go at once. Which sort of worked. But they all seemed happy to give it a go and soon the hats were piling up:

Although some people seemed to be taking a very relaxed view of the whole enterprise:

Still at least Innocent were encouraging their employees to get into the spirit of the thing. And I suppose he helped keep the wool dry...

We had enthusiastic young 'uns Not-so-enthusiastic-but-giving-it-a-go older 'uns

But the main thing is, we got lots and lots of people knitting
Yey. Spread the wool.

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