When my mother taught me to cable I thought I'd come across something almost magical. How could one little needle make such an incredible difference to your knitting? And how could it make such amazing patterns and shapes?
After I got used to the cable needle falling out of the stitches at the back of my knitting and I stopped twisting cables the wrong way for the pattern, I couldn't wait to try out new designs.
I also longed to knit a proper aran jumper using all of my favourites cables.
So, what have I done to reach my cabled goal? Well...nothing yet!
But I do often try to make something with cabling, just to feed my compulsion.
Occasionally I knit up a cabled square or two with the intention of making a throw/bedspread/blanket, but being a JOAT I easily lose interest and these squares get lost at the bottom of a knitting bag somewhere.
My mum bought this aran wool in Ireland when I was about 15. She was going to knit a jumper for each of us, but realised, as we went through customs in the car in Dublin, that you weren't allowed to bring wool from Ireland into the UK. There were signs everywhere, as if there was some sort of criminal gang on the loose with pockets full of double knitting. I'd never seen my mum look so worried; she went very quiet and a little pale. As my sister and I were teenagers at the time we took the opportunity to tease her mercilessly about being imprisoned for wool crime. We thought it was hysterical; my mum thought it was very serious. Nothing happened of course, mum was honest and paid some duty or other, but the wool took on the label of 'dangerous contraband' and it was never knitted into anything. I think there was also a little argument with my dad about the cost of the wool after the duty was added on.
It's funny, but I still feel the same about this wool now...if I knit it into something my family might be arrested.
After all these years I can see why my mum was so worried. It wasn't just the legal thing, it was the thought that the wool would be confiscated. I didn't get that then, but now I totally understand! If someone had separated me and my Shilasdair wool after our Skye holiday, I'm not sure what I would have done. Therapy probably...