I haven’t blogged in such a long time but Gary, husband and technical half of Baa Baa Brighouse, keeps telling me I need to add fresh content, so I suppose I ought to take note. The reason I haven’t blogged in ages is simple really: I haven’t actually knitted in ages. Not since before the pandemic. Not one single stitch.

There are a few reasons that account for my absence from the the knitting scene – I had grown disillusioned with my regular knitting group, social media conflicts had spilled over into friendships, the state of the world post-Brexit was taking a toll on business but the one thing that really did for me as a knitter was lockdown.

That sounds weird, I know. For many, the scary, quite often solitary, period was a time when they found comfort in knitting and for some were able to take up the craft for the first time. But for me things went the opposite way.

Overnight, I went from being a self-employed business owner on the cusp of opening her own own bricks and mortar shop to being a full-time primary school teacher with responsibility for a class of two and the one responsible for getting a third, post-16 student, through college. Everything else fell by the wayside.

And when I say everything, I mean everything. I literally lost interest in all of the things that had previously held some significance for me and instead became a total expert on the primary school curriculum. I threw myself into my new role with history quiz nights involving the whole family, elaborate art projects linked to a The Chronicles of Narnia which we read as a class and geography topics based on Around the World in Eighty Days. I made it fun, engaging, educational and I know the children look back on ‘Mammy School’ with nothing but fond and happy memories.

But though it has taken quite some time to write it, I probably pulled the whole thing off so well because inside I was frightened. We had and still do have a totally incompetent government running the show (which to be fair I probably could have written hundreds of blog posts about and tied into creating charity yarns for all the communities, organisations and people that they have screwed over), life was uncertain, nobody was able to see friends or family and really all I wanted to do was keep my children safe during a horrible time.

Once the lockdowns were over and the world gradually returned to some semblance of normality, knitting still refused to call to me in the post-pandemic age. I still liked dyeing yarns and creating new ranges and concepts for yarn clubs but nothing could induce me to pick up my needles again. Strange, because knitting is what got me through years of very bad post-natal depression.

Life has become stressful of late for a number of reasons which are too complex to go into in detail here but I think I may have felt a faint spark of motivation. So, this week and for the foreseeable future, I am going back to basics and will be knitting dishcloths until I regain my confidence.

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