Ever since I was a little girl I have loved to watch my mother knit, I have beautiful Christmas jumpers made by my grandparents and adorable baby knitwear for my two children which are now stored safely away as a keepsake. Up until this year I hadn’t knitted since I was a child, so when my 7yr old daughter chose a knitting hamper with her pocket money we spent a weekend making a rather wonky, and in places gappy, knitted rainbow scarf that we shall lovingly treasure forever. However when Mary Clements, owner of ClickettyClack, saw our humble attempt at scarf making she kindly offered to give us both a knitting lesson and we had the most wonderful time.
Situated just outside of Princes Risborough in Woodway, we pulled up into the ample carpark and made our way through the glass fronted entrance of The Wool Shop into a treasure trove of beautiful bouncing balls of wool in every shape, size and colour of the rainbow, with rows of sparkling buttons, ruffles, glitter, frills, decadent scarves, tiny booties, baby cardigans and soft animals peeping out from the shelves. I ooh’d and ahh’d just as much as my daughter Millie and when Mary asked what we’d like to create for our first lesson, Millie asked to make a scarf for her fluffy duck teddy which would be perfect for learning the basics of a 10 stitch knit.
Mary offers lessons in casting on and casting off in knitting, lace knitting tips and tricks, intarsia picture knitting, getting started with crochet, finishing techniques, fair isle basics, conquering cables and ideas for left over yarn for both individuals and small groups at dates to suit your needs. And you needn’t bring anything along, other than the willingness to learn as the shop stocks everything you require and you can take your creation home at the end.
After squeezing and tickling walls of balls of wool, Millie and I settled in for our lesson in a sunny side room with a table and chairs overlooking the open fields and beautiful blue skies, perfect for a spot of tea and a gossip whilst learning a new hobby. Mary is an incredibly patient, cheerful and considerate teacher who happily instructed both my seven year old daughter Millie and I as we learnt how to knit stitch, pearl stitch and cast off. Mary provided us with children’s knitting needles and purple yarn to make Millie’s fluffy ducky a scarf, and I’m both impressed and embarrassed to admit that my daughter did a better job of knitting than me as I frequently dropped stitches and added extra, for which Mary had to go back and correct my knitting. Much like the tortoise and the hare, Millie set off slow and steady taking her time whilst I merrily clicked away knitting and chatting without noticing I’d put my needle through the middle of a stitch and split it in two taking my row of ten stitches up to eleven. Whoops!
Learning to knit was a wonderful way to spend a mother and daughter afternoon together and we both enjoyed it immensely. It was fascinating to discover the many different patterns and pieces that can be made from knitting as I’ve only ever known a standard knit stitch, yet Mary showed us how to pearl stitch and alternate between rows to create beautiful patterns. And from patterns to tension, yarn colours, textures and size, each knitting creation is unique and priceless. We spoke about the cost of purchasing a handmade jumper, which takes around a week to knit by hand, and at the minimum wage it would cost hundreds of pounds at least if sold on man hours alone. The pinnacle of proving your knitting ability could be to create a kingsize bedspread with patterns, colours and a great weight in yarn, potentially costing tens of thousands of pounds to be kept as a family heirloom. Whether you are a first time knitter or a well seasoned clacker, the unifying factor is certainly the enjoyment of such a therapeutic and rewarding pastime, a pure labour of love which is thankfully becoming evermore popular and fashionable for all ages.
In association with Let’s Knit Magazine, ClickettyClack will be taking part in National Yarn Shop Day on Saturday 2nd May from 10:00am – 3:00pm with special discounts on the day, huge clearance offers and refreshments.
ClickettyClack, Unit 11A, Woodway, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire HP27 0NN