Monday, 5 November 2012

Knitting for Scotland

At one time knitting was important to a cricketer's success. His cricket bag bulged not with helmets and protective padding for all softer parts of the anatomy as is now the case, but with an assortment of cable knit sweaters.

Latterly the sweaters may have been factory produced, but at one stage many cricketers had the genuine hand knitted article, lovingly made over the long winter evenings by wife, mother, sister, or even, in Fantasy Bob's case, mother-in-law.  Some may even have fitted the wearer, more or less, at some point in their life.

FB suspects it was to his mother's skill with the knitting needles that he owed his place in the primary school team for he was one of the few boys who could guarantee to turn up wearing a proper sweater, thereby looking like a cricketer.  This fooled the 10 and 11 years olds in the opposing side long enough for many matches to resolve in FB's favour.  Later in life FB's mother- in-law made a traditional sweater for him.  And very fine it was too.  He wore it with pride but not even it could make him look like a proper cricketer.

But nowadays the cable knit sweater is a heritage item.  No more do cricket dressing rooms pulse with that acrid smell of wet wool when the showers drive the players from the field.  For cricketers are clad now in fleeces of various sorts.

Knitted tea cakes -
but FB was looking for more
So FB had concluded that hand knitting is a dying art, a skill more remembered than practised, like coracle building or pole lathe turning.  But he is delighted to find out otherwise.  Knitting is growing in Scotland, according to the publicity surrounding the publication of one of the more important volumes of the year - Knit Your Own Scotland.

In this essential volume you will find knitting patterns for everything Scottish you can think of - Andy Murray, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Billy Connolly, William Wallace.  And not only important figures, other icons are there too including bagpipes,  a Hielan' coo and a Scottie dug.  As FB leafed through the book his anticipation rose quickly as Scotland's unparallelled cuisine featured - the Scotch pie.  Then his anticipation almost became too intense -  a pattern for Tunnock's Teacake.  But immediately he was let down.  That was it.  FB could not believe it.  But the evidence was incontrovertible.  It was not there.  The jewel of Scottish cuisine was disgracefully ignored.  There was no guide to knitting your own empire biscuit.   FB urges knitters of Edinburgh to put down their needles and not take them up again until a satisfactory pattern is produced.  But until then, here is a reminder of the real thing.

Knitting pattern needed.


  1. Ah yes, the cable knit sweater knitted by your mother! You might have stopped growing but the sweater didn't, it just got longer and longer!

    1. Indeed the finest examples touched the tops of the pads and are believed to have given designers the idea for the mini-skirt.