Forget the botox, craft a new you

Ellie Wilkinson and Val Sinclair stringing together some of the 18,000 knitted Tour de France leaders jersey's that will be hung as bunting along the race route in Harrogate. Picture Bruce Rollinson
Ellie Wilkinson and Val Sinclair stringing together some of the 18,000 knitted Tour de France leaders jersey's that will be hung as bunting along the race route in Harrogate. Picture Bruce Rollinson

The simple life. Isn’t it what we all yearn for? Secretly?

How many of us, having for years been sold the “You Can Have it All” myth, now realise that far from not being able to have it all, don’t really want it all.

We all work hard at our jobs, and yes, I’m including homemakers (an American word, but a lovely one as it happens), and most of us are the primary carers of our families, the young and the old.

We are the growing underground movement of women for whom the simple pleasures of a long ago domestic life are becoming ever more desirable.

Now, I’m not getting misty-eyed about the good old days, both my grandmothers black-leaded ovens, scrubbed doorsteps and took a full day to do the laundry, that’s hard work. However, they also knitted, crocheted, baked, pegged rugs, (it’s a thing, really).I think they used what little leisure time they had very well. A case in point is knitting, which, I have been told, is the new botox, and a quick search of the internet will prove why this statement has been given credence, as A Listers have been papped on the set with needles and wool in hand. Why? Because it’s relaxing, therapeutic, creative and productive. Knitting today is a joy to do, gone are the days of clacky needles and sweaty, synthetic yarn, today’s knitters use smooth bamboo needles, and beautiful natural, organic wool in the most exquisite colours. My current favourites being the Rowan yarns Kidsilk Haze in Heavenly and Ghost, however, the numerous other shades in this line are equally divine. If, you’re thinking that the limit of your ability is to knit a scarf, then still do it, but do it with this delicate yarn. The rhythmic handling of the needles and the wool is a therapy no highfalutin spa can offer. Seriously, kick off your slingbacks, pour a large glass of pinot grigio (or a non-skinny cappuccino if you’ve knocked vino in the head for lent), a movie (nothing with subtitles though, stick to a Jennifer Aniston/Meg Ryan rom-com), and knit. FYI, You Tube is a marvel at tutorials if you need help – I learned to crochet from them.

However, if you fancy a more sociable time, there are knitting groups springing up in cafes and bars all across the city – they are out and proud. Equally, in the needle and thread camp, it’s no longer shameful to admit your love of The Great British Sewing Bee. Personally, I love to stroll into John Lewis to marvel at the texture of the yarn, drool over the embroidery silks and stroke the bales of Cath Kidston fabric. So cast on, stitch up and drop out. It’s so cool to be a crafter.