|Hideous, but achievable|
It was all going rather smoothly this time. I had sussed the pattern and I was keen to show off my new lace-knitting skills to Juno (my mother).
On the ferry to the mainland I casually decided to knit a couple of rows. Unperturbed by Andy Murray giving it his all on the ferry (yes, we have telly on the ferry), I began to knit.
Two rows later, it was looking promising for Murray and myself. Not wanting to push my luck, I tidied it all away and read a magazine. I felt oddly serene and at one with the world. Knitting is good meditative practise, thought I.
Just under two hours later, I have decanted everything from the car (including the hamster) and we are relaxing with a small libation. The tennis is still on, although the score has started to swing towards Federer.
I am hating this affable Swiss chap. He stands between Scotland and Sporting Glory. Which we have precious little of in this country.
I decide to break out the knitting again. I waft it proudly in Juno's face. 'oh yes, very nice, dear,' and she turns her attentions to Wimbledon.
With hindsight, dear reader, I should not have attempted a row while the tennis was reaching fever pitch. With hindsight, I should have taken myself off to another room and sat in monastic silence, clacking my needles together and repeating my mantra ('knit two, slip one, knit one, slide that over, knit two'....) and never raise my eyes to poor Murray.
Because it came to pass that by the time I reached the end of that row, I was several stitches adrift.
A low wail and a hastily muffled profanity arose from my corner of the sofa, alerting Juno to the fact that her daughter's knitting was not going well.
Gamely, she picked back the row as best she could, but it was no use. I would reach a certain point in re-knitting the row and it all went tits up: straight bits developed holes and holes that SHOULD have been there closed over for EVER. It looked like Vivienne Westwood on acid. And I don't mean the drug.
I took myself off to a quiet room and slowly unpicked the NEXT row (the last one that I did on the ferry). Maybe the problem was there? Who knows whether it was, because instead of 86 stitches, I was now down to a paltry 79.
The tennis ended and Juno brought me a glass of wine. She asked no questions and I never raised my eyes from the increasing pile of splitting wool.
Honest to God, I was THIS close *brings fingers close together* to bursting into tears. There was nothing else for it. I had to rip it back to the ribbing. AGAIN.
Eyes stinging, fingers numb from wrestling with tiny, splitting bubbles of stitch-work, I rejoined Juno and Sonshine. Murray, equally red-eyed and wobbly of voice said his piece after the match. I could have hugged him. I shared his pain. We tried. We really, really tried. And we were found wanting. Him with his raquet and me with my size 4 needles. Together we struggled to hold back our tears - his from coming SO close to sporting glory, mine from dropping 7 unfindable stitches.
'You just knit like Auntie Mima,' said my mother sagely.
Auntie Mima. A woman whose colour sense baffled all who knew her. My memory dredges up images of bright orange and lime green scratchy wool jumpers with necks so tight that your ears were throbbing scarlet from the struggle to get your head through. And once on, only a pair of scissors could get you out.
'You mean, I can't knit?'
Juno looked thoughtfully over her glasses at me: 'I think,' she said carefully, 'that your skills may lie in other areas.'
I think she's right.