1. I learnt the art from my Mother
My mother was an expert at knitting and sewing, apart from all other
things she was good at. I feel so happy that I learnt the two traits from
her. Back in those days buying knitted sweaters were not the norm. Ours
was a large family comprising six children of various ages. My mom was
so good and so fast at knitting that she would knit one full-sleeved
sweater in two/three days. At a very young age I used to marvel at the
fast moving needles and the colourful balls of wool that weaved into
sweaters of different styles (cardigans, sweaters, pullovers which would
be V-necked, round or even high-necked). From the leftover balls of
wool and spare needles I started to copy her. She taught me how to cast
on stitches, work on in the simple knit and purl stitch (we called those as
ulti line and seedhi line). Slowly and slowly I began to knit. The first
sweater that I knitted was a red colour cardigan, at the age of 17 or 18
The seed of knitting had been sown.
2. I Started Following Knitting Patterns
During our tenure in Risalpur, I had started teaching in Presentation
Convent School. Here some teachers would bring their knitting to school. I
was tempted to do the same. One of the colleague use to read and follow
patterns from books. I requested her to teach me, she was too happy to
oblige, and thus started my visits to book stores for knitting patterns. I had
a natural flair to knit and sew. An endless number of sweaters, rompers,
cardigans followed for my children, my nephews and niece, my husband,
my father-in- law and I. Thus knitting became my hobby. Following the
patterns from the books made knitting much easier and accurate. No art
gives more satisfaction than one which makes you feel happy on seeing the
finished product so picture perfect.
3. Knitting Helped Me Overcome Depression
My husband belonged to the Engineers Corps, as such he was stationed
most of the time to non-family station. I lived alone with my children, either with my parents or at an accommodation provided by the army.
He would visit us after every two weeks or sometimes even after a
month. Doing house chores and looking after children, to me appeared
no-work as far as time consumption was concerned. There would be
bouts of depression, feeling of loneliness and lethargy. For our daily
groceries I would take my, children and drive to the ‘bazari’.(A bazari .. is
a small market). Small local boys would run along the car, clapping and
saying in their native language ‘look, a woman is driving a car.’ On one
such visit as I was looking through the shops my eyes lit up when I saw
colourful balls of wool. Now I had no time to feel lonely or depressed, I
had something to occupy my time and my brain.
4. Knitting Is A Hobby of English Women Also
There came a period in life when I was too busy in my work at school.
The children were growing fast; it was time to set their future goals in
life. Knitting, like all photo albums, unused crockery and childhood
memorabilia was stored in the old trunks and deep shelves of my
In 2010, I moved to UK with my eldest son. In UK, during the cold
weather while sitting in the Town Square, or travelling in a train, reading
in the Town Library, having coffee at the Star Bucks one would see
women, mostly old, knitting away , chatting with each other over a cup
of tea or coffee. The sight, to me was very interesting, as it awakened
the long forgotten skill in me.
I found a quaint little shop in the area, went through the knitting books,
selected some, bought the wool and needles and started working. Caps
in all colours, baby set, and sweater for my daughter in law even a
knitted set for the dolls of my two granddaughters.
My art became famous when I posted a pic of a teddy bear for my
grand- daughter. Demands and requests for knitted teddy bear came
pouring from all over my social media friends, nieces and my children.
The teddy bears were really famous.
5. Knitting Keeps Me Busy And Connected
At this age, when I have literally no housework no responsibilities, and
lots of time on my hand, I keep busy in writing books, attending Quran
classes and knitting. It helps in exercising my hands and fingers, my eyes
and my mental skills. In the past two years I have knitted mufflers,
snoods, finger-less gloves and sweaters etc. my children, grandchildren
keep asking for something or the other and I keep complying.
My time flies, my children and grandchildren are happy; I keep busy
planning what to knit next.