The Emporium would like to introduce one and all to the resourceful and rather wonderous mutterings of the creative Miss Hilary Bennett …
It is my mission…and I have accepted it…with joy in my heart and a blister on my finger, to create wondrous things from charity shop wool and taken apart knitwear. It’s less ‘saving the world’ and more ‘lets make something beautiful from something unwanted or ugly’. Sometimes I get as much out of taking something apart with scissors, tweezers, stitch rippers and a screwdriver as I do knitting something itself.
First, one must source one’s charity shop wool. To do this one must be prepared to get old ladies into rugby scrums and boy, are those OAPs lethal. I see myself in them though. Myself in 40 years. And I like what I see. All elbows and sticks for a half ball of Sirdar or some wooden buttons. If while in a charity shop or car boot sale etc, one should see plain black or white wool or the posh stuff such as the aforementioned Sirdar in whatever shade….one is obliged to buy it. All other wool must be graded before purchasing as to whether it would be used, whether it’s a shade one does not have, if I can see a project forming already or ”Is this a pile of sick in wool form?”. Obviously, the last grade is met with a tut and a walking away. If no wool is available, one has a rummage through the scarves and jumperwear. There is a maximum price of a five pound note and anything more than that is too expensive to be taken apart. I also have a loyalty to my fellow knitter and anything that looks homemade, no matter how nasty, cannot be taken apart for yarn. Some bits must be purchased ‘new’ but I used as much secondhand stuff as I can muster.
In my small rented flat I have boxes and boxes of small bundles of such yarn and it is slowly being used up, knitting bags, monsters, bags and other small wonders. It is my plan this year to learn patterns and make jumpers. I have already got commissions for Denis the Menace jumpers and the like but one is always distracted by monsters and the need for new bags. Sometimes I drive myself crazy with the amount of obsessively tinked yarn. (Tink = To knit backwards – To take apart) but when I’ve made something lovely and get complimented upon it, it is most worthwhile to know in my heart that it was once an ugly jumper. Like a woollen duckling turning into that swan.
I have also branched out into ‘other crafts’ and have an enormous bag of candle wax granules and pretty teacups (Teacup…er…candles), small wooden spoons (Dolls) and more beads than I know what to do with. All of these things are waiting for the creative whimsy….and Christmas is always coming and friends always need presents to cheer. Today I am planning to make eyes for knitted creatures with some pearl-like beads and some cheap black nail varnish. It may even happen.
CR Hilary Bennett. Rioting Stories. 6/2012*