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Is there a certain type of person who looks like a knitter? Do teenagers knit? I’ve been invigilating.

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Today I was in my ‘other’ job, not the knitting one. I invigilate teenagers taking exams at a senior school in Kent, UK, which basically means they sit there in silence writing their papers whilst I and other ‘responsible adults’ supervise and make sure they have the equipment they need and that they don’t cheat. Obviously I was paying attention to the kids in the sports hall; there they were diligently heads down scribbling away (well, most of them were) but my mind started wandering. I got to thinking about whether many (any?) of them were knitters outside school. Some might say this is a brain wandering off very oddly, but others will totally understand there are only so many ways you keep alert in a sports hall of 150+ silent students. Anyone else out there ever invigilated? On other occasions I have counted girls vs boys, redheads vs blondes, boring shoes vs trendy shoes, those with pencil cases vs those without… and so on (told you my brain can wander!) Today I tried to imagine any of them picking up knitting needles and making something. There was the standard bunch of kids with ‘attitude’, and those others who consider themselves so ‘high fashion’ they would never dream of having anything homemade (god forbid!), or non-designer (what do they know? a knitter can be the most original ‘designer’ of one offs). There were those extra studious looking kids who might not consider knitting academic (little do they know that knitters sometimes learn the most complicated stitch patterns and knitting terms way beyond anything ever taught at school). There were big kids and little kids. There were well dressed and not so well dressed kids. There were capable kids and those who looked completely stumped by some of the questions and sat looking into space. I could imagine absolutely no-one in the hall with sticks and yarn! I wasn’t looking for anyone in a homemade cardigan or handcrafted hair band. There is a school uniform everyone has to wear albeit sometimes they do so in their own ‘style’ (imagine wonky ties, a different sweatshirt sneakily worn under the blazer, fancy socks rather than boring black poking out beneath trousers, painted fingernails, false eyelashes (oh yes!)).

There isn’t a standard ‘look’ of a knitter or a ‘style’ we all have, or is there? I would like to throw that question out to everyone. I know knitters of various ages and we all have our own styles. They aren’t all grandmas, they aren’t all new ageists knitting with home grown hemp, they aren’t all first time mums desperate to make their newborn handmade cuddle sacks. We are a mixed bunch. We all look different. How about you and people you know who knit?

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