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By: Kavya Vijaysankar

October 26th, 2020

Whenever I was at my grandparents house, watching my grandmother and my little sister knit together was really irritating. For hours at a stretch, the two of them would be with their knitting needles making a scarf or a sweater for me or my cousins. I’d be waiting restlessly so we could start playing a game of cards, carrom or any other indoor game that didn’t require such a high level of patience.

Crochet, knitting and stitching have always been like ‘alien’ activities to me. Knowing that it requires patience and practice, I’ve never tried any of them. I would rather watch a movie in the dark with a bucket full of fries, or go out and play badminton or football on an extremely sunny day. “I don’t have the time, patience or the attention span to knit,” was what I always thought.

Fast forward by a few years, my sister and grandmother still share the same passion. They knit bags, sweaters, hats and scarfs for everyone in the family. I still know close to nothing about stitching, knitting and crochet but I do have the patience to learn how these activities work.

It was my curiosity that got me to volunteer at Share a Square. I thought I’d finally understand how my grandmother and sister could sit on a chair for hours at a stretch and just twiddle their knitting needles. At least that’s what it looked like to me.

Most of my tasks were pretty much a breeze. Collecting donations seemed like a hard job to do during this quarantine, but to my surprise, it turned out to be the shortest task. A simple message about Share a Square on 3 WhatsApp groups seemed to do the trick. About 10 minutes after sending the messages, I found out that I had already met the minimum donation requirements.

The task that I was looking forward to the most was the webinar, which involved getting a group of friends and learning how to knit, stitch or crochet. My group and I wanted to learn knitting at first but since none of us had knitting needles, we settled for stitching instead. “It’ll be a good learning experience and something different during this lockdown,” was what we’d been told. And it certainly was!

We began stitching the hemlines of the square so there wouldn’t be any thread sticking out, and then joined 2 squares together. My sister and I sat in the same room and attended the webinar together. I thought stitching would come more naturally to her; I assumed she would finish an entire square and notice me struggling to finish even one edge. On the contrary, I finished stitching one edge and found my sister unable to keep her fold even. She couldn’t undo her mistake and was forced to start over.

“Maybe I’m not that bad at stitching,” I realised. A short 2 minutes after saying that, I messed up my running stitch big time. I had to remove the stitches, separate the 2 squares and start over.

After the webinar ended, I spent about one and a half hours working on my square. I pricked myself maybe a dozen times, had to undo and redo my stitches at least twice, but I did not put my needle down. It was pretty draining, and my fingers really hurt when I eventually finished, but I finally understood why my sister and grandmother would knit endlessly for hours and hours.