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Oliver the Wombat up to mischief

In my next life, I will be a crafty person. I will sew a fine seam, knit a fine purl, throw a fine pot, quilt, make those little puffy circles. You name it, I will do it. Even decoupage if necessary.

I have so much admiration for people who ‘make stuff’, mostly because I was at the back of the line when they were handing out whatever skills are required for doing it. I’m thinking patience, for one. Precision, for another. Basic hand-eye coordination, perhaps?

It’s not genetic. My sister B (we’re A, B and C – just like Monica McInerney’s Alphabet Sisters, only we were first) is very creative, sewing cushion covers, whipping up bunting and hemming trousers (my standards aren’t high). My cousin K even quilts, for Heaven’s sake! It’s not widespread within the family, but it is present. Which makes my efforts even more pathetic.

I took Mr6 to a Steiner playgroup when he was two. It was all very nice. We baked bread, played in the sandpit, sang songs, ate fruit, and played with plain wooden blocks and dolls with no faces. He was nonplussed about the dolls, but loved the story time and the fact that we got to sing Twinkle, Twinkle every week.

At my first visit, while the children enjoyed some ‘free play’ and I settled in for what I thought would be a cup of tea and a chat, I was handed some knitting needles. The Steiner way is that everyone should be busy, to set a good example. I was, I was informed by a friendly girl in a woollyhat, going to knit a wombat.

A wombat.

And so for ten weeks, I knitted, in brown wool, a faceless wombat. Not large. Not particularly complicated by wombat standards, but I struggled over it, swore over it, possibly even shed a tear or two. When I finished, I cheered. Then I handed it to Mr6 (then two), who took one look at it and told me he thought it would look better with some of those ‘googly’ eyes stuck on it. The Builder suggested that as a wombat it made a good pig. I still have that wombat. I even brought it with me in the move to the country. I simply can’t bear to throw it out.

Given that I’m human, however, it follows that I desperately want what I can’t have. I have become a stalker of craft blogs. I drool over pictures of cute little what-nots and divine little so-and-so as though it were… porn. Which, in a way, it is. It excites me. It stirs up feelings of longing and wanting and… hmmm, maybe we’ll leave that there. Because the only way for me to get what I want is to pay for it.

At the end of the day, though, I think it’s important that there are people who can and people who can’t when it comes to craft. You like to create, I like to acquire. It’s a win/win situation.

I know you’re keen to outknit me on the wombat front. This book is sure to help. And don’t forget to send me a pic of your superior finished product. I won’t be jealous. At all.


Allison Tait blogs at Life In A Pink Fibro. She cannot knit, sew, crochet, or even collage. She does, however, like to write.