At the end of last year the staff team started to discuss what they could do for the 130 Challenge. Some people talked about walking, running and swimming or using their musical or artistic skills, and I started to wonder how I could raise my £130.
I've been knitting for almost 6 years now. I learnt one summer when I was living with my parents between jobs. I'd been reading a number of books by Debbie Macomber about a knitting shop, and one day in August 2013 I got my mum to teach me the basics and I knit my teddy a scarf. The next day I went to the library and got a book, went to a shop and bought some yarn, and over the next 6 weeks I knitted a blanket. Since then I've knitted some basic clothing (nothing with sleeves) for myself and baby relatives, blankets and prayer shawls, a handbag, plenty of scarfs, a minion hat, and most spectacularly, 41 flowers for my wedding. I find knitting relaxing but sociable; whenever I have a Monday off work I go back to my old knitting group - a group of women who ask how I am and fix my knitting mistakes, and most recently both sponsored my 130 challenge blanket and taught me how to crochet the whole thing together.
So that's what I'm doing - I'm knitting 130 squares and learning new skills along the way. It has taken about 11 weeks in total and has meant kniting the yarn together on trains, in cafes, in Malta, at Church meetings, and most recently managing 12 whole squares in one day at the family camping trip. I've made a few mistakes, occasionally kniting the wrong colour in the 4 square pattern and having to undo it, but I am now just 3 squares away from the whole 130.
I love knitting. The repetition of weaving together the yarn, of it growing from a ball to something tangible, something useful, and in the end it will have raised £130, taught me a new skill and I'll have a blanket over 1m by 1.3m for my sofa. (Lot's of people have asked what I'm going to do with it when it's done. I've decided I've put so many hours into it that it has to stay as mine!).
My job doesn't always produce things as obvious as a blanket, but I do see things weave together - students and groups grow and develop and each individual touched by SCM changed for the better. I'm so glad my blanket has done a small part in helping SCM to continue and grow into the next 130 years. You too can join the 130 Challenge, sign up and challenge yourself to learn new skills, weave community or just do something you love.