My daughter has decided it’s essential that we give her teacher a Christmas present, but it can’t just be something from the supermarket, oh no, we’ve got to give her a Christmas present we’ve made ourselves.

She’s been looking through the craft section in the library to get ideas and has found a book: 100 Little Knitted Projects by Sarah Keen. It’s the book you need if you’re wondering how to knit a pretty tasty looking pizza slice. Miss 8 is particularly enamoured with a little blue whale and she’s decided she wants to knit it herself.

She’s told her dad about this knitting project and he’s really enthusiastic about it, saying it’s great that she’s wanting to get creative and make things herself. However first she needs to learn to knit and he reckons I’m the woman for the job!

If he’d asked my mum first she’d have put him right. She can knit, but she’s in Yorkshire and we’re in Ayrshire and she did try to teach me several times but despaired of my holey dishcloths, so we gave up.

However, now I’ve got an eight-year-old to teach (and YouTube has been invented) so I get busy learning. I’ve already worked out how to cast on, knit, purl, AND cast off. I might even have the same number of stitches in most of the rows. I’ve got the hang of it to the extent that I can make Miss 8’s big sister a nice hairband, which she will actually wear in public.

I teach Miss 8 the knitting bit – which she eventually gets her head around after a fashion – so I take a photo, and, as you do, I upload it to Instagram, where my friend Naomi (who is crafty) sees it and gets all filled up with ideas. “You should try arm knitting!” she tells Miss 8, who thinks that sounds amazing and now wants to buy super chunky wool to make a scarf for her auntie.  So she and her dad go on Amazon and find rainbow wool and I find out how to do arm knitting (thanks YouTube). The next day the wool arrives and we find out it’s incredibly easy to pick up the wrong stitch and end up with a big tangled mess.

Miss 8 has given up for now and I’m going to sneak the book with the little whale and the pizza slice back to the library and get some nice big knitting needles so we can make a scarf for her auntie – a nice, easy, rectangular scarf! Merry Christmas.

Cara McKee is a mother of three, living in Largs on the West Coast where she works in her local library and writes poetry. Find more from Cara at caralmckee.blogspot.co.uk

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