I wanted to do a proper knitting update with lots of spiffing photos, but this picture of a seam is all I’ve managed. The yarns in this cardigan are not easy to capture via photography, and the project is at a point where it has all the gawky ungainliness of an hour-old foal.

This state of affairs only goes to prove an analogy which hit me just the other evening: that knitting a garment is akin to the childhood journeys we would undertake on an annual basis, returning from York to Norwich. My parents, bless them, had an unwavering route which was littered with regular markers for us children to look out for. Things like “the green-roofed bungalow”. Surely there wasn’t only one green-roofed bungalow in Norfolk, but to us it shone out just as uniquely as any Big Ben or Stonehenge. What, though, does this have to do with knitting garments?

Well, it occurred to me that finishing the back of a garment is like getting to Selby. You’ve made a good start, you’re on your way, there’s little to be gained by turning back. By the time you’ve made the front piece/s you’re halfway there – you’ve hit Lincoln. Time for the dog to stretch her legs on the racecourse and for Dad to have a comfort break. Things are going really well, you’ll be home before you know it.

The first hint of what’s to come must surely be that slightly alarming slog up the hill out of Lincoln – you’re just starting the sleeves and it’s hit you that you are only halfway through. However, all things being equal, you make steady progress and the first sleeve is successfully in the bag. Then, on the horizon you spot the tall chimney at Campbell’s Soup factory and your heart sinks because you’re in King’s Lynn.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not being derogatory towards the actual town of King’s Lynn. It’s just that, coming down from the north, when you get to King’s Lynn you’re finally back in Norfolk and it’s natural to feel that you are almost home. Well, let me tell you, the leg from King’s Lynn to Norwich is the longest journey known to man. You just want to be getting out of the car and going through the front door. You’re tired and jaded and you’ve pretty much run out of conversation. Even the daydreams which kept you amused have sidled off to a destination of their own. You want your bed, regardless of the time of day. But the car rumbles on, clocking up miles which don’t seem to take you any closer to the end of the journey. The hands of your watch refuse to move.

In reality, the second sleeve of my cardigan is getting on. I won’t be on the road forever. I’ve even worked one of the raglan seams, just for a bit of variety. I don’t think I’ll finish the cardigan next weekend, but I reckon I’ve got a chance of it being done the weekend after. For now, though, it’s still King’s Lynn.

6 thoughts on “King’s Lynn – also known as a sleeve

  1. What is it about sleeves! And sewing garments up! Sometimes I think I should knot the sleeves first lol
    We went to Kings Lynn a few years ago for a mini break, from Newcastle, I didn’t know thst there was a chimney and camp ells soup factory. That’s local info that I love 🤣

    1. To be fair, my post is based on recollections from the 1960s – things may have changed. Plus I believe there are different roads now. It’s just plain crazy how things keep changing. I sometimes knit the sleeves first – it’s a good move if you don’t feel like knitting a gauge swatch – start doing four or five inches of the sleeve and check your gauge on that.

  2. yes, the last sleeve is the hardest, but even worse are buttonbands and sewing the sleeves in. thar just made me cast on another cardigan instead of working on the nearly finished one….

    1. Ah, yes, I must admit it’s the button bands that are making me feel so far from completing this one. But I will reisist the temptation to move on to something new. Just dream about it as I’m working on completing this.

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