Story of a Mystery Challenge by Cynthia Bruce
I have watched the Arne and Carlos (Norwegian knitters) website for a few years now and have a few of their books for knitting toys. I’ve still to try knitting them as I am not much of a knitter. I start off with great intentions, but after a few inches of knitting I give up.
However, right at the start of lockdown I was interested in their Quarantine knitting mystery challenge. They had just returned home from a knitting cruise and had to go into self-isolation so they decided to knit a square for every day of their quarantine. Well, as I said, I’m no great knitter but I decided to knit a square for every week of our lockdown. I dug out all of the double-knitting wool from my GI stash (Good Intentions) and once I’d started I couldn’t stop. Some days I even managed a square and a half!
Shortly after returning home, one of the men, Carlos, tested positive for Coronavirus and became seriously ill. They had to stop their blog for a few weeks which gave me time to catch up with the squares.
I didn’t knit all of the patterns they gave, but as I wanted the piece to be something special to me, I included the family names. Barr was my mother’s maiden name and on one square I did a bluebird. I knitted the bluebird square at the time the VE commemorations were taking place as I thought of my father who had been a prisoner of war for over 4 years in Poland. He was captured at St Valery en Caux after the French Army capitulated in 1940. His regiment of the Black Watch had been left behind to try and hold back the advancing German army so the other British Service men could escape from the Dunkirk beaches. After nearly four and a half years as a prisoner my father and two other prisoners escaped the camp while on a work party and thanks to the Polish underground he made it safely to the Black Sea and home to the UK. Vera Lynn’s song inspired that square as I thought the words were not only relevant to my father but a bit relevant to our present situation.
When I’m feeling a bit trapped by what feels like house arrest, I think of what my father would say to me. “You’re lucky, you have a safe home with good food and you know Lockdown won’t last for years”. I know he would have been right as he didn’t have good food or the safety and comfort of home, nor did he know when his imprisonment would end.
The result of my mystery knit is in the photographs. Not the neatest knit ever, but it’s special to me.