Born To Knit

Contributed by Marjorie Arnott

I generally tell people when they ask me how I learned to knit that I was born with a pair of knitting needles in my hands instead of a silver spoon!!        

I was born in a tiny village in the North of Scotland where most of the menfolk worked on fishing boats, etc. so it was very common for the womenfolk of the village to make warm aran style sweaters for their husbands, brothers and uncles who spent a lot of time at sea under very cold conditions.

I could make simple garter stitch scarves or squares by the time I was six years old. However, I went to the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh when i was 13 years old and we had the most fantastic knitting teacher. Up until then I thought I was a relatively good knitter, but Miss Duffin taught me so much. We were having a class end of term exam so as my sister just had a little girl i decided I would make a little dress, my first major project. When Miss Duffin began checking our work she called me over and told me I had done excellent work, but there was one tiny flaw. She took my hand and showed me the tiniest of knots in the yarn almost at the bottom of the skirt. She made me take the whole dress back and do it again. As you can imagine I was not a happy camper but I learned a lot from that experience. If you want to do a job well, don’t try and hide anything. Miss Duffin was not only blind but she was deaf too; yet she taught us so much.

Being an avid knitter, over the years I have found it extremely difficult and frustrating to have patterns put into braille for my convenience; so when I decided to purchase a braille embosser, I thought it would be well worthwhile to compile several pattern books and try to help other people who, I am sure, have been in the same situation as I have been on many occasions. Therefore, I compiled several books with interesting patterns and designs I had collected over the years. They come from far and wide: as far away as Australia and Scotland and several of these patterns have been designed by friends themselves.

Although I don’t crochet, I feel there is a market for crochet books as well as knitting books, so a couple of friends have kindly helped me to put some books together, in the hope that you will find  something of interest to whet your appetite.

I started this very small brailing business 12 years ago, never thinking I would still be doing it today, All because I decided to purchase a Braille embosser instead of a Perkins brailler. Which, incidentally, was the same price as the embosser since I got the embosser from someone who was trying to find a good home for it.

Marjorie Arnott
         msarnott@q.com

Marjorie’s books are available in braille and electronic formats. To get more information or to request a catalog. Please contact Marjorie with the above e-mail address.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Donna Hill
    Feb 15, 2011 @ 16:35:07

    Interesting post, Marjorie!

    Reply

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