My knitting obsession is in full flight and is taking the place of ordinary human interaction (and, for that matter, inappropriate human interaction, of which I’m normally quite a big fan), binge-drinking, chocolate-scoffing, DStv-watching, smoking, cooking, sleeping, reading and all the other things I usually do to fill my free time.
Having ‘mastered’ (and I put that in inverted commas because it’s not true) gilet- and sock-making (left), I’ve moved swiftly on and through dog jerseys, then scarves (too boring – even where the incomparably boring pastime of knitting is concerned), and now am on to hats.
My late sainted mother believed that you had to have ‘a face for hats’. She had one; to her regret, I didn’t – and, as evidenced by these pics, still don’t.
This was my first effort. I sent this pic to Johann, who replied wittily that all I needed was a bottle of Obies* in a brown paper bag to complete the picture.
This is my second attempt (which my friend Angie immediately dubbed ‘The Furry Monster’). I modelled it for my son and he couldn’t stop laughing. When he could finally squeeze out a sentence, he said, ‘I’m sorry, but it looks like a shower cap.’ Which I thought was a cheek, because anyone can see it looks like a tea cosy.
This is The Furry Monster, with a brim added. I love it in the way any mother would love a slightly backward child.
Most people’s self-taken pictures are odd-looking. Orangutans would probably do a better job, being able to hold the camera further away from themselves, but anyone with normal-length human arms ends up looking like a still from The Blair Witch Project. There’s also the problem of angle – too low, and your double chins magically multiply; too high, and you get a mad-eyed squint.
My daughter, who’s a beautiful young woman (here’s a pic of her as she actually looks – although, oddly enough, in this picture her eyes look brown when in fact they’re pale blue), gave me the following advice about self-taken pics:
1. Always take the pic from above.
- 2. Always purse your lips slightly.
3. Always look away from the camera.
* Obies: curdling the cockles of your stomach
Obies, or Old Brown Sherry, has long been a South African favourite, although I first discovered it back in the day when I went away with friends on a midwinter hiking trip. After dinner around the campfire, the bottle was passed around, and everyone took a warming nip or two from it. Everyone except me. I was so thrilled with its lovely nutty taste and the way it made me find everything so charming and funny that I couldn’t stop drinking it, despite several warnings from those present. What I learnt from that is that hiking the Swellendam Trail in a driving storm on wobbly legs after being up all night puking Obies and two-minute noodles into the fynbos isn’t an experience you'd want to repeat.