I interviewed Debbie Bliss once. To the uninitiated amongst you, she is the Nigella of knitting – without all that pouting and finger licking. Way back then, Ms Bliss had just opened her first shop in London’s Islington. My job was to talk to her about the latest trend for supermodels to knit between takes on fashion shoots. Being five foot nothing and a non-knitter, I decided my editor had been on too long a lunch….
I arrived at the shop bedraggled, having walked (an unknown activity in London) all the way from St Pancras train station. I’d been up since the crack of dawn, it was the darkest depths of the new millennium and I was recovering from flu. However, the moment I walked over the threshold was like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia. Here was a world of colours, textures and patterns I never knew existed.
Debbie made me a huge mug of tea and we talked. And talked. And talked. She was so easy to get on with and when I confessed I couldn’t knit, offered to teach me right there and then. I was way too embarrassed and it’s now one of my major regrets, up there with marrying the wrong man and my hair being like cat fur.
Twelve years later, after my knitting-mad mum died, I took her needles in my hand and decided I was going to learn to do the knit one, purl one thing.
So I did. It’s not easy. It’s not cheap. But it is my therapy and means I get to hold hands with my mum again. That’s bliss.