A stitch too far?
When Lady Bracknell became enfeebled, knitting became too painful a pursuit for her, and she was forced to give it up. Gradually, over the intervening years, she has reluctantly relinquished almost all her books of knitting patterns to the local charity shop. (Although she still retains - somewhere - a copy of Melinda Coss's book of knitting patterns based on Clarice Cliff designs: should said book strike any of her regular readers as being something after which they would always have yearned had they but been aware of its existence, Lady Bracknell might be persuaded to endeavour a trip to the Post Office.)
Younger readers may not be aware that there was a great revival of the art of hand-knitting in the 1980's. Where previously the choice of yarns had been less than inspired, there was a sudden explosion on to the market of yarns in bright, rich colours and a variety of novel textures. If Lady Bracknell is not mistaken, she used to order wool by post from a supplier in the Shetland Islands, choosing the colours carefully from the charming shade card with which they had provided her.
Given that knitting was suddenly a youthful pursuit, and no longer the sole preserve of mousy women of a certain age, patterns appeared for "zany" knitted novelties such as vegetables, potted plants and jewellery knitted out of wire. Lady Bracknell herself recalls knitting a pair of duck's feet for a friend. (She hastens to add that this was done at the friend's request: it was not the aristocratic equivalent of leaving a horse's head on someone's pillow.)
Lady Bracknell was reminded of her old pastime by one of the search terms which was used yesterday to bring a reader to her humble blog. It is a search term by which she is bemused, and she hopes that one of her readers may be able to shed some light on the matter.
The search term in question is: "wheelchair knitting patterns".
As already alluded to, Lady Bracknell has created a variety of knitted novelty items in her time. But, while knitting can produce more versatile results than is often popularly imagined to be the case, it is not without its limitations. One thing knitted fabric is not is rigid. Lady Bracknell cannot but suspect that a knitted wheelchair would hardly be fit for purpose.
Lady Bracknell's second idea was that the search term might have been intended to produce patterns which can be knitted by a wheelchair user. However, while Lady Bracknell would not be at all surprised to learn that knitting while seated in a wheelchair requires an adaptation to the standard method, this surely would be an issue of technique, rather than one of specific patterns? Or are wheelchair users forbidden from knitting anything interesting, and doomed to constructing blankets to cover their knees, and capes to protect themselves from the elements?
Lady Bracknell trusts that enlightenment on this puzzling issue will shortly be forthcoming by way of Blogger's useful comments facility.