Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Always wear your helmet…

And other things I’ve learnt about cricket (and knitting!)

Rule 1: Helmets are good!

(A cricket helmet. Nothing glamorous, does exactly what it says on the tin...)

Have you ever been hit in the head with a cricket ball? Possibly not, but I have and let me tell you, it hurts! So now whenever I’m batting, I’m sure to always use a helmet. I think this applies to knitting too. I mean when you think about it, we should all probably wear hats a lot more. They do so much good for us. Be it protecting you from the sun, or protecting you from the cold, for weddings or for funerals, in the shower or even just wearing around the house…there are few times in life when a hat is inappropriate! And so my first advice to any novice (or not so novice) knitters and crocheter’s out there is MAKE A HAT! It doesn’t have to be fancy, just functional and it’s a great first project which can be worn over and over again! Easy right?!

Rule 2: A good cricket bat makes a big difference (and is great for killing zombies!)

( Here we see a demonstration of excellent swing technique...)

Having a well suited cricket bat really helps you improve your batting and is essential for getting your ball to go further. The same thing can be applied to you knitting needles and crochet hooks. FIND THE RIGHT ONES FOR YOU.

This could mean that you might need to save up a little to buy it, but the rewards are limitless. Finding the metal or plastic hard on your hands? Have you considered bamboo? Can’t get the right grip on your hook? Why not try adding a pencil grip to the hook for extra comfort. Speaking as someone on the ultimate budget (for the curious it’s more commonly known as ‘being a student’) I find that little and lots often is better than large amounts. I often find that if I can save up just £1 a week, I can either afford to get that nice crochet hook I’ve been wanting, or a pretty skein of yarn at the end of the month!

Rule 3: Wear the correct kit!

(Nicky Johnston, showing us just how good kit can look...)

Unsurprisingly to many, cricket kit isn’t the most glamorous of sporting attire. (I mean really white trousers?) But I have found that SMALL CHANGES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. For example, wearing a sports bra, as well as wearing some shorts underneath the trousers really makes a difference…now the only people who know that my underwear might be blue is the people I tell, they can’t actually see it.

Knitting and crochet is similar in that respect. If the pattern is calling for you to knit with 4mm needles and dk weight wool to achieve a gauge of 5x5 stitches per inch (ok not true to life but stick with me!) and you find your only achieving 4x5 then it’s ok to change the needle size…or the wool for that matter. Everybody has different tension, be it in knitting or in crochet and more often than not the patterns (particularly if they are written by big brand companies) will have been worked out using maths, rather than actually have test knitters and taking averages (I know, crazy right?) So sometimes it might mean a slight change in wool or needle, but trust me it’s worth it!

Rule 4: Get your runs in!


In cricket you have two batters, one at either end of the field, each time one of them hits the ball they get runs which equal more points…with me so far? ‘But how does this relate to knitting?’ I hear you ask. Ah well, this is the clever bit! If the batters happen to not make it to the other end, he’s out. That’s it. Do not pass go. Do not collect £200 etc etc.

Ok, it’s a stretch, I know. But CRICKET RUNS ARE A LOT LIKE LIFELINES IN KNITTING, YOU NEED THEM TO SUCCEED! When lace knitting for the first time particularly with something that requires concentration, I cannot emphasise enough how useful lifelines are! Don’t know what a lifeline is? Well this fantastic video explains it! (of course there are many others out there too!) Lifelines will ensure you always ‘get your runs in’ so to speak, you can’t get bowled, run or caught out. If you make a mistake, you can always fix it, go back to where you were and still be good!


('Nuff said!)

See you next time!
Ali x

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