Beowulf

23rd December 2011 | Daily Life, Inspirations | 1 comment

Edinburgh CastleComing back from Edinburgh on the train, I was sitting next to a girl who was knitting something very intricate on four slender knitting needles. She was following a pattern so complicated that she had to pause every other stitch and consult it. Eventually I asked what she was doing.

‘I’m making my Mum’s Christmas present’, she replied. ‘It’s a pair of long socks with the opening lines of ‘Beowulf‘ knitted into them. I’ve been at it since May! My Mum loves Beowulf.’ I looked closer and saw that, indeed, the socks were covered with tiny words in Old English script. To make it even more impressive, the basic colour of the socks was a kind of oatmeal, with the tiny letters standing out in a delicate mushroom brown, so the effect was subtle unless you knew what you were seeing.

After I had realised that an artwork was unfolding in front of me, I couldn’t concentrate on my book, but had to keep sneaking a look at the tiny Anglo-Saxon words as they emerged from the gently clicking needles. I don’t remember when I last saw anything so skilful.

1 Comment

  1. Alison

    Totally fabulous! If anyone comes across a knitting pattern incorporating the Greek opening line of Pindar’s Second Olympian Ode, can they let me know? (Mittens if at all possible, but am willing to compromise with woolly hat …).

    Reply

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