Good morning blind wisdom seekers

If you are anything like me, you would think that knitting was the domain of the sighted. Wrong! I thought the same until I decided to pick my needles up a few months ago and was very surprised to discover that it was like learning to ride a bike. Once learned, never forgotten! So when I was involved in a leadership programme through the Blind Foundation in February this year, we had to come up with a group goal. The knitters of the programme got very excited and put their needles in the air and said “pick us!” We decided to knit Highlander (our local rugby team) coloured baby beanies for the prem babies at our local hospital. 15 of course, one for each member of a rugby team!

After choosing the right coloured wool with a sighted volunteer, I sat down with my needles and began knitting. With two needles, the first one firmly under one arm, the second needle roamed more freely in my other hand. I began casting on. First I made a loop with my fingers and poked the first needle through the hole of that loop, pulling the wool tight to get my first stitch. Then I pulled the stray end of wool behind that first stich which was on the first needle and then poked the second knitting needle through that space, pulled the wool around the second needle and then pulled the second needle through, at the same time pulling the wool through to create another loop. I then lifted that loop over the first needle and pulled tight. I had two stitches on my first needle now! I repeated that process, adding another 71 stitches to then begin knitting.

It took three of us three months to complete the beanies and on Monday we got the opportunity to meet some Highlanders and hand the beanies over to NICU which felt great. What really felt great though was returning to a craft that I learned as a girl and doing something I thought I couldn’t do! That’s very empowering!

The 10 things my senses are grateful for this week are:

1 the smell of the matches that we lit at Pleasance’s on Sunday when we lit candles as we chose our angel cards! I got the Angel of Tenderness!

2 the taste of Earl Grey tea that I had a pot of on Sunday for afternoon tea!

3 the sound of Sebastian getting ultra excited as he viewed the Birthday cake book! For a young man who doesn’t get animated, I’ve certainly worked out what gets him going! Novelty birthday cakes! Ha!

4 the feel of Brad Thorn’s hand on Monday as he shook mine! Wow!

5 the feeling of Brad Thorn leaning in behind like it was a scrum as we had our photo taken with baby Caylibin NICU at Dunedin Public Hospital!

6 the feel of the Highlander baby beanies as the photographer from the Otago Daily Times passed them all around!

7 the sound of one of our blind knitters, Janice, as she spoke to the local TV station! Go Janice!

8 the taste of the celebratory rice ball I ate for lunch afterwards!

9 the feel of more wool to knit more Highlander beanies!

10 the taste of Mum’s fried chicken we had for tea! Num num num!

I may not see, but I can smell

And taste and touch and listen

And when I do this every day

I find my optimism!