Woolly Ink

With a dissertation proposal due yesterday and only two weeks until exams, my knitting exile continued last week as I was forced to dedicate all free time to studying. I spent my days floundering helplessly in a sea of paperwork and despairing at the lack of woolly things in my life; willing the weekend to arrive when I would at least be allowed a break to venture out to Yarn Shop Day.

Luckily, my week would not be completely devoid of all things woolly: it just wasn’t going to come in the conventional form. Instead of spending hours working on a knitting project stitch by stitch, I economised and spent only an hour and a half on Thursday evening getting this amazing tattoo done. It may have taken only a fraction of the time that it might have taken to knit a pair of socks or mittens, but the end result is just as beautiful albeit in a completely different way.

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I had been thinking about a knitting related tattoo for quite some time. Knitting has become such a big part of who I am over the past few years: I am rarely without a ball of wool and a pair of needles; I always have a knitting project on the go. People expect me to get my knitting out wherever I am; close friends and family no longer bat an eyelid. I knitted my way through my wedding last year, and the many knitted accents made the day feel like ‘me’. A knitting tattoo just felt like a natural thing to do. And I’m not the only one who feels this way: a quick Google search throws up knitting related tattoos of all shapes and sizes, from full stockinette stitch sleeves, to dainty little balls of wool tucked away on ankles or wrists; from knitting pattern abbreviations, to toe, gusset and cuff markers for sock knitting tattooed directly onto feet.

Mine was done by Tomasz Wrobel at Rebel Ink in Aberdeen. Whilst Tomasz tattooed, we talked about our love for our respective crafts. I told him about my love of knitting and how I wished that I had more time to knit; and my dream of having my own knitting shop. He told me about his love of fine art, and about the art gallery he owns, where he’d like to work full time and dedicate more time to painting.

There’s something quite sad about the fact that everyone seems to have something they really love doing that they wish they could dedicate more time to. Maybe one day that will change for me, if I’m really lucky. But, for now, I’m content to continue carrying my latest knitting project with me everywhere I go, fitting in the odd stitch and row wherever I can; with my love of knitting hidden up my sleeve (or, more specifically, on the back of my left arm).

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