Monday, January 23, 2017


With six decades plus of life behind me on the planet Earth, I think I can look back fondly and with amusement at life during my childhood and my growing years.Shimla, my hometown used to have heavy snowfall year after year so much so that Wool, woollens and knitting by hand with needles was a way of life.
There were quite a few shops selling exclusively wool yarn of different colours and kinds and well before the winters set in, there was huge rush of customers, mostly women , who purchased wool yarn to knit sweaters and socks for winters to ward off cold.
Wool mostly came in 'guchhis' or 'attis' and as far as my personal experience goes, it was left for us kids to make the yarn into balls to facilitate knitting.We were too happy doing this under instructions not to wrap the yarn too tight.
The balls having been made, knitting was started with needles bearing numbers anything 7 to12 depending on the thickness of knit one wanted. The thickness of the needles decreased with the increase in number digit.The 12 number needle was used mostly for knitting 'gala' or neck as it required thin border.
Knitting a full sleeve sweater for a grown up person was a big project taking a lot of time as knitting was done in spare time left after finishing all other daily household chores.On bigger neighbourhood, women would sit together talking and knitting while basking the sun.
Ladies would volunteer to knit 'palla' or 'bazoo' so that the sweater was ready in time. Though done on reciprocal basis, this nevertheless was a gesture of mutual cooperation, kindness , goodwill and camaraderie, rarely seen now.Each household had to have sufficient number of sweaters and socks to keep every member of the family warm.The ladies, mostly housewives were intelligent enough to copy patterns from wherever they could by a mere look.
Gone are the good old days as hand knitting has taken a backseat.The readymades have taken over and flooded the market in big way.Knitting was a symbol of love and care that the lady of the house showered on other members of the family.
The good old days !

1 comment:

  1. Please could you help me. I will be in Shimla next week and wondered if there are any knitting shops left in Shimla.
    Many thanks