Image Details: ‘Womble’ by pigpogm, via Flickr

The Wombles of Wimbledon did a mean line in tidying up. Cutting around the Common, collecting and recycling other people’s rubbish: what better way to encourage a generation of children to keep their rooms spick and span? Created by author Elisabeth Beresford, Wombles live in every country in the world, with burrows mentioned at Loch Ness, Yellowstone Park and the Khyber Pass (bet it’s a bit sporty round there!) and the main burrow being at Wimbledon Common. Below a certain age, Wombles are nameless, but when they come of age, they select their name from Uncle Bulgaria’s atlas. At this point, I am fairly tempted to get out the atlas and choose myself a Womble name, however I do have a blog post to finish, so I might save that for another day.

A very little known fact about Wombles, or one Womble in particular, is that he lives at Shinybees HQ. Well, he isn’t an actual Womble, he’s a Shetland Sheepdog, and, as in the book ‘Wombling Free’, he could be described as ‘short, fat and furry’.

Never been to Wimbledon, no good at tidying up.

Image Copyright Shinybees

A bit of OCD would go a long way!

Mr Shinybees has several foibles, one of which is a mild to moderate case of OCD. He likes things to be tidy. Very tidy. As in pens orientated north-south, ironing underwear, all socks in nice pairs with the smiley face upwards and arranged in colour and size order from left to right tidy. I, on the other hand, despite several years of military service, work on the organised chaos theory: what looks like a complete mess to the untrained eye is actually a sophisticated and complex filing system, which allows me to locate any bit of yarn or equipment at a moment’s notice.

One huge exception to this is my knitting needle bag. I have a vintage knitting bag that I found on eBay, which is the same as the one my Granny used to have when I was small and which unfortunately disappeared before I managed to lay claim to it. I keep all my needles in this bag, and because I tend to have several projects on the go at once (damn you, criminally short attention span) I also have several pairs of each size of needle. These are known as the ‘dead people needles’ by one of the Stitchettes, as I got them all from the local charidee shops. I’m a big fan of charity outlets – you can find lots of ‘vintage’ stuff at a fraction of the eBay ‘vintage’ price (but that’s another story), it’s recycling and you are helping a charity at the same time! Unfortunately, a bag full of knitting implements seems to have its own brand of physics which defies the Shinybees tidying chaos theory. I have had several knitting rage incidents attributable in toto to being unable to locate the second needle of the pair and the inability to find a stitch holder almost triggered a major diplomatic incident!

Luckily for me, I have a very organised friend, who kindly took it upon herself to sort this issue out for me before I gave myself an aneurism and made me a gorgeous project bag and needle roll. I believe the pattern for this came from the Cath Kidston ‘Sew’ book, which I had bought for her for a Christmas or Birthday present. It’s crafty giving gone full circle!

Bag and needle roll

No needle for rage!

I keep my current favourite wip and the needles the pattern calls for in here along with my yarn cutters, tape measure, UnnyCount and sewing up needles for easy access and minimal yarn-based rage. It also looks very cool if I am partaking in a little knitting in public, which I will, of course, be doing soon for Worldwide Knit in Public Day or, as I prefer to see it, ‘Knit in Pub’. Gin, anyone?

Off to the Common

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