Saturday, 24 April 2010

Hip Hip Hippo-ray!

I can't recall when I first decided that I needed to knit a wild animal. It's not the usual kind of craving, granted, but once the notion was in my head I knew I wouldn't be able to settle until it was done.

So here it is. It's a hippo and I knitted it.

Now it's finished I feel a sense of relief, and I'm wondering what I will next feel compelled to produce. It's very odd how these ideas come to rest in my head. If I was a regular knitter having a sudden yearning to knit an animal may not seem too out of the ordinary. The truth is that prior to the hippo I had knitted nothing more than a couple of scarves in my entire life. And one of these ended up being turned into a cushion cover when I got bored of it! The last scarf I started got no further than about 3 rows before I unpicked it and handed it to my Mum to finish - and what a brilliant job she did of it too. But, it bothered me. It bothered me that I'd been beaten. I was disappointed with myself for giving up.

When I was little I had a few violin lessons. I hated them, but I really wanted to succeed. The violin teacher decided that the violin really wasn't my forte and 'let me go' from the class. He was completely right to do so, because it was never going to happen for me, but I was so cross that I'd let a stupid little violin beat me.

A couple of years later, at a different school, the teacher asked if anyone would like to learn to play the cello. I didn't hesitate. My hand shot into the air as I realised this was the perfect opportunity for me to redeem myself, to myself. I'd show that stupid little violin a thing or two by learning to play it's bigger relation! I was never that good at it, but I played in the school orchestra. I was probably rubbish, but I didn't care. I'd proved to myself that I could do it.

Years later I still need to prove to myself that I can 'do stuff'. Although it can be inconvenient at times when these compulsions take over, I wouldn't change it at all. If I'd not given in to these notions, I would never have made a glass bead. Or abseiled from a water tower. Or knitted a hippo!

So I'm feeling nicely calm now and can tick the "Knit a Hippo" box. The desperate obsession to knit passed the moment I sewed the tail on my hippo and declared him finished, but I will definitely be knitting more regularly now.

I wonder what my next challenge will be!


Sue Doran said...

What a lovely hippo that is! I know from reading your blog that you're a big fan of elephants too and help them all you can with fundraising. I got an e-mail from the Orangutan Foundation (who I support in a similar way) about an Elephant Parade in London and I thought you'd be interested in it if you weren't already aware of it. My sister works in London, I have got her primed to send me photographs if she sees any!

Bumpy Beads said...

Hi Sue - I'm glad you like my hippo! Yes, I'm a supporter of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust & foster two orphan ele's called Makena & Shimba. I read about the Elephant Parade and would love to see them! It will be a massive boost to the Elephant Family charity, which can only be a good thing. I've just been reading you palm oil blog. That stuff is everywhere isn't it? I agree with you that it's questionable whether there ever can be such a thing as sustainable palm oil.

Caroline B said...

Well done on your hippo - very cute! I'll have a go at pretty much anything too, not always successfully!
Just love those ammonites in the previous post - I've never found one of those special 'metal' ones, only crumbly sandstone. The jewellery you made is lovely.

Sue Doran said...

Hi again, Heather, my sister has sent me some photographs of the elephants that she has spotted around the capital and I've added them to my blog for you and your readers to see!

Bumpy Beads said...

Sue - thank you ever so much for linking me to your elephant photos! I've really enjoyed looking through them all. I just wish I lived a bit closer to London, but this is the next best thing!

Laura Ramirez said...

Nice hippo you did there :)

Bumpy Beads said...

Thank you Laura!