My mum taught me to knit when I was four, and after making a few wonky garter stitch scarves for my teddy bears, I decided to branch out into something more adventurous. We lived in Alloa, where the Paton mills were based, and we always used to go to the mill sales to buy yarn. I selected some lovely moss green double knitting, and set out to make a scarf for an old lady that we knew.

Despite using 5mm needles, the scarf grew far too slowly for my 7 year-old patience to deal with. I must have knitted about 8 inches and then got really bored! So I decided to try to salvage the situation, and design something new with the knitting I already had.

I cast off this holey, lumpy, garter stitch mess, and sewed a seam up one side of it. This looked remotely like a hat, but it was a bit plain, so I sewed some orange and yellow yawn on it to look like flowers.

I presented the result to my mum for her birthday. She seemed very pleased, popped it on her head briefly, and then conveniently lost it. I asked her a few times why she didn’t wear it, and she always told me it was a bit warm.

Fast forward 15 years and I found “the hat” in her bedroom drawer. We both had a good laugh at how truly appalling it was – no wonder she never wore it! But that early knitting experience sparked off my interest in design, and I now sell my patterns online and have them published in magazines – no holey hats nowadays though!

Posted by: Torya Winters