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Annie knitting - ink and watercolour

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Cast Off A Loop (extract)

(For Annie Henry, Emma Isbister, Alice Johnson)

One year, the whole of Scalloway had snow,
Nae flittings until the beautiful summer came;
Annie's father cut her a belt to makk from;

Emma is casting off a loop, starting again
From the beginning; Alice holds patterns
In the mind: there's naebody knits like this,
Yon's a dying art; it's terrible sad;

Spread it back, set the light,
Set so triangles come in the middle,
A scallop, the new shell,
A wave, the old shell:
And yon's a rose leaf.

Knitting belts worn, wires at an angle -
Women must hae a free hand for other work:
In the stoor of the past, they'd have
Kishies full of peat on their backs...
Still they're makkin, makkin...
If there are mair loops
Than should be a wave,
If the knitting's noe right -
It's only an eyesore,
Take it back, spret it back...

Annie never changes her tongue,
Even for a lass afore she was a seed,
Her hands are skating the wires this morning,
And now she is spretting it back...

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