Parry Pink Pants

28 Apr 2021

One thing I’m certain about is that we all can remember at least one teacher from our school days. It may be that this teacher was inspirational, or commanded respect or perhaps even instilled fear in pupils. And what about the nicknames we gave them! We had a Physics teacher known as Ducky (he’d been out for a duck in a staff cricket match),a Biology teacher called Dai Buzz (he was the school’s beekeeper) and a History teacher we named Wally (as in walrus). I’d like to tell you about one of my Primary School teachers, Parry Pink Pants (so called as she would bring her washed pink bloomers to dry on the classroom radiators). Her nickname is forever lodged in my brain and she did inspire me but maybe not in the way you might expect.

Miss Parry was very strict, rarely smiled or gave praise and seemed really old to a child of seven. As well as teaching us the three Rs, as they were known in the 1960s, she also did Art with us one afternoon a fortnight, alternating with Crafts.

One of the first things we learned was how to knit garter stitch. Her method was to get us to chant “in- yarn over- under the needle -off” after she had demonstrated on large needles in front of the class. She then left us to our own devices and, as we were too scared to ask her for help, she was able to get on with her own knitting.

As any of you who are knitters know, it is easy to knit twice into the same stitch which is exactly what I did. Before long my ten stitches had become twenty. So I decided to drop a few stitches which then gave my already misshapen piece of knitting some holes. Ever eagle -eyed, Parry Pink Pants called me up to the front of the classroom, and made me hold my knitting up to show my classmates.They laughed and I cried.

But it got even worse. She sent me, along with a classmate who’d produced a beautiful square piece of knitting, to show another teacher, young Miss Parry. Although she had pupils in her class, she did not make me show my knitting to them but kindly said I needed some more practice.

As soon as I got home, I asked my mum to show me how to knit properly as I was determined never to be ridiculed again.Consequently I was able to knit myself a jumper by the age of 10 and am now an accomplished knitter, with family and friends asking me to knit for them.

So I thank Parry Pink Pants for making me the knitter I am today!


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