Remona Aly
Wednesday 15 May 2024 Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2

A saga of success in an ewok hood

Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2, Zoe Ball Breakfast Show

The saga of success in an ewok hood


Lately, I’ve been initiated into a hardcore gang of women who meet every week in my local patch, to delve into the shady underworld of knitting. My new thug life has seen these sisters of stitch whip out circular needles and brandish balls of yarn, as they ruthlessly knit stripy socks, ranunculus jumpers, and all manner of gear.

I’m no pro in the knitting game, yet I pledged to knit a keepsake when my youngest niece was born. It’s taken longer than expected – she’s nearly three years old. A friend had bought me a Star Wars knitting book, but decoding an Ewok hood pattern has launched a series of pitfalls for an eternal beginner like me.

I’ve dropped multiple stitches, got tangled up, and knitted in the wrong direction. I had planned to finish the Ewok hood all by myself, but the truth is I’ve been helped – or rescued – each step of the way by my guardian yarn-angels.

I believe that any success I earn is carried in the hands of others. Every win, every milestone, every move forward has been reinforced with the fibres of support from those willing me on through all my falls, weakness and hesitation.

When my confidence dwindled after comparing myself to other writers, a friend told me, “Remember, no one else has your voice”, and helped me raise my pen again. When kinder eyes saw promise where I saw failing, they spurred me from caution to courage, turning my words from, “I can’t”, to “I know I can”.

“There is a community of the spirit.” says Rumi, the 13th century Muslim poet, mystic and scholar. “Open your hands if you want to be held… Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking… Flow down and down in always widening rings of being.”

Although I am full of flaws, just like my Ewok hood, each dropped stitch in life has been picked up by a tribe of well-wishers who’ve stretched my world wider.

As for my nearly three year old niece, I hope she’ll come to know that many hands, not just mine, have shaped my gift to her. For it takes a community to raise a person, a collective to carry them, and an entire village to knit an Ewok hood.

To listen, click here Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2, Zoe Ball Breakfast Show