I’m reviewing footage from inside the Peter Scott factory tonight. I have a headache, which I’m not sure is because of my damaged glasses, or too much coffee today.
One video, which I made in the old offices of the main Peter Scott building – the part on Buccleuch Street – features me hand-knitting. It feels appealing to watch right now, possibly only because of the longing for it to be shorts weather again, after the damp, cold day it’s been today. I’m still wearing my scarf as I type this, and watching the muscles in my bare arm move to make the sleeve of a jumper is a nice feeling of work and progress. I’ve worn that jumper a few times this winter; it’s Icelandic wool, which is beautiful, but itchy, so requires a cold day and a thick shirt to wear.
I wonder how many hand-knitters there are in the town, compared with the number of machine knitters employed here today. How many hand-knitters who used to be collar-linkers or finishers or dyers? Have the fine cashmere jumper makers have turned into acrylic baby cardigan knitters?
Watching it further, I wonder about the inhabitants of the office. I seem to remember having a rummage in the desk, and reckoning it was the office of someone fairly important in the company, even towards the end. There are a few offices with the panelling still there, modern blinds fitted, and paperwork scattered around the place. Calendars in all of the offices from 2016, are starting to curl at the edges, and take on a grey texture of dust. I’m not sure how the dust gets in. The windows haven’t been cleaned in at least two years, a layer of A-road street grime filtering the sunlight, and there’s a faint smell of damp. It’s cool, but not cold in there, so the sunshine must have got in at some point in the day.