Sunday, September 21

Who taught you to knit?

I remember pretty clearly learning to knit with my mom. We would spend weekends down-the-shore in Long Beach Island, New Jersey during Sept/Oct weekends. All my memories of these weekends involved board games and some sort of craft. My mom worked full time and her idea of craft meant a really fun kit of some kind (think Pot-Holder Loops). My mom did not knit but something must have inspired her to get some red white and blue yarn (duh, it was 1976) and make me the most god awful sweater you can imagine. I must have liked it too because I wore it to my school picture day to have it immortalized.

During this patriotic sweater making time, my mom taught me to knit. I didn't really take to it but always wished I had. It was only in my mid twenties that I picked up the needles again and like riding a bicycle, it all came back to me, however slowly.

Do you remember learning to knit? Maybe you were taught at school, or by a member of your family? Perhaps you learned to knit later in life? Did you find it easy or a struggle? Tell me your stories about how you learned to knit.


Jennifer said...

I bought the supplies to start knitting before my first nephew was born 7 years ago. The pattern was the one on the yarn skein wrapper, and was quite complicated. I bought a Learn to Knit book, but didn't get very far.

A year or so after that, I decided I wanted to learn to knit again. I just couldn't figure out what to do looking at the pictures in the book. I showed it to my husband, and he picked up the needles and just started to go (I've since read it's easier for men to figure out schematic type drawings). It was easier for me to figure out what to do watching him. We each knit a beginner's slipper from the book. His looked waaaay better than mine, lol. Since then, I kept knitting and he is back to home repair and more "manly" endevaors.

Orange Girl said...

I can't remember exactly when I learned - but I must've been 6 or 7. My mum knitted some, but it was mostly my grandmothers back then - they made us amazing aaron & bobbled jackets, dress/knicker/bonnet/bootie sets for our dolls, pom pom hats etc. I was first shown how to knit by Mum's mother, she was Danish so I was taught the Danish way (holding the wool in the left hand, not the right) so was watched with much curiosity by other school friends and their mothers when I 'knitted funny'. I liked knitting a lot and was very patient with it, my knit rows were always very tight, and purl very loose but after a year or so I realised that my other grandmother knitted the 'normal' way and she seemed to go much faster so I spent hours on the couch next to her when they visited copying her and eventually taught myself to knit in the normal style - with much better results! To this day I think I still cast on and increase Danish style, but everything else normal style. I can't remember the specifics of what I was knitting as a kid - blankets for my doll's cot, crocheting coin purses and table mats but I'm sure that before I went to high school I'd knitted my first jersey for myself - a really hideous green, pink and royal blue fluffy crew neck - those colours were big at the beginning of the 80's! I've knitted on and off most of my life but I probably stopped doing it regularly in my mid 20's and only picked it up again about 4 years ago (almost 10 years on) when I was having a particularly stressful time at work - one day I got home and in the mail there was a ball of wool, knitting needles, and a pattern for a kid's toy with a note from my mother that said "perhaps you need to find something else to do other than work" and I haven't stopped since.

Sprocket said...

I was taught by my mom's best friend--a woman of immense energy and enthusiasm who also had a masters in economics and told tales of sitting in her grad school classes knitting away. She was the person who encouraged me to apply to those fancy east coast "reach" colleges, who gave me one share of USAirways stock on my 12th birthday and took me to meet with her stockbroker.

She was a stay-at-home mom and the first model of a non-stepford one I had ever known. She taught me to knit when I was 11 or so. I put it down for years and didn't take it up again until I had a crush on a boy in college. By then, she was losing her battle with breast cancer.

As a stay at home mom who has put her career on hold myself, I think of her often--especially when knitting. She wasn't much older than I am now when she taught me to knit and I wish I still had her as a friend and mentor.

~Whirlsie~ said...

My mum taught me to knit when I was 6 - she was always knitting cable jumpers (sweaters) and I don't know why, but I always wanted to learn.

And I havent stopped!!

Up until I was about 13 I was knitting tea cosys, mittens, bags, etc then I decided I would start knitting the Jean Greenhowe Dolls - I didnt stop until I was 22 when all of a sudden I had all of these dolls, and no idea what to do with them all!

I am now 24 and have won a few awards for my knitting, taught quite a few people how to as well, and as most of my friends are having children now, I am spending a lot of my time knitting baby things :)