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djfleesh
Chatty Knitter

USA
144 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2002 :  2:59:28 PM  Show Profile Send djfleesh a Private Message
afternoon all:

i was talking to my sister, tracey this afternoon, and it made me think of the "knitting chain," or what i think of as my knitting heritage. i learned to knit back in my teens in the early 80's, watching my cousin karen make incredible sweaters. tracey showed me a basic knit stitch, and i was on my way. i later found out that my mom was a knitter (she's really big on baby sweaters). over the years i have always had a project or eight going. (bear with me, i am getting to it) in today's phone conversation with my sister, she told me that three winters ago, two of my cousins came to visit me, and i was (of course) knitting. shortly after that, they took up the needles, and have been at it ever since. all of that came up because over the thanksgiving vacation, tracey, and my mom both picked up the needles again, and have been at it ever since. tracey was so sweet in thanking me for inspiring her, and passed on the thanks from amy and micah (my cousins), for the same inspiration. i smiled and thought of karen, who started it in the first place for me. so, i said all that to say, let's hear from you all about how your chain was started, how many links?

fleesh

chris
Permanent Resident

USA
2463 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2002 :  4:30:47 PM  Show Profile Send chris a Private Message
My chain's pretty short! Real Simple started me knitting a bit over a year ago --though my grandmother taught me the basics about 40 years ago-- and I've taught one co-worker to knit. That's it!! But that's it for now. I'm sure as the years go by it'll get much longer! What I've noticed more is how many knitters have come out of the woodwork and/or started back knitting since I've been doing it. About 4 women in our church went back to it after seeing me knit at different parish functions, and at least 10 current knitters have stopped me to talk about knitting. I think it's more of a web than a chain!

chris

Keep on knittin', mama, knittin' those blues away!
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djfleesh
Chatty Knitter

USA
144 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2002 :  08:26:06 AM  Show Profile Send djfleesh a Private Message
hi chris:

i remember that issue of real simple! my boss saw it, knowing i am a knitter, and ripped it out for me (although i had already bronzed my own personal copy. . .ha ha)! i think it is so cool that people see you and then take it up again!

link, link, link,

fleesh

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Juanita in NZ
Warming Up

New Zealand
59 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2002 :  10:10:07 PM  Show Profile Send Juanita in NZ a Private Message
While I don't really have a strong family tradition of knitting, I remember my mother knitting when I was little and I was always fascinated with the whole process. Being left-handed I more-or-less struggled to teach teach myself to hold the needles the best way I could, as I couldn't manage it the way my mother does. I 'read' her knitting dictionary from a very young age and knitted my dolls clothes, then my own clothes. Now that I think of it, my maternal grandmother may have been a knitter, because my mother's sister (20 years younger than my mother)also knitted for her children when they were younger. I always think of knitting as something 'in the blood' because it's the only way I can explain my passion for wool and needles!

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welshladygwen@citlink.net
New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2002 :  11:15:23 PM  Show Profile Send welshladygwen@citlink.net a Private Message
I had an aunt who was an avid knitter & showed me the knit & purl which I promptly forgot. <G> I was very young & didn't appreciate her at the time... My great loss.
Then, about 4 yrs ago, I was spending much time in dr's offices & other waiting rooms & decided to take up knitting. Taught myself to knit socks. Have been an avid sock knitter since.
Am now teaching spinning & knitting classes at the local college & in my home.
I hope my dil will take up both as her babies grow [a 17 mo old girl & a baby on the way]. She will be a natural w/ EZ's methods. She hates bothering w/ patterns. <G>
Our sons didn't ever take it up, but that may change. Older son is into medieval reenactment & has begun to sew, so kilt hose may be on the horizon. LOL
Not having much of a fiber heritage, I'm determined to establish one. Yrs, Jennifer
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patt711
New Pal

32 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2002 :  01:06:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit patt711's Homepage Send patt711 a Private Message
I just learned about 1 1/2 yrs ago. We went to Ashland (a 6-hour drive) for the weekend with another couple who both knit. Websters is a great store in Ashland, so I asked Mary if she'd teach me how to knit on the way home. I began knitting with her instructions when we got in the car and 6 hours later I was almost a convert. "Almost" because I could barely move my arm for 24 hours after that! It took awhile for me to get back to it, but since then, I knit daily.
Now I'm a fanatic and have taught a few friends/colleagues to knit as well. It is habit-forming.

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mcpapac@chartermi.net
New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2002 :  01:58:27 AM  Show Profile Send mcpapac@chartermi.net a Private Message
I remember starting a knitting project when I was about 10 years old. My mother had taught me how to knit and I was determined to make a sweater. It was way over my head..Made in 3 pieces, quite fitted with a V insert in the front and back. The insert started at the bottom with a rib border and then tapered to a V at the top where it would meet the piece that made up the shoulders and sleeves, etc.

I worked on this red sweater for many, many months, ripping and reknitting but determined. When it was done I had physically developed to the point where the sweater no longer fit. How I wish it had been saved, would love to see my fanatic effort.

So warn your pre teen to choose a pattern that will fit in case she becomes well endowed in the time interval.

I did go on to knit more in later years and these days enjoy knitting socks. It is a calming hobby for me.

Pat
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danrita
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2002 :  04:49:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit danrita's Homepage Send danrita a Private Message
My Grandmother, Mom and all of her sisters were handy with needlework and crochet. But no knitters. I grew up doing embroidery work, crochet and sewing. After my Mom passed away, I needed a "mental" challenge that was also creative to help me thru the difficult following months. Knitting was just the perfect "prescription". It is calming, creative and challenging.
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Smock7
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
491 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2002 :  06:59:03 AM  Show Profile Send Smock7 a Private Message
It sounds so cool when you have friends and family that share the tradition with you! I'm the only person I know who knits! Friends watch and say, "You are so talented....will you make me a sweater?" I always smile and say, "Why don't you let me teach you to knit so we can knit together?" And, they always reply, "Oh, I could never do that....or No, I tried to learn once and I can't!" I wish I could encourage just ONE person to try so I'd have someone who 'talks the language'! Anyway, I began knitting because as a crocheter I couldn't get the great look and feel that knitting stitches provide so I purchased a book and some straight needles and plugged away until I could knit. Then I promptly went to the local knitting store (one hour and 3 towns away) and purchased a kit and circular needles. It was really nice, Tahki cotton and an Americana theme with the Statute of Liberty and Uncle Sam and fireworks! So, I went home and tried to figure it out! When I finally finished this intarsia sweater, weaving in all the ends and weaving the edges together it actually looked like a very nice sweater....so off I went to the knitting store again. I thought 'I'll have Keely, the owner and knitter, look at it and tell me what I did wrong so I can do better next time!' She laughed at me and said she never would have sold me the kit if she had known it was my first sweater! Well, it wasn't her fault, I tend to attack life like that, jumping in with two feet first and caution to the wind! I'm totally hooked and knit almost every day with six sweaters in the works and two pairs of socks!

From the Heart of Oklahoma!
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OKnitter
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
398 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2002 :  08:20:47 AM  Show Profile Send OKnitter a Private Message
Knitting is definitely in my blood. I'm not sure how far back the knitting bug started, but I've traced it back to at least my Great Grandmother. Unfortunately, it seems MY generation hasn't found much interest in knitting. I'm in my late 30's and none of my cousins or siblings knit. On the up side, my 6 year old has recently learned how to knit and REALLY seems to like it AND my 3 year old son LOVES to watch me knit and has asked for his very own set of needles and yarn.

Ana
Still trying to finish up my Christmas knitting!!!

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KnittinGranny
New Pal

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2002 :  09:03:15 AM  Show Profile Send KnittinGranny a Private Message
When I think back on my knitting life it seems like I have been knitting forever. Actually I learned to knit when I was eight and it was my ever patient Grandmother who taught me. I started out making doll clothes and scarves, but rapidly progressed to more practical things. In high school I knitted socks for my brothers, in college it was socks for the boyfriends (remember the sock patterns with the beer mugs with angora foam?) I must have done a half dozen of those. After marriage with my first pregnancy upon me I knitted baby things. Then it was stuff for my three kids as they grew. My daughter Peggy is still wearing a grey raglan cardigan from the neck down with fake buffalo nickle buttons that I made for her when she was in sixth grade. She is now 44 years old. The cardi has lots of mended spots, but is still looking nice. I think it was Spinnerin wool and nylon yarn and I even still have some of it for mending. Pays to be a pack rat, eh?

In about 1956 my Mom and I each bought a knitting machine from an ad in McCall's Needlework magazine that cost $29.95. They were simple machines that had very bady translated from Japanese manuals. Somehow between the two of us we learned how to use these things and I am still using machines although the first one went to the trash a long time ago.

Hand knitting is my fave however and a friend gave me a copy of "Knitting Without Tears" in the early seventies and that transformed my handknitting completely. I became a follower and good friend of Elizabeth Zimmermann, have attended her and now Meg Swansen's knitting camps and have never looked back except to bask in the glory of having known Elizabeth.

I am now knitting for my three grown kids and my four growing Grands and enjoying it more and more. My love of yarns and fibers has led me to spinning my own yarns and I have 109 hand spindles in my working collection and own two spinning wheels along with all the other necessary fiber working equipment. I just hope that at 68 I will have enough time to finish all the projects I have started.

Both my daughters knit and one of them spins and I am working on the Grands so there will be several to take over my "stuff" when I am all through with it.




Mary in MN
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dgrayerson@yahoo.com
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2002 :  09:35:36 AM  Show Profile Send dgrayerson@yahoo.com a Private Message
My knitting tradition doesn't go far back into my family tree. Most of the female in my family did crochet and cross stitiching for years. However, I learned to knit when I was about 10. It was in the Girls Scouts that I was taught the basics. I continued to work on it, buying myself books, and pattern until I mastered it pretty well. Since I live in the tropic it is very hard to find knitting projects that are appropriate for our hot climate. Nevertheless, I still knit sweaters and things for my family.
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arabesquelle@netscape.net
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2002 :  10:59:07 AM  Show Profile Send arabesquelle@netscape.net a Private Message
Friends,
My father fervently encouraged any and all of my various attempts at artistic creativity. I have a faint yet distinct memory of receiving as a gift from him a copy of "My Knitting Teacher" by Susan Bates, some knitting needles and, assumably, some yarn when I was about ten years old - that would be about 1964. I remember giving knitting a try, but it didn't hold my interest for long. I remember thinking, "This is kind of boring...." (can you imagine that!) and probably felt terribly guilty about it. In 2000 my father passed away and at that same time I found myself drawn to knitting due to this memory. I embraced the connection to my father, plus intuited that knitting would be a meditative activity for me. I still thought of knitting as something only one's "grandmother" did; I had no concept of knitting as the art it is and it was rather a stretch from the performing arts in my life. Regardless, I went to my LYS, bought a new copy of "My Knitting Teacher" (unfortunately, my original had disappeared in the mad dash of life) and have been hopelessly addicted to knitting from that day on. For most of us, knitting appears as a gift from the women in our lives. For me, knitting appeared as a gift from my father. He's my hero!
Blessings!
Elle
http://www.arab-esque.org
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Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4391 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2002 :  4:04:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message
I learned to knit on my own, as a sort of natural extension to weaving and spinning. No one else in my family knits, but my mother always made our clothes, and one of my sisters is a quilter. I was the "artistic" one in the family -- art classes, art college, then weaving, etc. I have a good friend who is a fantastic knitter -- I taught him to spin, and he's always there to answer my knitting questions. So far I don't think any of the next generation has taken up the needles, but maybe one day one of them will. That's why I love these forums -- I am so moved by reading about the connection that so many of you seem to have had with your foremothers.

Jane
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CatherineM
Permanent Resident

USA
3363 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2002 :  4:19:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit CatherineM's Homepage Send CatherineM a Private Message
My knitting family tree goes way back, but I think I'm the last knitter on it. My mother, grandmother and great aunts were all extremely handy with any needlework, and I learned from them, but apparently I was a fluke. None of my cousins took it up, to my knowledge, and my own daughter hasn't touched needles so far, though she occasionally expresses idle interest, she's really too busy right now to learn anything new. Maybe later it'll kick in with her.

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Laurie K
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
448 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2002 :  8:54:34 PM  Show Profile Send Laurie K a Private Message
How wonderful to think of our knitting heritage. My paternal grandmother was a knitter and my mother and aunt are very talented in many crafts so they both have inspired me. I don't recall who specifically taught me to knit but I do know that I have taught dozens of friends and acquaintances. My cousin Bette is a great knitter and I love to send her yarn. So many of my friends have taken up this great craft lately. Just today, my dear friend Nina called to say she's got the bug now too. I am so glad I love to sit with all my friends and knit!

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Bumblebee
Warming Up

Australia
62 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2002 :  04:22:35 AM  Show Profile Send Bumblebee a Private Message
My mum taught me to knit. I don't know if any one else on my mum's side knits but I know that my grandma (my dad's mum) knitted and crocheted quite a bit before her arthritis got bad. I think she pulls out the crochet hook every now and then but can only do it for limited periods. When I visit her I take my knitting and it's nice to be able to chat to her about it and ask questions.
My mum made lots of things for us when I was young, and was quite talented in a lot of crafts, not just knitting. I remember as a kid being worried about my own kids not having any clothes, as I couldn't make all the things that Mum did for us. My one attempt at knitting at that age ended with quite a few dropped stitches! Luckily for me (and my future children) she persevered has taught me again, and when I get a better hang of it, I will learn to sew.
When I was reading through the posts I noticed that it seemed to be females passing the tradition down, and was wondering if there was any male influences. It was lovely to read Elle's story of how her father had encouraged her to knit, and that she has got so much joy out of it. I don't know any male knitters myself but I think it's wonderful knowing that there are some out there
Rebecca

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cableready
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
386 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2002 :  04:47:26 AM  Show Profile Send cableready a Private Message
When I was young I remember wanting to learn to knit, but I was left-handed and my mother said she couldn't teach me. Later, in my early 30's a friend of mine was knitting and I admired what she was doing...so she offered to teach me how. I told her that I couldn't, because I was left-handed....she just laughed and said that she taught left and right-handed people in nursing homes how to knit so she could teach me too. Well, she did..and I have been knitting on-and -off for 10 years now...and love it!

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pqpatch
Seriously Hooked

USA
617 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2002 :  06:54:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit pqpatch's Homepage Send pqpatch a Private Message
Since my grandparents all had passed away when I was young I really don't know of anyone in my family past that knitted or crocheted.

I became interested when I married and saw my sister-in-laws all making crocheted items. I tried knitting in highschool but could never get the hang of it. So I tried crocheting with the help of my husband teaching me by remembering his mother crocheting. Then I attempted knitting again and this time it stuck. I have a sister that also crochets but does not knit. That is all I know of. Somewhere back there in the past I am sure I had relatives that picked up the needles.

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happyneedles
Seriously Hooked

USA
849 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2002 :  2:26:15 PM  Show Profile Send happyneedles a Private Message
About 18 years ago a friend of mine started to knit. I think she brought me to a yarn shop and I fell instantly in love! (With yarn of course!) I had to learn to knit! So another friend of ours taught me how to knit and purl and I took my new knowledge to a yarn shop and a knitter was born! This friend who taught me to knit had never made anything and was always admiring my sweaters. Many years later I'm helping her with her first project!

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bashful407
New Pal

Canada
13 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2002 :  1:40:29 PM  Show Profile Send bashful407 a Private Message
ive been knitting for 17 years and love it..my sister taught me bless her...my dad told me my grandma knitted all the time knitting socks,sweaters and 1 piece long underwear.she would only knit with wool..i wish i could have known her,but she was gone before i came along...my mama knits to but she ran out on us when i was only 4 so i dont know her...my dad knitted socks and loved it...as for me im knitting socks for the grandkids now..ive knit afghans,sweaters,dishcloths,towels and a couple little purses for the nieces..

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