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Minnie's Mate
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2002 :  10:33:12 AM  Show Profile Send Minnie's Mate a Private Message
Yes Rebecca, there are men who knit.

Shortly after we married, my wife decided she wanted to learn to knit before we started a family. She bought a book, some needles and yarn. She's a lefty and the book only had directions for right handed knitting. She couldn't figure it out and became frustrated.

One night after she went to bed, I decided to look at the directions. I am a very graphically oriented person so the diagrams made more sense to me than they did to my wife. I decided to try one of the basic projects in the book. It was a scarf. So each night after my wife went to bed I would practice knitting on this scarf.

After completing the scarf, I bought a pamplet that had directions for left handed knitting. I learned the method that turned out to be the continental/German method. When I thought I was good enough to teach my wife, I told her that I had learned left handed so I could teach her. She looked at my scarf and watched me knit for about four or five stitches and said, "Huh, ok." and she never has shown any interest in knitting after that.

I have a touch of arthritis in my hands and I noticed that knitting helped keep my fingers limber. At the time we were living in an apartment and I didn't have any place for a shop so I continued the knitting as a hobby. I have knitted a couple of sweaters that didn't turn out right. The gauge was right on my swatch, but when I finished, the width was right but the length was way too long or if the lenght was right, the width was way too big. I decided to try afgans since size wasn't so crucial. I made a really beautiful afgan called "The Holly and the Ivy". I got this pattern from one of my wife's magazines; Woman's Day or something like that. This pattern was for circular needles. It was very complicated and really tried my patience.

Since we moved into our home six years ago, I stopped knitting for a couple of years but started back a couple of years ago to help with my fingers. I only knit when it is too cold to work in my shop building.

I have also made a really nice afgan that is large enough for a king sized bed. I used the moss blanket stitch pattern and #15 needles and it still took me nearly five months to complete the field. I still have to find a boarder for it, but other than that it is complete. I have received complements on it from the few family members that know I knit.

I tried a cardigan pattern last winter, but again it was way to large. This year, I started a new afgan for our family room. I am limited to the acrylic yarn that is sold at Walmart, Jo Ann Fabrics or Michaels. I would have liked to use some really soft yarn for this, but I just can't find it locally. I am using a pattern similar to the moss blanket stitch and #8 needles. I am nearly half finished and it is turning out nice. I don't know what kind of boarder to use, though. I found the stitch pattern I liked and cast on the number of stitches required for the width and just started knitting.

I found that the best way to cast on stitches for me is to knit my stitches onto a needle that is 2 sizes up from the needles I will use for the project and switch to the appropriate needles after the first row.

My five year old has asked me to teach him. But I think I will wait a couple of years and see if he is interested, or just wants to do what I am doing.

I also want to try a sweater for him and one for our two year old son. Any suggestions on making the demensions work right? I would appreciate any advice from all of you seasoned knitters. Thanks.
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sandra2340@surfbest.net
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2002 :  08:37:43 AM  Show Profile Send sandra2340@surfbest.net a Private Message
My knitting heritage comes from my motherís side of the family. When my grandfather was in England, during wartime they knitted for the troops. I believe he knitted hats and scarves. He moved to New Zealand, marrying my grandmother who became a professional knitter, winning lots of awards there. My memories of her always involve the steady clicking of needles. She was never seen without her knitting, except in her last couple of years as she injured her shoulder and could no longer knit. Try as they might, my grandmother, mother and aunts couldnít get me to do more than knit and purl by the time we moved to the US when I was 6 years old. The years went by, I moved across the states, away from my immediate family and I never got back to New Zealand until just after my grandmother passed away. The only thing I wanted was her knitting paraphernalia and books. That was not a problem because my aunts and cousins all had their own equipment. One of my aunts in New Zealand even raises sheep, spins the wool and knits it up! Just a couple of years before my grandmotherís passing, a female co-worker was knitting for physical therapy after she had a car accident. I asked her if she could help me follow a pattern as all I could still do at age 26 was knit and purl, I had never made anything or followed a pattern. I was just getting the hang of it when she got transferred and I had to try to figure out how to fix my mistakes myself. When I finally got that down, after numerous rip-outs and my male co-workers just shaking their heads, I was on my way to bigger and better things. I am glad that I got the chance to somehow bond with my grandmother and other relatives though knitting and her final letter to me was that she was glad I took up knitting seriously. I have since tried to teach my daughter, but she will probably take after me and not do it until later in life. As it is, she is 22 and just now getting serious about sewing, something all my relatives also do quite well. My mother is an artist and my daughter has inherited that ability as well. They say talents skip a generation. I hope so because thereís (almost) nothing I enjoy more than knitting (except yarn shopping, I have enough to open my own shop and I would like to one day). I have taught a couple of my husbandís relatives to knit and tried to inspire co-workers and friends. Maybe one day they will knit and think of where their knitting heritage started. In the meantime, I am now knitting for my grandson and granddaughter and hope to be able to teach them when they are ready to learn.
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Carolyn
Chatty Knitter

USA
284 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2002 :  9:11:12 PM  Show Profile Send Carolyn a Private Message
quote:

I am limited to the acrylic yarn that is sold at Walmart, Jo Ann Fabrics or Michaels.



Have you tried Lionbrand's Homespun? I found it to be quite soft.
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KNITCHICK
New Pal

USA
37 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2002 :  6:46:22 PM  Show Profile Send KNITCHICK a Private Message
wow, what wonderful stories. my great grandma was a fabulous knitter, and my grandma a crocheter. my mom being a leftie and finding no interest in either form of needle work, allowed it to skip a generation. last spring my dad was ill, and i had to go to upstate ny for a couple of months to help out mom and dad. my dearest childhood friend, whom i stayed with while their, happens to own a knitting store. after numerous discussions about "knitting being only for old ladies", she convinced me to give it a try. my dghtr was with me for the first class, and she is sort of working at it, i on the other hand always have several projects going at once. my greatest compliment was while completing a hat and scarf for my girlfriend in colorado as an early xmas present, a lady who walked in the lys, asked me if it was for sale.my friend loved the hat and scarf so much that she let me show her how to knit as well! yesterday, while buying some knitting merchandise, the owner of the store said "i keep forgetting you are a beginner, b/c you've worked on so many different kinds of things". so, my legacy is short but i hope that i will be able to pass it on to many friends and family.
the stories in this posting are heartwarming!
thanks for sharing,
melanie

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Minnie's Mate
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2003 :  11:08:05 PM  Show Profile Send Minnie's Mate a Private Message
quote:
Have you tried Lionbrand's Homespun? I found it to be quite soft.


I don't think I have seen it in the local stores. I think I would like to try a Marino type wool for my next project but I don't know where to find it and how to select the appropriate quantity. There are so many sources on the internet that I am totally lost about purchasing on-line.

Guidance would be appreciated.
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