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WinterSong
Chatty Knitter

USA
122 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2003 :  5:12:18 PM  Show Profile Send WinterSong a Private Message
I started knitting when my daughter (now 26) was a baby. My husband
and I lived in a two family house (we rented upstairs) and the girl
downstairs was English. I'd go down and visit with her every so
often as she had a little boy. Well, she would walk about with the
yarn under her arm, just knitting away socks. So I said, wow-could
you teach me to knit? So I got some needles, some white yarn and I
made a baby sweater. Of course, I was at her door many times yelling
HELP! but the sweater came out nice. I did make some things for
myself after that. Not long after they moved, and we lost touch.
Somehow I put knitting down for quite some time, took up some
crocheting years later, and now have fallen in love with knitting
once again. So I am now making a baby sweater. My second - but it
has been sooo long ago I sort of consider it my first again! I do
want to really stick with it and learn this time! It is a wonderful
pasttime.

Connie

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mahoneg
New Pal

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2003 :  4:56:11 PM  Show Profile Send mahoneg a Private Message
Boy has this set me to thinking!! I think I first learned to knit in the 6th grade in order to get a Girl Scout's merit badge (or whatever they're called). ONce the badge was earned, I didn't pick it up again until high school, when a friend of my Mom's helped me make a sweater for my Dad (which ended up going to my Uncle as it was miles to big for Dad. Gauge?? What's that??). Once in college in VT, that was it--hooked for life. Have been interrupted tho, quilting has become a passion--but the opening of a fantastic new yarn store in my area has completely reinspired me.

Great topic!!
Beth

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lizknit
Permanent Resident

USA
1179 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2003 :  9:49:45 PM  Show Profile Send lizknit a Private Message
My mother is English and learned to knit before she could walk (or so she says). My grandmother was one of the world's great knitters; in fact, I still have and wear a beautiful cabled sweater she made for me when I was a teenager--a long time ago. I guess knitting is in the genes because my mother taught me when I was very young--about 5 or 6. The first project that I remember starting and finishing on my own (more or less) was a mint green scarf. My Mom is 83 and still knitting although she tends to do simpler stitches than she did when she was younger.

Liz
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JoyLinn383
Sustaining Member

USA
124 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  07:35:04 AM  Show Profile Send JoyLinn383 a Private Message
My grandmother taught me when I was young but it didn't take. I forgot how until 3 years ago. I was doing a lot of crocheting baby afghans and things. I happened to stop into my LYS in Clarkston, MI just to check out the yarns. The owner suggested that I might like to try a knitting class for something different and I was hooked!
When my grandmother passed away in March, I went through her stash and kept all the vintage patterns she had and some handwritten ones on 3x5 cards that she had also written who she'd knitted it for and what yarn she used. I have taken up her duty of making sure that each new baby born in our church has it's own "feather and fan" afghan.

Joy Linn
'A Joyful Heart is Like Good Medicine'
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jade
Permanent Resident

USA
1543 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  10:02:13 AM  Show Profile Send jade a Private Message
Like so many of you, my mother taught me to knit. I think I was around 4 or 5. When I was six, I was in school and we had some kind of handcrafts class. Our first project was a knitted cap, in a 2 x 2 rib. I cast on (long-tail) and started, only to have a teacher reprimand me for the way I had done the cast on. She insisted I start again and do it her way - I don't know what it's called, you knit one, slip the stitch to the left needle and repeat.

When I got home my mother was furious, ripped it all out and made me redo it for the *third* time! So at 6 I was introduced to the frog pond. I finished the cap and also a pair of bootees. And never looked back. My mother made sweaters for all the family and expected me to help, so I knitted for my brothers as well as myself. She also taught me to sew, crochet and embroider, all of which I used in making doll clothes.

That was all many, many years ago. I've made more sweaters than I can remember, knitted lace tablecloths and runners, crocheted afghans. I've paid my dues. So now knitting is my hobby, something I do for fun in my scant leisure time. I still think of my mother every time I cast on and hope she's smiling because I use the technique she taught me.

Cheryl

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mowglizmom
New Pal

4 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  10:56:54 AM  Show Profile Send mowglizmom a Private Message
I started knitting about 2 years ago, when I was unemployed, saddened by the events of 9/11 and needing to "nest." I've been able to knit mittens, hats, scarves and the Fiber Trends Felted CLogs. I'm also almost finished with a hooded baby sweater, knit in 1 piece. Every sweater I've ever tried has been a complete bust! That's why I'm here. To learn more from all the experienced (and novice) knitters out there and get inspired to finish that first sweater!

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EdieC
New Pal

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  11:32:02 AM  Show Profile Send EdieC a Private Message
My mom taught me how to knit when I was about 8. Through the yrs I've knitted on & off. But recently got really inspired when my grandson was due. He's 2 now & I've made him several things. I also love to knit baby sweaters to give as gifts to people I know who are expecting a baby. I feel its something special and shows how much I care.

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fillyjonk
Permanent Resident

1127 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  11:44:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit fillyjonk's Homepage Send fillyjonk a Private Message
I learned to knit when I was 10. My mom did all kinds of fiber-art things, and she taught me how to sew and do embroidery as soon as I was old enough to be trusted with sharp objects.

I remember learning to knit - we were at my grandmother's for Thanksgiving, it was cold and rainy, and I was sort of bored. My mother had needles with her (she might have been making something at the time...) and she gave me a small amount of white acrylic and taught me the knit stitch.

My first project ever was a scarf for my Kermit the Frog doll. (I still have both, somewhere).

After that, I made a few garter-stitch scarves now and then, including a tremendously long and ugly one in irregular stripes of black and cream (I was going for a "Dr. Who" sort of effect but didn't have enough money for a lot of different colors of yarn) that I wore throughout high school.

I didn't knit much, though, until I was a graduate student. In between those times, I crocheted, and sewed, and embroidered, and learned to quilt.

In 1992, I moved back home to my parents' house while I was in graduate school. I did knit one thing in that time - the fox stole that was featured in the old "Threads" magazine, it would have been winter '91 or '92. Even though I had never done many of the techniques in the pattern, I wanted it so badly that I just banged ahead and made it, with some technical advice from my mother.

What really got me back into knitting was a ball of Wool-Ease. Yes, really. I was at Wal-Mart one day and I saw Wool-Ease in the "Autumn Print" colorway - all colors I loved. I was with my mother, and I said "I want to make a scarf out of that." So I bought it, and made another incredibly tedious garter stitch scarf. When I was done, I had one or two balls of it left, and my mother suggested mittens.

That was my first real experience with making a garment on double pointed needles. I loved it. It was so cool! I could make a tube to fit a 3-D body part, and I didn't have to sew seams at the end!

From there, I decided I wanted to make socks - this was about the time "Joan's Socks" pattern first came out, and I got a copy, and made a pair.

I never looked back. I still occasionally do the odd garter stitch scarf, but I also remember that fox stole, and how even though I didn't totally know how, because I really wanted it, I was willing to try, and to ask for help, and to rip back if necessary. And in the end, I had a very cool, really foxlike orange knit stole. Which I still sometimes wear around the house if I'm reading or something and there's a cold draft on my neck.

(the fox's name is Wilberforce, btw. I was a big "Are You Being Served" fan in those days).

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CAJill
New Pal

29 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  12:35:45 PM  Show Profile Send CAJill a Private Message
Like many of you, I learned to knit from my grandmother. We lived upstairs from my grandparents; I was an only child; there were no other kids in the neighborhood. I also learned to chrochet, embroider, and cross stitch. Tatting eluded me, and I still can't figure it out.
The first thing I knit were those garter stitch slippers that everyone made in the 50's and 60's. Then it was Barbie clothes, since McCalls Needlework and Crafts and Workbasket kept publishing patterns (I still have them, btw, and intend to make them again for my childhood Barbie dolls). For some reason, the abbreviations in directions always seemed straightforward to me. The only thing I needed help with was handling the four double-pointed needles to make the ice skating outfit. Unfortunately, it didn't fit Barbie (again, the concept of gauge rears its ugly head).
In high school I made a couple of scarves and a Mini-dress from a pattern by Seventeen Magazine. I made a few sweaters while in college, but I was an Engineering major and had no free time except in the summer.
I have knit a few more sweaters since then, including a Lopi ski sweater for my husband. But since I hate finishing sweaters, I have let my knitting sit because my LYS went out of business (Lady retired, and the finisher also). This hasn't kept me from buying yarn, and I have found some stores in other cities. So I hope to finish up some projects and take them to their finishing services.
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modernjackie


Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  12:47:06 PM  Show Profile Send modernjackie a Private Message
In 1998 my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. For Christmas, I wanted to do something special for her, and knowing how much she always loved handmade gifts, I decided to learn to knit and make her a hat. I bought one of those "Learn to Knit" pamphlets, a circular needle, and some light blue Caron Simply Soft and eventually made her a roll brim hat which she wore all the time.

I added others to her collection as time went on, and in the process discovered that I really loved knitting. Nowadays, I knit every free moment I have.
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Geniap
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  1:19:50 PM  Show Profile Send Geniap a Private Message
quote:

How did all of yall start knitting?



I learned when I was in the third grade from our babysitter. She would knit while doing homework after putting my brothers and me to bed. I figured out that by asking her to teach me to knit I could stay up later. (which also made my brothers mad!!) So began my knitting career. My first project came a few years later when I found out my grandfather was ill. I knit this huge scarf using white and brown yarn for him. It weighed a ton. I remember my mom making a remark at the postage to mail it home to him -- we were living in Germany at the time.

clickin' on the Severn watching the Blue Heron
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TheDishclothQueen
Chatty Knitter

112 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  1:48:41 PM  Show Profile Send TheDishclothQueen a Private Message
The first time I learned out of boredom, the second time out of fear of freezing to death.

One night, when I was about 12, and my mom was at work, I was bored out of my mind. I randomly decided that I wanted to learn how to knit. So I found a book of mom's (she both knits and crochets, but mainly crochets), taught myself to cast on, knit, and purl, did it a little bit, and after that night immediately forgot all about it!

Last year, about october, we were having a FRIGID winter. I was freezing my ass off (don't worry, it grew back!), and didn't have a scarf. I, once again totally randomly, decided that I wanted to make a scarf rather than buy one. How hard could it be? So mom showed me again how to cast on (this time using the much easier long tail method, as opposed to knitting on as I had been doing), and I made a scarf. Then my rommmate wanted one, so I made one for her too (which she never wore, kinda pisses me of....!), and then put it all away, never planning to do it again. But as the days went on, I found myself missing the yarn and the needles. I tried picking up my crocheting again, but it just wasn't satisfying my itch. I had to knit again. I started with a pair of mittens after that, and I haven't stopped since.

And in an odd turn of events, my mom has started knitting again, too. She crochets beautifully. I hope that I can someday knit as well as she crochets. But she doesn't like knitting as well. Since I started knitting though, she resurrected a sweater she started years ago, finished it, didn't like the way it fit (on either of us!), frogged it all, and has started it again. And instead of me asking her for crocheting help, SHE'S asking ME for knitting help! I love it!

Great topic!

Amanda
thedishclothqueen.typepad.com
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bethcurtis@aol.com
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  2:42:54 PM  Show Profile Send bethcurtis@aol.com a Private Message
My Grandmother taught me how to knit when I was a child, but I didn't really start to knit until I saw a sweater on the cover of Vogue Knitting in 1987 that I just had to have. I fell in love with the whole process of knitting and have not looked back once. The sweater was a great, green pullover with appliqued roses. I still wear that sweater and I still love it!
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shar
New Pal

USA
36 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  3:37:47 PM  Show Profile Send shar a Private Message
Hello everyone! I started knitting two years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The "breast cancer research nurse " told me it was very good for post mastectomy patients and the range of motion that is needed after surgery. However, I really didnt realize how theraputic the repeative motions were. As i'm sure vicky can attest to there is nothing more depressing and alone as sitting in a huge room receiving chemo. My first projecxt was for my then 4 year old son. It was from the Debbie Bliss book. The sweater is STILL to huge for him.. Needless to say I won't knit him another sweater until he is an adult. The best news is that so far I doing great (the chemo sent me into menopause the flashes arent fun)and my knitting is still my therapy and my passion.

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vicky by the bay
Permanent Resident

USA
4768 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  5:02:44 PM  Show Profile Send vicky by the bay a Private Message
quote:

My Grandmother taught me how to knit when I was a child, but I didn't really start to knit until I saw a sweater on the cover of Vogue Knitting in 1987 that I just had to have. I fell in love with the whole process of knitting and have not looked back once. The sweater was a great, green pullover with appliqued roses. I still wear that sweater and I still love it!


Beth, Welcome to the forum! You're gonna love it here I promise. The people are so friendly and helpful. You've been knitting for a long time....I look forward to learning from you by reading your future posts. So don't stop coming in...I need all the help I can get!!!

Vicky (Queen O'Yarn archivist-QYA)
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vicky by the bay
Permanent Resident

USA
4768 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  5:18:42 PM  Show Profile Send vicky by the bay a Private Message
quote:

As i'm sure vicky can attest to there is nothing more depressing and alone as sitting in a huge room receiving chemo. The best news is that so far I doing great (the chemo sent me into menopause the flashes arent fun)and my knitting is still my therapy and my passion.



Shar, I am so sorry you had to go through chemo!!! I am so glad it has helped. We are too young to be gone so soon and we both have children who need us...esp you such a little one you have! Mine are at least 11 and 13 although they are girls and need me like they have never needed me before...even if they don't think so! You are so right about the repetitive motions being meditative. It also seems to give me courage. When I wake up at night in a panic...has that ever happened to you? I pick up my yarn and needles and as I knit, the fear ebbs. Sometimes just picking up a handspun/dyed hank of yarn and just smelling it(don't laugh!!!) makes the dark thoughts go away!!! I love the smell of hand painted yarn! I am pretty upset....since I love hand painted yarn sooo much I thought I had found the perfect place to buy it...Joslyns Fiber Farm. I think she is a talented artist! But I ordered recently a very very large order. She was only able to send about half of it to me at the time. That was over 6 weeks ago at least if not 8. I have e-mailed her multiple times~6 to find out what's happening..See I made the mistake of paying her first! DUMB!!!! She never responded until I wrote a somewhat stern letter this last Sunday. She e-mailed me back and said she had e-mailed me over a week ago that she had sent the rest of my order! Well it's now Thursday...no sign of my order. The last order came 3 days after she e-mailed me to let me know it was on it's way! I'm afraid something is wrong and I don't know what to do from here. Please Help...give me ideas...what can I do?

That was sure long winded Shar...So sorry! I'm glad your breast cancer hasn't popped it's ugly head up again! How long has it been?

Vicky (Queen O'Yarn archivist-QYA)
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hobbitknitter
Permanent Resident

USA
2285 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  5:31:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit hobbitknitter's Homepage Send hobbitknitter a Private Message
I learned Christmas night, 4 years ago, with a kit from my grandmother. It was my most perfect Christmas. My first project was a garter stitch eyeglass case made with some kind of purple varigated acrylic. My second *real* project was a baby toy, a white cotton dog, for a new mother who was also named Sarah.
Sarah

S. Eliz.
Keep on knitting on!
See my gallery: www.pagebypage.com/board/index.php
(In photo gallery pages, under S for Sarah Elizabeth)
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jcavin
New Pal

USA
30 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  6:10:08 PM  Show Profile Send jcavin a Private Message
I learned to knit when I was about ten years old. I did very simple doll clothes, but then I really learned to knit when, on my thirteenth bithday, my parents gave me some yarn to make myself a sweater. It was a wonderful turquoise yarn that I used to make a seed-stitch knitted jacket with a belt. I was quite proud of the result and wore it for several years. The experience got me hooked, and I remember one year while at college, knitting sweaters for the whole family for Christmas, because as a poor starving student, I couldn't afford to go out an d buy the presents I would have wanted to get them. From then on it was knitting baby clothes, mores sweaters, and most recently knitting chemo caps for cancer patients. I can't think of a hobby that would have given me much greater sense of satisfaction and achievement.

Joan Cavin
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fryguys
New Pal

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  6:20:54 PM  Show Profile Send fryguys a Private Message
I taught myself to knit about 3 years ago. My paternal grandmother had knit me and my siblings a beautiful Christmas sock when I was a baby. I has a picture of Santa hanging socks on a brick fireplace and he has a beautiful angora beard. When she passed away, my Aunt took over and made the exact same sock for every new baby in the family, including my 2 boys. I called and begged her to make one for my husband so we would all have matching socks to hang on the mantle. Before she passed away, she taught my oldest sister how to make that sock. This was my sole inspiration for learning to knit. I HAD to know how to make that sock so that I could help carry on the tradition. Although the sock is just about all my sister ever knits, I have become an addict in the truest sense of the word. I love making that special sock, but I also have made everything from sweaters and blankets to doggie sweaters and wool socks. If anyone has ever seen the Christmas sock pattern I described, let me know. I don't know where Grandma got the pattern and I have never seen another sock like it. But surely there's others out there somewhere!!
Thanks everyone!!!:)

Linda Fry
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dfox@net1plus.com


Posts

Posted - 09/11/2003 :  7:44:14 PM  Show Profile Send dfox@net1plus.com a Private Message
Thank you everyone for sharing your stories! They all have been wonderful to read. I learned to knit about 15 years ago. I am an RN and was working in a long term care facility in central NY. There was a resident there who was a wonderful knitter. She felt it was important for all young ladies to knit and be "usefull".She set up a "class" at the foot of her bed and taught several of us to knit mittens on 4 needles. She told us that if we could make a mitten we could make anything. I drifted away from knitting for a while untill recently when I discovered my LYS. I took a class so that I could get to know others in the area who knit and I have not put it down since! It has been fun remembering that wonderful lady!

Diane


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