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Chatty Knitter

295 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2008 :  4:23:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit kidknits's Homepage Send kidknits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When I was in college, no one I knew knitted: just me. When I was a mother of young children, no one I knew knitted: just me. When my youngest was in pre-school, I had a friend who went to Stitches East with me at the Cherry Hill Race Track (people thought we were very strange to go to "a what? a knitting convention??"). When my kids were a little older, I gained a friend who knitted. And suddenly, in the last five years, it seems that everyone knits (which is a good thing because now I have lots of friends who knit).

But where did we all come from? Has the world always been populated by knitters but the internet has made everyone accessible to each other? Or did we spontaneously generate (like the yarn in our stashes does when left alone in the dark)?

Chatty Knitter

328 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2008 :  4:31:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit MonicaSilva's Homepage Send MonicaSilva a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Funny :) Love your post. Glad internet makes knitters like me feel less lonely. This forum is a great place to share knitting tips.

Monica Silva
A Knit Skinny Scarf Blog
Knit with others at a cafe in the U.S.! Join a Knitting Group Today
I'm MonicaSilva on Ravelry
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3449 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2008 :  4:31:50 PM  Show Profile Send hillstreetmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the internet helped keep me going. I have more knitting "friends" on the net than in real life. Since we got a new LYS a couple years ago, I've been able to meet real live knitters, too. We just didn't have a way to connect before.

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6331 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2008 :  4:54:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have the reverse experience. When I was in high school everyone, friends and family of all ages, knit. In college we crocheted ponchos and vests along with knitting, after college back to knitting to copy all the designer sweaters, but suddenly I was the only one still knitting! I've never really stopped although some years I only made one or two sweaters.

When I became pregnant with my son I started knitting again obsessively but stopped when he turned 5. I started again in 2000 or so and haven't put down the needles (with a little crochet mixed in). But......I am now the only one I know who is knitting.

The internet has been a big influence on my continued interest. I used to knit sweaters but now I knit everything else but rarely sweaters.

click here for free sock pattern
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3363 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2008 :  5:56:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit CatherineM's Homepage Send CatherineM a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My mother and grandmother and at least a few aunts knitted and crocheted. None of my peers did. Not my cousins, who were raised by the same knitters who taught me. They still humor this as my eccentric thing. And my own daughter isn't a knitter, though she does have these hints now and then, and I think one day she may get to the point of actually trying it. So the vast majority of my knitting reinforcement has come from strangers and on the Internet, and I've been at it, dear God, 40 years. I don't know why this addiction to messing with fibers skips generations and lands at random.

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15375 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2008 :  6:53:16 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I grew up in a knitting culture. Most of my female friends know basic knitting and we're between 35-40 years old.

Brought to you by the tongue in cheek-y monkey

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3262 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2008 :  7:07:47 PM  Show Profile Send WendyB a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I spontaneously generated (sort of), although my mother always knitted. I just wasn't that interested for most of my life. Then I started traveling a lot and wanted a portable hobby, so I started. When I discovered this place (KR), it was like a shot in the arm.

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Seriously Hooked

838 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2008 :  7:26:22 PM  Show Profile Send knittingrunner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My grandmother grudgingly taught my mother to knit when my mother had the mumps or measles or maybe it was cowpox.
My mother taught me how to knit in an attempt to get me to sit still. She didn't have the patience to teach me to crochet too.
I painfully knitted a tiny orange scarf for an 'ET' doll at 12. Picked it up again sometime in college with dishcloths and I was the only one knitting.
Maggie Raghetti, on/off knitting until '02 when work got slow and I decided I needed to learn to knit in the round and it felt like everyone at work was knitting.
Fortunately my financial circumstances can support my sometimes pricey habits and my autonomous job gives me time to visit shops and knit while flying.
Back to being one of a few who knit except here in KR!
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Warming Up

94 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2008 :  11:24:17 PM  Show Profile Send knittymommy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think it was a mixture of both. knitters were always there, but the internet helps us find each other. We don't walk up to every stranger and ask if they knit, but we'll enter a forum and find knitters in our area, and let's get together.

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2493 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  12:03:09 AM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
???COWPOX ???
Anyway... I think we all sort of "came out" of the proverbial closet. My grandma knit when I was growing up, my mom would pick up the needles once in awhile and knit me a sweater or some hideous leg warmers. I remember grandma coming at me with half a mitten that looked like a porcupine making me try it on. I asked mom to tech me when I was about 10 or so, she of course had no patience for me at all! My aunt did teach me basic knit stitch, but I never did anything with that, or crochet which she also taught me. I tried again when I was about 19 but too poor to buy yarn. Then I got pregnant at 26 and in a weird pregnant moment in Walmart bought a hook and some yarn and was determined to crochet a blanket for the kid. And that's when I started for real. Knitting, that's another story, that was a love hate thing for a long time. I wanted to do it so bad, but screwed it up bad! In my family pretty much all the women knit, crochet, or sew. Just not a lot and not openly, its more middle of the night in front of the TV.

I seriously think not only the increase in the boutique type yarn stores, as opposed to Red Heart at Ben Franklin, WalMart, etc. The nice yarns out there, the fun colors, the variety of tools available, and the internet bringing us all together and making it all easily purchased. Not to mention free patterns and the HUGE amount of help sites available, that's made a big difference for me. I think we were always here just hiding. I know I still kind of get a little embarrassed at work or something where there are non knitters.
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3337 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  03:25:29 AM  Show Profile Send Chemcats a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There have been fiber women on my mother's side that may not have taught me, but definately influenced me. Crochet form my grandmother and needlepoint from my mom. Then there was the older neighbor lady and the older baby sitter..knitting. What really got me going was an aunt if my first husband, she embroidered. Needle in hand after I saw and attempted. First embroidery, then needlepoint, then crochet and now knitting and spinning.

I often thing about the internet and knitting. I know for sure that I have learned sooo much from the internet! Yarn, techniques, patterns, etc. I know that I would not be attempting to push and stretch myself and I know that I would not have learned about unique and special high quality yarn. And I know I would still be spinning rope and have chucked it all if it weren't for the folks on the internet...especially here in KR.

I live in a fiber "dead zone" for the most part. And I am not an overly social person in public. So I have my fiber buddies on the internet and trust them as well as look forward to thier company.

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1927 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  04:01:39 AM  Show Profile Send Chayah a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I started knitting in my teens, but changed to crochet for about 30 years. When I became computer acquainted about 5 years ago I discovered KR and a few other sites and started knitting again very actively and will probably always continue, although I still crochet as well. KR is my main knitting site and can't imagine being without it! Warmly, Chayah

"When I was young I admired clever people. Now that I'm old I admire kind people."(A.J.Heschel)
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Warming Up

United Kingdom
70 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  05:04:02 AM  Show Profile Send Carisa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am going to be 25y this year. I remember that about 10 years ago, I did an afghan for me in crochet. Nobody in my class knitted and if they did, they did not say it. Knitting and all the brilliant fiber arts were considered only for grandmothers. Well, I have always liked fibers, yarns, wool as far as I remember. Both of my grandmothers can knit and crochet. My mother knitted me loads of jumper when I was young. Must be in my genes !!! lol
Now I am pretty happy that it is in fashion. Mostly because of the new patterns that are more adapted to our days. My mothers still has some magazine from the 80s...
Glad that Internet connected knitters all around the world !

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1475 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  09:03:33 AM  Show Profile Send socks4all a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A friend's mother taught me to crochet, then tried to teach me to knit. I could knit - but not purl. One gigantically long ugly garter scarf later I quit. I was 11 or 12. By the time I was 17 my grandmother who knit was blind and lived 8 hrs away. The friend and I were no longer in touch. I really needed wool mitts. I went to the local craft shop and bought a McCalls book on knitting. Discovered continental hold and learned to purl. The mittens were never knit but morphed into 2-colour Norwegian star gloves - yes, that was my first project and I used 5 dpns! I'm still amazed. No one I knew knit. There was one store in town that was dedicated to yarns, a store that specialized in weaving but also carried crochet & knitting supplies. I knew no-one from college or saw other people in the store so I felt like I was the lone knitter. I gave up knitting when hit with the ultimate "curse of the love sweater" - my boyfriend died in a freak chem plant explosion after I knit him a sweater. I still knew no one who knit, and the weaving shop closed. Then, 15 years later, I was in another part of the state staying over night. I went to a restraunt and overheard a lady talking about a knitting retreat she had just been to. I talked to her and got the name of the LYS that had sponsored the event. The next year I went to the retreat and not only discovered that there was this whole contingent of knitters but there was a LYS not too far from me. That's when I learned of knitting groups and shops that gave lessons. I picked up my needles again and have been an avid and vocal proponant of knitting ever since. Maybe the web is spreading the word but for me, I didn't know web-based knitting until long after I was back in the fold. It is certainly a help to those that do not have a local shop near by. I do think that there are a lot of closet knitters. I now have a group at work who meet once a week. That started because I would knit in public and they would come up and say "I knit too, I know no one else who knits". So, I think the question should be "Why was knitting an underground activity for so long?"
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2460 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  10:02:08 AM  Show Profile Send YarnGoddess a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cow Pox:
It really does/did exist and was the beginning of the first crude smallpox vaccinations.

Both of my grandmothers knit and crocheted. I picked up the knitting at a cross-stitch seminar in Williamsburg a few years ago. I haven't picked up the XS since.

Zipper & Diva

A sense of humor can help you tolerate the unpleasant, cope with the unexpected, overlook the unattractive and smile through the unbearable.

To learn more about healthy nutrition for your cat, go here: and here:
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5199 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  10:09:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always wanted to learn to knit as a kid, but no one in my immediate family knew how, so I sated myself with embroidery, sewing, and then took up spinning and small weaving in my early teens. I finally found a friend who taught me to knit in grad school.

The web in general and KR in particular really helped me take off as a knitter, though. Before, it would take me a (relatively) long time to find answers to my questions. Now I can search for help on the web or ask here on KR and really keep up my momentum because there are so many helpful knitters and sites. The web also helped me meet many many knitters and other fiber artists in person, which is invaluable. I joined this forum a few years ago as a knitter who was stuck for ages wanting to learn to knit socks. Within a week or two I was knitting socks and learning to knit lace and fit sweaters well.

See proof of insanity:
Join the KR Webring:
Buy handmade sock knitting bags:
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1429 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  11:55:57 AM  Show Profile Send fiddlerbird555 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Epic tale, here

Well, I'm in my late 40s and doing some sort of craft was what nice young girls did, although the majority of young girls by then were not too "nice." Mostly I got craft kits as presents for Christmas & birthdays. Mom and Grandma knit, but neither taught me. There were plenty of needles & waste yarn to play with, though, and I did. About 80% of what we did, though was winding balls. Grandma may have taught me to crochet. I dont really remember but that is the only thing I do left handed. Other than that, I'm self taught, from books. Didn't do a whole lot. Hair bands, because everyone wore them. By the time I was in college I made a real live sweater, then didn't touch anything for 15 years. Then I made two real live Dr. Who scarves. Sometime about 10 years later, I needed a bag for a gourd kalimba, and crocheted it (with a silk lining so the keys wouldn't catch). When MIL died, she left this really neat stitch dictionary I wanted to try out, but it took another 7 years or so (during which EVERYONE took up knitting) to actually have enough free time to do it. (Somewhere in here, I designed & crocheted a kid leash for the toddler. Big sister resents never having gotten one.)

Finally, I had some time and found the LYS (now defunct). Grabby kid picks up size 6 DPN. What can I do with those? Helpful other patron says "knit socks". And the rest is history.


I can go loopy, or I can knit. Your choice.
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Gabber Extraordinaire

511 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  12:18:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit VaxGirl's Homepage Send VaxGirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Other than knitting friends found online, I know only 2 people who knit. Sad, isn't it? No one in my family ever knit, although my mom knew enough to teach me how to cast on and the knit stich. I learned from books and later from MIL #1. It's probably a little odd that I even wanted to learn at all, being surrounded by so many non-knitters...
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9715 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  3:35:35 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My experience is that in Jr. High, there were knitters and probably in Senior High, too. But I wasn't knitting in Senior High so never met them. Then I knit through the early family years with a paternal Aunt and Grandmother, and a few friends in clubs and where I worked.

But there's nothing like the internet for knitting nirvana! This KR is fabulous for meeting up with knitters. I'm so thankful for having found this place. HUGS to Clara, and to all of you! [!] You have lit up my life!

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New Pal

44 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  4:16:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit Genuine's Homepage Send Genuine a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Last year, June/July, I decided that I wanted to be a knitter and make things. No one I knew knitted, I didn't see newspaper articles about it being trendy, I didn't even know about the local yarn store. I didn't want garter stitch scarves. I taught myself to purl (knew the other stuff) and learned a lot right here on KR. Learned how to make wearable items, not just squares. I'm currently working on my first sweater. Knitting my first sock was oddly empowering because then I knew that I really could make something that I could wear.

A little snark, and sweaters. My blog.
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2903 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  7:26:06 PM  Show Profile Send Mocha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think LYS play a big part here in increasing the number of knitter. Followed by friends who drag other friends to learn to knit. The Internet just help to spread it over more.
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