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Permanent Resident

1018 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  03:01:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit marjotse's Homepage Send marjotse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm like GFTC when I was a teenager and in my 20's so many people knitted, it was just normal to knit. Ireally like knitting and I did knit a LOT. Some of the garments I still have (I have some on my ravelry/flickr pages) others were eaten by moths or just gone. I did knit a lot until 1993 around, in the 80*s there were dozens of yarn shops open in the Netherlands but they all started to close around 1990 and in 1993 it was just so hard to get decent yarn. I moved to Sweden in 1995 and there it was even harder and I just stopped knitting. I did not knit until 1999 when I was pregnant with my first daughter and then I started again. There was one yarn shop with a real limited selection and that's what I had but the main thing was I knitted again. In 2002 I discovered knitting on the net and ebay and the fact that you could get nice wool on the internet and then the draught was over... Now there are also more yarn shops here, the shop in town has gotten a much much bigger selection and one can even buy knitting books in the bookshop in town. The dollar is also so low which helps me to sample some of the stuff one cannot get in Europe. So that's my story...


my photos:
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Chatty Knitter

193 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  04:08:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit scarfitup's Homepage Send scarfitup a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a lot of knitting friends now that we've moved to what is somewhat of a retirement community. I'm in a "Stitch" group composed mostly of knitters. But my great aunt taught me to knit when I was about 8, so I've known how for a long time. After college and until about 10 years ago when yarns, fiber, knit shops blossomed, I didn't knit. Now I'm addicted!

Point in fact....last night I was helping set up silent auction items for a Relay for Life and American Cancer Society event today. There was an abundance of beautiful and very well made handknitted items! Very inspirational!

The internet certainly helps generate and sustain interest - where you have easy access to fascinating ideas, patterns, people, photos, and fiber (that I can't find in my town) and more! The bet is having virtual friends with whom to share!


Scarf It Up!

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New Pal

16 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  04:15:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit's Homepage Send a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm in my 30's & when I was a kid, nobody knit. I knit, my sister crocheted & we used to hang out at the LYS with little grannies in Brooklyn. In college - it was the same - then when I moved to NH it started getting trendy & I formed a knitting group at our local library. It's still an older crowd that I knit with, but I do have a few peers who have it as a new hobby now, too.
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Chatty Knitter

347 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  04:47:50 AM  Show Profile Send Marie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My grandma and mom knitted sporadically when I was young, but when I went to work in my early 20's, my boss really taught me to knit. She wanted to publish knitting books and needed to drum up interest in the craft so the sales force (mostly male) wouldn't glaze over when they had to sell these books. They call her a rainmaker in the business, and I can see why.

In those days (the early to mid-80's) she and I hung by a thread waiting for each issue of Vogue, which was pretty much all that was out there. The British designers were making their presence known, and Anny Blatt was big in the NYC shops we frequented.
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Gabber Extraordinaire

559 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  05:25:49 AM  Show Profile Send momslake a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I learned when I was 10, quit, took it up again when I was about 18, and quit again. For some reason, I gave up all creative pursuits (music, knitting, designing) when my dad had his stroke. After he and my mom died, I went through a long stretch of depression. I took knitting back up again when I found someone to share my life, which made me feel creative again.

"In the northern wilderness, where wool is a way of life."
My Photos (not all knitting)
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Chatty Knitter

213 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  05:37:04 AM  Show Profile Send Schnitzel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My grandmother knit, my mother crocheted. I helped wind balls of yarn as a child. In high school, I learned to knit continental from my home ec. teacher. Knit a lot of sweaters at that time. After marriage there was not much time to knit with little children, but remember knitting small 4 inch Christmas stockings for both daughters to give to each classmate in Kindergarten. I even stitched their names on them.

Now in recent years and definitely since starting on KR lurking, I have knit much, much more. Because of the internet I am able to find yarn which is not available locally.

I do not know anyone who knits personally. I am in a retirement community and they have a crochet club. I really need to get going and start a knitting club. I absolutely love it and can't imagine a better was to relax and stay out of the kitchen!!
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Chatty Knitter

146 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  05:51:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit jinniver's Homepage Send jinniver a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm also in my 30s, and my mom taught me to knit when I was a kid. Unfortunately, all she taught me was the knit stitch and the purl stitch, so I didn't know things like what a yarn over was and what it will do to your pattern, or why you can't just add a stitch to replace a dropped stitch. Even more unfortunately, I decided to try a sweater for my first project. Halfway through the dropped-stitch-scarred, yarn-over-hole-riddled, completely misshapen front, I stuffed yarn and needles away. What got me back in seemed to be the same inspiration that a lot of women my age had--children. I wanted to knit something for my son, but then things got crazy (including 2 moves to 2 different states before he was 4 months old) and once we ended up in south Texas knitting seemed like a waste of time--not much call for scarves or mittens or really any warm knitted good here. But when my daughter was born 2 years later, I suddenly HAD to knit her something, and I haven't stopped knitting since. Getting some good reference books and finding cool patterns beyond the scarf have certainly helped! But the only other knitters I know are the ones on the Internet. Even my mom has given up knitting for crocheting. I've tried to get together other women I know to knit together--even offering to teach other women if they didn't know how--but there just doesn't seem to be interest in my area. We don't have a LYS, just Hobby Lobby and Michaels. I'm hoping once we're stationed somewhere else I can find a knitting group to join!

Jen, 33 y/o Navy wife with 3 y/o son and 4 month old daughter

Last project - "Ugg" booties for my niece in black and hot pink complete!

WIP - Knitted shoes for my baby girl from "Baby Knits"

Next project - gotta put these needles down and make my daughter's baby quilt and crib bedding!
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Permanent Resident

1131 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  06:34:35 AM  Show Profile Send Fivefibers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My g-grandma taught me basics when I was about 7 or 8. I let it go for too many years, but took it up again for real(!) when I had too much handspun for my own good![:00] I've done everything BUT sweaters. I'll do one next year. Probably.

Sometimes, I feel my "mom-mom" looking over my shoulder at my angora yarn. She always wanted to get more of that.

Knitting is a tie to the past; our past. And if it was good enough for Abigail Adams, it is good enough for all of us.

2sheep; 3goats; 5bunnies
(so far)
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New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  06:45:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit's Homepage Send a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've knitted off and on since I was about six. I even made a three-piece suit in my 20s. Lots of sweaters. I put knitting mostly on hold while I went into weaving for about 10 years, but started up again like mad about a year ago to use up all the yarn I had accumulated. Then I discovered the Internet! It's made me feel part of a community - I even have my own knitting blog, and have joined Ravelry too. I knit in public now and get compliments, and my son informs me that my grand-daughter has learned to knit in the Brownies. So I think the accessability of other knitters and of getting wonderful yarn online or at LYS has made us all come out of the closet (which is where my yarn is stashed.)
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New Pal

6 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  07:33:11 AM  Show Profile Send a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I picked up my first set of knitting needles ever in my life two years ago at the age of sixty-four. I have made quite a few things since then and joined a knitting group which I enjoy. I am still a pretty slow knitter and when I see all the beautiful things my new friends knit, I do get a bit jealous, but have to remember they have been knitting since they were children. I guess patience is the key. Anyone else out there have this problem?
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Posted - 03/20/2008 :  07:58:17 AM  Show Profile Send a Private Message  Reply with Quote
[!][!]I think we were all out there knitting, but now it is okay to be a knitter. I have been spinning, too, and suddenly there are spinners everywhere. It is all serendipitous, but I can't keep up with some of the knitters. They seem to be churning things out really fast. I am used to being the only person sitting in a crowded waiting room or office break room knitting socks. But now I see people everywhere. I think it is just a good thing to happen to a fast-paced world.
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New Pal

8 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  08:40:25 AM  Show Profile Send lucysandy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I still feel that I am one of few knitters. I did drag my grown daughter with me to lessons 2 years ago and she does like to knit, but has a full time job and 3 kids, so she can only knit so much. My mother-in-law knits ( I talk to her about knitting all the time), but everyone else still gives me that look when I am either knitting in public, at home or talk about yarns, knitting, etc. The shop owners are wonderful people, but you can only go there so much, or I would have 2 spare rooms full of my stash (which isn't a bad thing)! Speaking of shop owners, a shop where I go is hosting a Stephanie Pearl McPhee event and I already have my tickets and have reserved my book. I am sooo excited. Stephanie is my idol. I bow to Stephanie. Besides that, her books and her blog make me laugh all the time. That's why I'm so glad I joined this forum, everyone I talk to here shares the same passion I do.
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Chatty Knitter

173 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  08:48:02 AM  Show Profile Send tink_r_bell a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It was a stormy and snowy day in Billings MT, I was about 7 or 8. Maternal grandma and size 13 wooden knitting needles, cotton dish cloth attempted. Tears.[:((]

I still have those needles and love to use them as it is a tie to Tillie. Went through needlepoint, crewel, embroidery, Xstitch (which I loathed - one count off, and poof a lopsided something!), sewing (I was terrible at it, except for Halloween costumes.), crochet (a bedspread that grew and grew and grew some more and a sweater for DH).

My mom knitted and knitted well. I still have a hat that she knitted for me in the late 50's, and a top and skirt she knitted for herself in the early 50's. (Unfortunately it doesn't fit me.) I started knitting again in 1984 in Portland, OR. I dragged a friend to a LYS and off we went. Lots of sweaters for a 5 yo and to be baby boy. I bought a ball winder for $14.95! And a girls' night out without husbands and kids! We moved a lot so knit a lot, but alone. Then tennis and tournaments, golf (another thing I am terrible at, and gave up), kids activities, and work. I started again in Jan 2005 with the scarf trend in Fun Fur (yikes) and have been at it since. I knit everywhere, office, seminars, at home, in the car and in public. Our LYS has had some classes lately and the owner is a friend. There is one woman at work who crochets and another who does Xstitch, but no knitters. I know 5 or six in the school district, at schools, but we don't see each other very often.

My cousin in Billings has taken up knitting so I have been helping her long distance. She started with a felted bag.

I am grateful for KR and the warm fuzzy feeling I get when I visit. Thank you all so much!

Steph ;-}

To err is human, just try not to over do it.
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Warming Up

53 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  08:55:51 AM  Show Profile Send FibersFan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I'm nearing 59 and I learned to knit when I was 10. Over the years knitting has been perceived as a very haus frau, grandmotherly, type activity. I have also worked outside my home in a corporate environment, full-time for many of those years so that image just didn't correlate. I guess I just kept quietly stitching, reading and learning. It is extremely refreshing the last few years to be able to see and share with so many like-minded souls. It's out in the open, recognized as a valid skill/art and has gained respect.

In recent years there are also a lot of very quick and bright-minds who have contributed to the skill/art with innovations in method and design and have, thus, contributed to knitting truly having credibility and value as a pursuit for skill building and the creation of art as well as downright useful items. With the Harvard study that equates the relaxation value gained from knitting to that of Yoga, it has broad appeal.

So...some of us are new converts and some are resurrected. I'm just pleased to see so many!!!
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Permanent Resident

7254 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  09:53:05 AM  Show Profile  Send gwtreece a Yahoo! Message Send gwtreece a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great-Grandma and my Great Uncle crocheted and taught me. My Great Uncle is still crocheting today. My 4-H taught me to knit and I still do both depending on what I want to do. I had more inperson knitter friends living in CA. Now most of my knitter friends are online. In AR, I was introduced to the evil world of spinning and love it.

My Blog
Ravelry - gwtreece
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New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  10:40:50 AM  Show Profile Send a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For me, I finally started knitting when it started fitting in with my lifestyle. I went from being single, living in California, and commuting to work full time; to getting married, moving to Oregon, and working part time from home. I needed a new hobby, and warmer clothes. My aunt and a friend of my mom's had taught me to knit at different times when I was a kid, and I crocheted my baby sister a blanket when I was a teen. But, as an adult, the only person I knew who knit was another of my sisters, and she still lived in CA, so I checked out some library books and taught myself to knit. It's like I'd been a knitter in a previous life - I picked it right up. That was 3 years ago, and I'm going strong. I always either alter the pattern or make up my own - I'm 30, and I think if I'd had the Internet and yarn selection that exists now when I was a young teen, I would have knit like a fiend back then, and just think where I'd be now. As it is, I think I'll never have enough time to knit everything I want to. Oh, well. I've found my perfect hobby. I love how it's portable, and produces useful and beautiful garments and accessories. I'm very creative but very practical and knitting satisfies both those qualities.
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Permanent Resident

1829 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  5:00:33 PM  Show Profile Send eldergirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Remember when all we had was acrylic yarn? That would be the '70's. I learned to knit in the '40's from my grandmother and my mom.

I spent 10 years in Britain as a student and newlywed, in the late '50'5 and early '60's. There was lovely wool yarn everywhere. I am knitting just now with a handspun scottish shetland 2ply lace yarn that I bought in Edinburgh in 1960!
So after the acrylic '70's, there was the womens' lib 80's and a few sweaters that looked like huge unshaped boxes with huge shoulder pads, and some very nice stuff too, but always with puffed sleeeves. I started knitting again in the '80's when I lived in Austin, TX. In the ' 90's I kept knitting, got seriously into stash enhancement, but had to fight off all that trashy sparkly clown yarn.
FINALLY in the 2000's, the young'uns got on the internet and "discovered" knitting, the yarn providers breathed again, patterns became pretty again (like in the '30's and '40's) and life is good.
So there ARE lots more of us now! I kind of wonder if anybody else remembers the good old days of acrylics (which we might have knit up while we wore our polyester pants suits! )
Hi everybody, Anna
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Chatty Knitter

166 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  5:55:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit lld's Homepage  Send lld a Yahoo! Message Send lld a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't remember my Mom ever NOT knitting. In fact all of the women on my maternal side knit and/or crochet. What was intimidating to me was how well & fast my mother knit. In addition to crochet, sewing & quilting, I knit off & on for as many years back as I can recall but it took me until just the last decade or so to realize I didn't have to knit as well or as fast as my mother. I just had to relax more and enjoy the process itself. Until then it was a lot more "off" than "on," 'cuz I'd keep thinking I should be doing better/faster, etc. Since then I've ALWAYS had one or typically more things on the needles and for the last several years nearly always have something to work on with me. Funny, it turns out I might even knit as well as my mom now (my grandmother says "at least"- we have a dinner & knitting//catch-up visit nearly every week)- but I don't think as fast. It was actually pretty funny when I really got going non-stop and was learning/trying all sorts of new things. My mom actually was all excited when she got to try felting before me, hehehe.

I don't know anyone who knits that I work with but there's a lot of really fun conversations generated by my projects :-). When I go someplace like the hair salon they always ask what I'm working on now. Then just a few years ago I taught myself to spin, followed by weaving. I love the flexibility to be able to make all these things and am blessed with a family that usually truly appreciates them.

My daughter doesn't like to knit (I suspect this could change someday) but she learned to crochet this past year and is inventing her own patterns as often as not.

I do find that having the internet contact as well as the occasional (and growing in numbers) friends who knit helps keep me motivated to finish things, even when they turn into one of those "problem" projects.
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New Pal

29 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2008 :  10:15:38 PM  Show Profile Send Jessica-Jean a Private Message  Reply with Quote
At age 8, I pestered my grandmother to teach me to knit. Her knitting bag never moved from the back of the bedroom door, except when she finally gave in to my pleas. Then, not to be outdone by her mother, my mother taught me to crochet. She never knit until long after grandma's death, but she crocheted a lot - it took her years to finish a thread-crocheted bedspread for a double bed.
I never really stopped knitting or crocheting since learning back in 1954. There may have been dry spells when I just didn't have any yarn, but I never just put the needles and hooks aside the way I did my embroidery - permanently. I was the only female who could sit in a crowded subway car with plenty of space around me; no one wanted to be too near the long, US #1 needles I was wielding inexpertly as a pre-teen!
In all my years of knitting, it was only with the Internet that I finally managed to find other knitters when I had time to do so. In my working years, I did occasionally run into one in passing, but one or both of us had somewhere else to get to and there was no time to get to know each other. Once in a doctor's waiting room, a woman did admire something I was making. I freely handed her my only copy of the pattern book with my address on a slip of paper. The book did return by mail some weeks later.
Knitters have always been around. Most of the old yarn shops closed and no one had any way to find another knitter. Just hanging around the yarn section of Wal-Mart in hope of another knitter coming along is not fun. Magazines let one know there were others "out there". It was simply too hard to find any nearby! Thanks to all the developers of the Internet, we can easily find one another now!!
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Marg in Mirror
Permanent Resident

3205 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2008 :  05:00:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit Marg in Mirror's Homepage  Send Marg in Mirror a Yahoo! Message Send Marg in Mirror a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I learned to knit at about age 8. My grandmothers had been knitters, and Mom (who taught me), my aunt and my godmother all knit. It was the '60s, though, so no one else my age knit, far as I could tell. I made a pair of over-the-knee stockings in high school -- royal blue in a simple lace pattern -- and they were considered terrific -- but 'weird' by my friends. (They looked great with my miniskirts, though!)

Even as an adult, I seemed to be a lone knitter (hence the moniker, 'The Lady Who Knits On The Bus'), so discovering KR and a local guild (now in its 26th year), almost at the same time, was a double blessing.


Marg in Calgary

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