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New Pal

4 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2008 :  1:06:26 PM  Show Profile Send Squam a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My mother taught (read that 'forced' me to learn) to knit when I was about 9. I had learned to sew at 7. She was right handed and I am not. However I do knit right handed. Interesting - as 4 years later she managed to teach my left handed cousin to knit left handed. I didn't do too great with the knitting (hated those alumium needles) - much better with the sewing. Taught myself to crochet as an adult, then gave that up after making a couple of disastrous bathing suits for my twin daughters (when they got wet, they fell down around their ankles!). Back to sewing - quilting and doll clothes - many years. Then we bought a lake house - no room for the sewing machine. Went to a YS with a friend and my eyes nearly popped out of my head! Bought a skein of yarn and some bamboo needles, went home and it was as if I never got off the bicycle. That was 4 years ago and I now have the largest collection of bamboo needles in town and a huge stash. Best of all yarn and needles are portable! However there is something I cannot do no matter how many times I try, that is the Kitchener Stitch. Can't seem to make my right hand go in the proper direction. I also pick up stitches from the wrong direction. Now I lead a Prayer Shawl group and am on a Baby sweater kick. Berroco, Plymouth and Cascade are my favorite brands.
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Permanent Resident

1349 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2008 :  1:20:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit hissyknit's Homepage Send hissyknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I tell everyone I'm a knitting mutt. Several years ago, an elderly lady taught me to knit but it didn't take.

After I broke my wrist and elbow in a bicycling accident (three years ago), my PT recommended knitting/crocheting to help with flexibility. A LYS taught me to cast on and knit. Another teacher taught me to purl and fix mistakes and yet another friend showed me purling.

Christy B.
"I run with scissors and eat paste."
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Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2008 :  3:36:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't remember learning to knit (no, I'm not THAT old, I have a bad memory!) but I presume my mother taught me. I can vaguely remember using a pair of white, possibly very hard plastic or bone (they were quite smooth) needles which were about 6 inches long. The wool was blue and had been recycled and I was working away at a piece of knitting which had the usual learner's "eyelets" with the edges waving in and out as the number of stitches increased and decreased. I may have been 5 or 6 but possibly a little younger.

When I was about 7 I ventured onto my first project, a pair of grey slippers, to complete a badge for Brownies. The slippers did eventually get finished and I wore them until they disintegrated. After finishing the slippers I wanted to further my skills by knitting a jersey. I can remember going with my mum to a little shop nearby and buying some lemon-yellow Fontana triple-knit (= 12ply) crepe 100% wool yarn (I still have a left-over ball!) and choosing a pattern. As the pattern I chose had a cable down the front my mother, in her wisdom, suggested that I knit the back and she would knit the front and sleeves. This worked very well and I wore that jersey proudly for a number of years.

As you can see from that, my mother was very supportive of my knitting but it was a different story when it came to crochet! I think that she did know how to crochet but maybe didn't enjoy it. When I asked her to teach me to crochet she refused. Several times. I eventually gave up asking her and found a booklet with some basic instructions and proceeded to teach myself to crochet. I made one or two crocheted articles (started more!) but never really enjoyed the process even though I have seen, and admired, a number of things made by others.

When I was young the yarns available were mainly wool and acrylic. Early on I developed a strong preference to wool which has never left me. Patterns were usually printed singly, or in booklet form, using as little space as possible making following complicated patterns rather difficult. But it was what we were used to. Nowadays, charts and schematics make patterns a lot easier to follow (or they would if the charts were printed a little larger and clearer for aging eyes!). I have recently bought a couple of Japanese knitting books in which the patterns are only written in chart form. Perhaps this will be the way of the future as knitters clamour for international standards in patterns?


If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.
My Blog (Roselea Fibres)
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New Pal

15 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2008 :  4:16:28 PM  Show Profile Send jreiz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
the story is that Mum sat us down (me - about 4, maybe 5; and brother - 11 months younger) on either side of her one afternoon when she wanted "the baby" to sleep (he's 20 months younger than the brother), and taught the two of us to knit - so, I literally do not remember learning to knit! The only time that I stopped knitting was during my married years - he could not believe that I could knit, read, listen to the TV program, and keep track of the conversation (can't everyone?) - however in the separation and then divorce year, I picked it back up, and know that it will be part of my persona to the end. Crazy Aunt Purl references this, and so do many others - knitting is therapy, even when it doesn't work! Mind you, SHOPPING for yarn seems to be therapeutic as well - maybe a leetle too healthy, if you get my drift!As to the changes: THE INTERNET!!!; better yarns, needles, patterns, magazines, other supplies; way more selection!!!! oh yeah!; so many people to talk to and meet with; and forums to belong to; I was so tickled to be showing all kinds of new things to Mum those last few years that I had her, and she got a kick out of the new sock yarns in particular!!!!
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New Pal

0 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2008 :  4:35:32 PM  Show Profile Send helenstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have been knitting for more than 40 years, beginning in the late 60s. First with my mom and then with an elderly lady down the street. She taught me to take apart old sweaters that had some holes in them, wash the yarn, dry it, and reuse it, just like new. She also got me started with Barbie doll clothes. Do you know how many stitches a sweater sleeve takes for a Barbie doll. Still have the clothes, unfortunately no daughters or grand-daughters yet to play with them. My mom makes sweaters without patterns as that is how she learned in Poland, Africa and England. I need directions!
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Mary B
New Pal

11 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2008 :  9:39:26 PM  Show Profile Send Mary B a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My mother taught me to knit when I was about 9 or 10. I am now 50+ and found out that my mother enjoyed knitting. She tried knitting socks for soldiers during WWII and the women who were in charge of the group finally decided to get her to work on non-knitting projects for the soldiers.
Now, about knitting today. 3 words - gorgeous yarns and fellowship in nearly every yarn shop I walk into.
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New Pal

17 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2008 :  07:58:31 AM  Show Profile Send pmcyarns a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My mother taught me to knit as a child but I couldn't cast on or bind off so my creativity was definitely stifled. I do remember preferring purl to knit. I focused on crocheting as I could start and finish those projects! As a young, expectant mother I learned to knit from beginning to end so I could make baby sweaters. Since then I've gone on to teach knit and crochet for the last 4 years.

The biggest change in the industry that I see is the use of synthetic yarns and yarns without lot numbers, not to mention the availability of pull skeins. Wrapping yarn around a chair was never fun and siblings were less than enthusiastic helpers. I use the nevelty yarns for their fun appeal but still prefer the natural fibers overall. I'm thrilled that fibers like soy and bamboo are available. I can't wait to see what comes next!
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New Pal

14 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2008 :  10:03:38 AM  Show Profile Send Danemom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I learned to knit when I was in college back in 1969 or 1970. No one in my family knew how to knit, so I purchased a "How to Knit" book published by Columbia Minerva, a skein of yarn and a pair of needles. My future mother-in-law was also learning to knit at that time, so she showed me a few things she was learning in class. Since I was and always have been a read-and-do person, rather than a see- and-do person, I just kept reading instructions and working through the new techniques I needed to learn for my current project. I am still doing that, but having an online community of knitters is a big encouragement.
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Warming Up

53 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2008 :  1:34:39 PM  Show Profile  Send Fromaggista a Yahoo! Message Send Fromaggista a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The internet taught me. has some great videos. YouTube wasn't so helpful for me. I kept getting videos about speed knitting competitions when I searched for "knitting".

I was also able to get some advise from my LYS, but they just look at me like I'm crazy when I pull out aluminum(sp?) needles and then they start preaching about bamboo needles. I don't do this, but I always feel like yelling "ST*U ABT WHAT I'M USING AND SHOW ME HOW TO ****ING CABLE!" (Please excuse the implied language.) I usually just end up leaving with some excuse about needing to be somewhere, but then I go home and feel bad about getting so annoyed when someone's just trying to help.

So yeah, internet has been the best resource for me.

**Newbie to Knitting**
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Posted - 06/24/2008 :  2:08:28 PM  Show Profile Send a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My college roommate taught me to knit. She started me on a cardigan with size 15 needles. I thought it was wonderful. It was a hard choice -knit or study. So I did a little of both and now 40 years later I have the luxery of retirement and knitting anytime I want.

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Chatty Knitter

258 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2008 :  6:36:05 PM  Show Profile Send socker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The summer my mother was very ill, my grandmother taught my sister and I, her about 7 and me about 4, to knit and crochet. Today, many, many, years later, she crochets and I knit, I can remember my sister starting to crochet a small baby sweater for her life size doll baby, and I, with my knitting needles wanting to knit one for my baby doll, and grandma reading the crochet directions and telling me what I needed to do to knit one that was close to the same design.

As for today -- the choices in yarns, needles, and easy, quick access to free patterns is wonderful. When young, I don't think I ever used anything except Red Heart, and either milky white plastic like needles or metal needles. Most of the patterns came from Workbasket, Women's Day, and another publication like Workbasket, whose name escapes me through time.
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New Pal

36 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2008 :  06:22:54 AM  Show Profile Send poodlegirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My mom's friend taught me to knit when I was eight and in third grade. I had been fascinated y watching my friends knit during recess at school. My mom wanted to teach me but she knitted Continental style and all my friends knitted English style so naturally I wanted to follow the crowd.

I have no idea how many miles of yarn I've been through in all the years since -- knitting has been one of the great loves of my life!
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Chatty Knitter

296 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2008 :  08:50:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit knittinggal's Homepage Send knittinggal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A co-worker named Beverly taught me to knit in the early 80's. She would knit the most beautiful fair isle Christmas stockings on break. I adored them so much I asked her to teach me to knit. She taught me the knit and purl stitch (I had taught myself how to cast on) and that was it. I knitted a stockinette scarf for my mother. It was beautiful but it curled and I got disgusted. So I put the needles down until 2004. My sister, who never did any type of needlework, called me one day and said she was knitting and felt like she had knitted in a former life. I had been itching to do something crafty and found my long sticks and cast on. I did something horribly wrong and decided I needed a class. Found one but figured out I wasn't moving the yarn to the front when purling so the class wasn't necessary but it was fun! And this time I'm fully addicted.

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Chatty Knitter

112 Posts

Posted - 07/01/2008 :  7:59:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit Janbie's Homepage Send Janbie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm completely self-taught, too. That's because nobody - and I mean, absolutely NO ONE - in my family or circle of friends is crafty. But I do have a knitter-come-lately friend like myself who lives in the Bay Area, and we help each other out, plus are co-enablers to each other to go to Stitches West every year!

The KnitWit Copywriter
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and take a look around once in a while, you could miss it." Ferris Bueller
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