Thanks so much to Eskimimi for coming up with the idea for a group of knit and crochet blogs to tackle the same topics for a week. I’m delighted to join in.
Here is the first day’s topic:
How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda?
Well, now, I’m not actually sure when I learned to knit, but I know that I knit a great many things while I was in high school and I can’t remember knitting anything earlier, so I think I probably learned at the beginning of my high school years, so somewhere right around 1960. I believe that I learned to crochet a bit earlier. I’m reasonably certain that my mother taught me, as she knit some all her life. I particularly remember an Aran sweater she knit for my father that he wore until it needed leather patches on the elbows.
I remember stating clearly that I was not going to knit scarves – that would be too boring. I know that I knit many sweaters during my high school years – some for me, some for my brothers, some for my mother. I don’t remember knitting any for my father. Most of my knitting at this time was with acrylic yarns, but they tended to be nice ones – Pingouin, Phildar and many British yarns.
My mother had on hand a collection of Vogue Knitting magazines and McCall’s Needlework and Crafts. I just looked at eBay and found several that are extraordinarily familiar. In fact, there may be some in the attic of my house. At any rate, even then I mostly modified patterns a lot or designed my own.
One thing I did a lot of in high school was to design and knit clothes for Barbie dolls and my favorites, the Sunshine Family. I always wanted to publish some of these designs, but didn’t know how to go about it. So I did not, in fact publish anything until the advent of the Internet and, in particular, Ravelry. The knitting website that my husband set up for me some years ago is here and it contains mention of some of my early knitting and even a few examples.
Here is an early mohair sweater I made for myself (I believe out of Pingouin Mohair Number 1, but that may be a totally false “memory”.) My mother wore it for years – it’s awfully scratchy, so I never have:
I’ve never really stopped knitting since that time, though I have had some very slow periods. It’s back to the prominence in my life that it had in high school, and I’m really glad that it is.