Early Knitting

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:

Starting Out

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:

Look at the Intarsia Roses

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.


About Knitterly Anne

A knitter for many years, I have become increasingly involved with designing knit patterns in recent years. Other interests include my lovi
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One Response to Early Knitting

  1. Sarah says:

    So color was always in you, even in the 60s. The sweater is gorgeous. Did you go into fashion design in College then? You were really talented even though! I was drawn to knitting when I was 15…a lady at church gave me my first and last knitted scarf–I think it was a thank-you gift for taking care of her children at Sunday services. One reason I never got into knitting until the 80s (when I was pregnant with my first child) was the scratchy acrylics. It was a knitted lace square blanket with knit-on edge in purple merino. Knitting was considered chic and fashionable then. I did it all without any help and finished it the day when I left the hospital with my son! I still have it but a few stitches unraveled–I plan to mend it someday 😀 I didn’t pick up knitting again until I was pregnant with my second daughter 15 years ago! This time it was a purple seed-stitch (?) sweater. I still have it in a box somewhere. After that, I knitted a dress that is very cute–unfinished in a box. I don’t remember what I did then–it’s a personal momento even it’s just hanging on the needles 😀 Since then, I knit some ponchos/wraps periodically. In Northern California, sweaters/blankets weren’t in need and wool knitting is unbearable–I though I was allergic to animal fiber then LOL I did have a funky sweater in novelty yarn that I will share soon–you inspire me to visit the memory lane, Anne.

    There isn’t any crafty mind in my family other than my aunt who passed away in early 80s. She was a talented seamstress–because it was her job–she didn’t do it as hobby when she’s at home. In late 70s, I went to the factory with her attempted to sew for money–it was very short-lived. I thought then I just wasn’t a crafty or creative kind of gal.

    I got a bug first winter when I moved to Oregon in 2005–six weeks’ straight of blizzard, snowfall. Where is one to do but knit wool! I knit and crochet some huge wraps, afghans, and even designed a few sweaters to keep me warm. serious bug got me big time in 2007–the rest is history and, like you, many are shared on Ravelry. Thank goodness for internet and Ravelry!

    Thank you for the

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