I began knitting right around 1960. In my high-school years (graduation in 1964) I did a lot of knitting. I knit several sweaters for myself plus sweaters for my younger brothers. Some were definitely knit by following other folks’ patterns – I know I knit at least one Mary Maxim kit, with intarsia featured. I also designed quite a few of my own sweaters. There were some Aran-style sweaters and some textured knits. The examples I remember clearly were made of British 4-ply wool. In a couple of cases, I bought kits consisting of the yarn for a sweater plus yardage for sewing a straight skirt. My mother sewed these up for me. I know the sweaters for my brothers were in acrylic, though, and I think most of what I knit in those days was acrylic.
In those years, I also knit a lot of doll clothes. Some were for Barbie, and others were for Sindy and the Sunshine Family – also small dolls, but with more realistic figures. I designed these myself and wrote up many patterns longhand. I kept thinking about selling the patterns – either to a magazine or self-publishing. But that wasn’t easy in those days! I came across a notebook with some of those early patterns just recently. It was fun to see them!
In college, I continued to knit a lot. I was a huge fan of both Elizabeth Zimmerman and Barbara Walker. Most of my designs were inspired by one or both of them. I knit more than one Mosaic afghan. I have one of them again. My mother had it for many years. She knit one herself, too, but I’m pretty sure that’s the one my brother has. In that period, I also taught a college friend to knit. I showed her how to knit and purl, let her practice a little, and then helped her design an Aran sweater. I don’t think it ever got finished, but what there was of it looked great – and she wasn’t bored!
After my marriage, I knit a sweater for my husband – acrylic again, and still in use. I also knit quite a few things for my daughter, including various garments and some more doll clothes. Meg had the good taste to prefer Sasha dolls. Once Meg got to be 1o or 15, my knitting started to decrease in frequency. I usually had something in progress, but I didn’t finish very much.
This changed almost ten years ago now when I joined eBay and discovered Noro yarns. I bought a bag of Kureyon (10 balls) and made all kinds of things with it, though it’s not a colorway I’d choose now. Knitting with self-striping yarn was so much fun! From that point, I never looked back. In mid 2002, my husband was diagnosed with diabetes, and I began knitting socks to help with his cold feet. Socks have been a mainstay of my knitting since. Franklin wears handknit socks every day and I do almost every day. Meg has got a lot of pairs of socks from me, too, though she doesn’t have enough for daily wear yet. Perhaps soon!
And then Meg started dyeing yarn. In gorgeous color combinations, from the beginning. Then with stripes. And then the gorgeous Evolutions. And then came Ravelry. And I posted a few patterns and a couple of them caught on. I still get a real kick out of the fact that more than 500 pairs of Circle socks have been made! Knitting is more and more exciting to me, and designing is a real thrill.