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?
I’ve been crafty for as long as I can remember. As a kid I often went to craft classes at a local craft store (and I still have many of them, in various states of being scrunched up and glue is coming undone after so many years!). I made friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss. I beaded. I think it was only a matter of time before I found knitting. When I was in graduate school I was still beading, but I was losing interest in it. I had thought about knitting on and off for a while, but only in passing. After September 11, like many people, I decided to get some yarn and needles and a booklet, one of those “OMG I’m knitting!” types of booklets and had a go. A great feature of that booklet was that it had illustrated left-handed instructions! I started with Red Heart yarn, big needles and just knit – one stitch at a time.
I decided to make an afghan for then-boyfriend (now-husband!). Two huge honking garter stitch rectangles. Miles of garter stitch it felt like. Dan was thrilled – and that was it – I was a knitter! We still have and use that afghan too – all i can see are the mistakes, the terrible seam, and I want to make a new one asap. After grad school I slowly built up my stash. I’ve learned there acrylic and there’s acryl-ICK. I knit slippers, beer cozies, a dolphin, a ladybug washcloth… I started a sweater and frogged it and started it again (still have some of that yarn too).
As I started knitting more and getting better I started learning about the knitting my grandmothers dabbled in – Nana told me about an argyle sock that went on way longer than a sock should be (and that was the end of her knitting) and Gram had acrylic yarn stashed and a few hand-written patterns on index cards. That was surprising to me because I really didn’t see either grandmother indulge in crafty things!
My mom is a crafty one, and soon after I told her about my knitting, she told me that she was trying it too. She even went with me to a knit night at a local library – but she really was still a beginner and it just didn’t take with her like it did with me. Interesting – she hasn’t given me all the yarn and needles in her house, so maybe she’ll pick it up at some point.
I sometimes wish that I could say “Oh yes, my Irish great grandmother taught me the proper Aran cabling” or something like that, but on the other hand I *almost* think it might be more fun to be that to someone else down my family tree that I haven’t even met yet.