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JSRaymond@sbcglobal.net
New Pal

4 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2004 :  07:35:56 AM  Show Profile Send JSRaymond@sbcglobal.net a Private Message
I learned to FINGER KNIT without needles when I was in Kindergarten on the playground with about 5 other girls. My mom saw me doing it at home and dug up my grandma's needles (she passed on when I was an infant) and found her old knitting book (MOM does NOT knit). I picked it up and learned Continental style for which I am now grateful. Mom Says that my Grandma lives in my love for knitting and I would like to think so. I would also like to think that of my Kindergarten classmates, at least one still knits. I don't even remember who they were. I just remember the thrill of learning FINGER KNITTING for the first time! Sue

You can't finish what you don't start!
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wheresfall
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2004 :  07:56:26 AM  Show Profile Send wheresfall a Private Message
My mother was able to sew, knit and crochet but she refused to teach me any of these crafts. She said that she just wanted me to study. She was not able to get an education so she pushed me hard and now I have two master's degrees. However, I taught myself to sew, knit and crochet and have taken occasional classes to improve my skills.
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gmflans


Posts

Posted - 12/03/2004 :  10:58:55 AM  Show Profile Send gmflans a Private Message
My Mom knit when I was very small. I didn't learn from her because she stopped knitting. I taught myself to crochet at 13 and to knit at about 38. I've since taught my teen-aged daughters and lots of younger friends. I think learning yourself from books and patterns is not the normal way, but it worked for me so now I'm passing the skill along to as many people as I can!
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nmarshall
Warming Up

USA
50 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2004 :  11:12:13 AM  Show Profile Send nmarshall a Private Message
I don't remember learning to knit, but it took place 40 some years ago at the feet of my mom when I was very small (4?). She, I do remember, was knitting a colorful mohair sweater at the time. She's still a knitter and makes most of her clothes. Her mom was a needlepointer, sewing and knitting only as required. And of course prior generations knitted and sewed out of necessity as well. I've so appreciated the community of internet knitters. You have all provided a wider view of knitting, its arts, and its techniques. I've knitted socks and mittens since I was ten, intarsia and fari isle, but I've never knitted as well as I do now - with all of you as examples. Learning never stops -Nancy
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CAJill
New Pal

29 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2004 :  3:35:38 PM  Show Profile Send CAJill a Private Message
The scientist in me is saying "boy, it sure would be interesting to sort these replies by the person's age, since that may determine who taught them to knit". My mother sews and gardens, but doesn't do any sort of needlework. To her, handknit sweaters meant that you were poor, so there wasn't any incentive to learn. This woman was a teenager in the 50's, when angora sweatersets were worn with bobby socks and saddle shoes. In her defense, I suppose angora yarn wasn't really that much cheaper than buying the sweater. Sewing, however, was acceptable since by using a Vogue pattern you could recreate a Paris designer original. I know that Vogue Knitting was also around back then, but I don't think sweaters made quite the same high fashion statement.
I learned to knit and crochet from my grandmother, who like many women knit socks and seamen's scarves for the troops in WWII. The first item I made (at 5!) was a pair of those garter stitch slippers with the pompoms on the toes. My pompoms could have used some help, since my grandma really didn't like making them. At age 8, she showed me how to knit on double-pointed needles because I REALLY wanted to make the knit figure-skating dress for my Barbie doll. Unfortunately, I didn't really understand how to measure the gauge of a work-in-progress to make sure it stayed constant, so it ended up too small and was worn by my Skipper doll instead.
Everything else I have taught myself using instruction books. I just happen to have one of those mathematical/mechanical engineer-type minds, so I didn't find them confusing at all. In fact, that's what attracts me to knitting and sewing-they take a flat piece of cloth or a floppy piece of yarn and create a useful structure that can also look attractive. By doing this myself, I can engineer in certain features that I like in my clothing that isn't always found in ready-to-wear, like side slits at the bottom of tunic length sweaters or a better fitting bustline.
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2004 :  3:54:18 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
My mum tried to teach me but I didn't quite get the hang of it, so then a wonderful Dutch woman from my Amnesty group showed me. Needlework of all types is in my heritage. My ancestors were the court embroiderers for the Austro-Hungarian Empire; they did Maria Theresa's coronation robes, among other things. If I can ever figure out how to pitch a book, I would love to do one on Slavic knitting and needlework. My mum's great aunt/cousin(it's a Slavic thing - if you're related but don't know how, you're cousins)was a nun who specialised in the restoration and preservation of items worked in human hair. Not all of my siblings knit, but we all have very creative and textile based hobbies.

"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness." Gandhi
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Chayah
Permanent Resident

1927 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2004 :  4:21:32 PM  Show Profile Send Chayah a Private Message
My grandmother was a wonderful needlewoman, I still have some of her pieces, and she did teach me to knit and crochet, although I didn't really use those skills till much later.Now I am happy to carry on some of these crafts, although not nearly at her level. My mom could knit, sew and embroider, but much preferred cooking and baking, which she did really well. Mokey, what a great story, royal needleworkers! Chayah in Ny
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SerMom
Permanent Resident

Canada
6412 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2004 :  5:32:39 PM  Show Profile Send SerMom a Private Message
I'm Jewish from eastern Europe, so I've never had grandmothers or aunts. My mother never learned to do any of the (as Fran put it) womanly arts, including cooking. She learned after she was married. Basically, I've taught myself, from books, trial and error, and all the excellent acvice here.

I'm hoping my daughter will take to it, but so far she's not terribly interested. She's started a couple of things, but loses interest fairly quickly.

On the other hand, I do have the knitting club at her school, so I'm passing it on to several girls of her generation (yes, they're all girls this time).

Barbara
Remember, we're self-selecting!

My photos: password: sermom
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tribaldancer@earthlink.net


Posts

Posted - 12/03/2004 :  8:42:42 PM  Show Profile Send tribaldancer@earthlink.net a Private Message
I started knitting about a year ago and when I called my 73 year old Mum to tell her she said, "I can knit". In all my 38 years I had never seen her knit which I told her. About two weeks later, I receive a package in the mail. Inside? A beautifully knitted sampler with about 15 different stitches, all perfect! I had inspired her to go and buy some needles and yarn to see if she remembered how. She was taught by her Mum during WWII in England...they would knit socks and sweaters by candlelight during the blackouts. Now she's knitting like crazy and man, is she fast!

J.
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Becky
New Pal

USA
36 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2004 :  9:02:03 PM  Show Profile Send Becky a Private Message
My Mom taught me to crochet one terrible snowy weekend when we had no electricity, no heat and couldn't leave the house. We just kept working and working until the afghan was big enough to cover us both. I saw my aunt knit a lot when I was younger. I loved it so much that I bought a 1940s era instruction book in a thrift shop, got some Red Heart and taught myself how to knit.
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carrie_sullivan100@hotmail.com


Posts

Posted - 12/04/2004 :  11:53:55 AM  Show Profile Send carrie_sullivan100@hotmail.com a Private Message
I was taught by my sister to crochet by my sister when i was on bed rest with my second child.My sister was taught by my Grandmother and her mother taught her.No one in my family Knits but me.I learned to knot last year from a friend.
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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2004 :  1:20:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message
My mother taught me to knit when I was, I think, about 7 or 8. She used to knit a lot of our clothes - necessity as we were not well off.

Her mother (my Grandma) also knit. She was the one who taught me to embroider but I was never as good as her. Looking back I guess you couldn't really expect a child of about 10 to embroider as well as an adult who had doen it most of her life! I didn't realise that then, though! I can remember Grandma with something in her hands most of the time - whether it was her knitting or darning, sometimes embroidery. She was the one to make me a red dressing gown for my birthday or Christmas (I can't remember which). But bad eyesight caught up with her as well as arthritis, I guess. As they did for my Mum.

I always wanted Mum to teach me to crochet but she wouldn't. She hated to crochet, I think. So I eventually found a booklet and taught myself the basics! That theme of self-teaching seemed to carry on with me as later on, when I was about 17 or 18 I bought a spinning wheel and taught myself to spin form another small book! That was after Dad and I oiled the wheel, put a coat of varnish on it and assembled it. A real together project. I will never sell that wheel even though I seldom use that paticular one now.

"Craftiness" or creativity must run in our family a bit, too, and not just for the sake of necessity. An uncle on my Dad's side was really good at drawing, as was my sister. That particular talent is decidedly lacking in me, however! But my sister, who can knit and crochet but seldom does it, used to do a lot of petit-point. Too fiddly for me. I used to dabble a bit in cross-stitch but the less finicky arts appeal to me better.

During the 70's - 80's I did quite a lot of macrame until I was working on a piece when I wasn't feeling well. Even now I still feel a little queasy when I think of it again!

I have also dabbled a bit in weaving but that doesn't really excite me anymore. Rather like dressmaking which I also used to be quite good at.

No, for me, now, it is knitting and spinning. Not enough hours in the day for a lot more!

KathyR

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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Sportweight
Chatty Knitter

125 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2004 :  2:49:18 PM  Show Profile Send Sportweight a Private Message
My grandmother taught me the basics of knitting many years ago but I mostly taught myself, beginning about this time last year. My grandmother was a seamstress and also crocheted, tatted and quilted. Knitting was probably her least favorite. My mother was an excellent seamstress and quilter. My aunt on my father's side has done all of the aforementioned arts and crafts and does them all beautifully. Even though my mother never knitted, knitting makes me feel closer to her, because she was always doing some type of needlework. I wish she were still here to see some of the things I've knitted. I know she would think it's wonderful that I finally (in middle age) found how rewarding the needle arts can be.

Sportweight
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busygirl
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
1673 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2004 :  3:25:24 PM  Show Profile Send busygirl a Private Message
My mother taught me to knit when I was about 5 years old - just the knit stitch,and then when I was about 8,my maternal grandmother showed me how to purl.She was a very good neeedlewoman,and did really exquisite embroidery.I was taught a few basic embroidery stitches,but never really took to it;I found it too fiddly and time-consuming.I have done a bit of patchwork, which I enjoyed,and plan to take it up again when I have more time.
My paternal great-grandmother was a seamstress in her youth;she taught her three daughters to sew,and I can remember her showing me how to make dolls' clothes.My grandmother and her sisters did a lot of knitting for the troops during World War 2;she often told me that she would sit up late at night,finishing sweaters.

Leslie
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KysKnitnMom
Permanent Resident

1050 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2004 :  4:12:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit KysKnitnMom's Homepage Send KysKnitnMom a Private Message
I learned how to knit after seeing an article in the paper about a new yarn shop. I went in and immediately signed up for a class. It's been two years and I'm hooked, aren't we all :) When I signed up for the class my Dad mentioned to me that my mom used to knit when I was very small. She died when I was 7 so I didn't remember her ever knitting. So I like to think she passed it on to me even though she didn't actually teach me how.

Megann, in sunny San Diego.


What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about....
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Jewles
Chatty Knitter

USA
139 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  06:43:41 AM  Show Profile Send Jewles a Private Message
A college roommate taught me how to knit. My mother and her mother did not knit, but my father's grandmother did. My step-mother knits and crochets. I taught my sons (now 13 and 9) to knit 2 years ago when they both had the flu and we were stuck in the house for a week. My 9 year old is sitting next to me working on a scarf right now. My 13 year old has not stuck with it.
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cclough8@msn.com


Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  2:47:46 PM  Show Profile Send cclough8@msn.com a Private Message
My mother first taught me to knit and since she taught herself she had a unique way of holding her left hand needle. She held it under her arm and knit from it there. That's how I knit until a college friend, who had knit from babyhood practically, (she could knit it complete darkness and never make a mistake!)showed me how to knit holding the needle in my hand instead of supporting it under my arm. My Mother says she can remember her grandmother knitting all her winter socks, but she never learned from her.
My daughter used to do cross stitching--I taught her that--but she's really into scrapbooking now and has abandoned her cross stitching. She's never shown an interest in knitting, although while she was growing up I didn't knit much. I was weaving then.
My aunt was a great crocheter and could do the most complex patterns very quickly. She showed me how to crochet. I remember when I first learned I made a chain stitch about a million miles long!
I took a long hiatus from knitting and am just starting up again. I'm enjoying it more now than I ever have before. I've started several projects in the far past, which I've just rediscovered going through my old yarn stash to see if I can use any of it. None of them are finished, I'm embarrassed to say. But now I seem able to complete what I begin. How nice. It may help that I'm knitting for a grandbaby on the way.
Cherie
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Narbour
Warming Up

USA
60 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  4:10:43 PM  Show Profile Send Narbour a Private Message
My grandmother was a master crocheter and knitter and I recently found out this summer that she taught my two aunt's to do the same (who knew?) It was only because I brought my knitting with me for a visit with them and was going on and on (and probably on some more) about this being my newfound addiction. My grandma gave me a blanket that she crocheted before I left this summer which brought tears to my eyes... I felt so honored! I also found out she was an amazing seamstress and made lots of beautiful clothes for my cousin. She is 99 now and no longer does any of those things because of arthritis. Unfortunately I didn't learn from my aunts or my grandmother but it feels good to know they share my passion for the craft. It was so cool to sit in a room with them all and talk about the kinds of projects we've worked on. Definitely a special visit I will never forget.

I don't have any children but my best friend in the world has a 7 year old. We spent the weekend together and I taught her the knit stitch. She loved it! She slept over Saturday night and when she woke up on Sunday she told me she loves knitting and when she is not knitting she is dreaming about knitting! SO SWEET! I am so happy to be able to pass this craft on... what fun!
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LubbleFlubble
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2004 :  4:47:57 PM  Show Profile Send LubbleFlubble a Private Message
I taught myself how to knit about two years ago and then taught my mom how to knit. Since then, I have started a knitting club at school and have taught many others. Nothing makes me happier than to be able to share my passion.
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probablyjane
Permanent Resident

United Kingdom
1227 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2004 :  6:28:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit probablyjane's Homepage Send probablyjane a Private Message
I was taught to knit by my grandmother with help from my mum and the odd bit of guidance from my dad. Knitting has always been a part of our family life and continues with me and my aunt. I have family photos of me aged about four wearing a moss stitch pink cardigan the buttons of which I still have in my button tin (yes, we're a family that keeps a button tin)My most poignant memory is my mum learning to use a circular needle a few days before she died to finish a sweater for my sister. Handknits are a real symbol of family love and security for us so it's my job to keep us all in socks. I was at my sister's house at the weekend and noticed with pleasure that she still uses the baby blanket I made for my 2 year old neice before she was born to sooth her to sleep (I also noticed it was as good as new despite dozens of washings - let's hear it for Debbie Bliss wool cotton!)

Best wishes

Jane
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