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elkymama
Seriously Hooked

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  08:38:00 AM  Show Profile Send elkymama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've noticed that a number of us learned to knit as youngsters, then have had lapses of 5, 10, even 20 years, and even two or three lapses, before we become hooked on knitting.

What is it that keeps us coming back? What is it that makes knitting finally click?

How is it we can not knit for 20 years and return to it knitting better than ever? (How I wish I could return to playing the piano after 20 years and be better than ever!)

RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  08:45:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, you could return to piano and be better than you were when you started. You lose pitch-sensitivity and flexibility, and the visual memory of reading the notes as well, not just the repeated motions. But I'd be willing to be you could still do the very basic finger exercises (C-E-G-C-G-E-C...) that you repeated over and over and over again.

Most of my students that fit into what you're describing can remember to knit with a little coaching, purl with a tiny bit more, and basically have to relearn casting on. Because in one scarf we might work several thousand knit stitches but only 40 CO stitches.

It's a muscle memory thing.

The process of knitting is much closer to that of riding a bike than it is to learning a langauge or musical instrument.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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KL
Permanent Resident

6041 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  08:51:05 AM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well,for me-
It was first raising babies, then couple that with teaching, -

then teenagers, a divorce, and working 3 freaking jobs to keep afloat-

the turnaround finally came with a great job, but then got seriously sick-that is when I first picked up Needlepoint and then on to resume knitting during a 6 month recuperation. KL
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LittleMousling
Permanent Resident

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  09:09:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit LittleMousling's Homepage Send LittleMousling a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What made me pick up the needles for good was definitely wool. Wool and the internet. I'd always worked with acrylic and over the years I taught myself, out of a single book, cabling, entrelac, basic lace, double knitting, stranded colorwork (on the flat--ugh!), intarsia, and backwards knitting. But it was very much a stop and start hobby for me, because I was working with eyelash yarns and Homespun and other absolute crap, and hated them, but didn't know there was anything else out there except Wool-Ease, which had its own issues.
But one day I happened to wonder about the online knitting community (or I stumbled across it looking for a better sock pattern than the one in said book, possibly), and soon enough I was ordering some Highland Wool from Elann (still my favorite simple wool) and then I was hooked, line and sinker. It really helped that I already knew how to do most things, so I could take my eonderful wool and jump right into whatever struck my fancy.

-Molly, obsessive but not exclusive socknitter
Stash photos, WIPs and some FOs
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craftaholic
New Pal

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  10:38:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit craftaholic's Homepage Send craftaholic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh yes, the yarn choices now are so much better than they were before. I always had problems trying to substitute before, now I thoroughly enjoy being able to knit with the yarn the pattern calls for. Which is a big reason why my stash is out of hand. Gotta get the right yarn before it disappears.

After my lapse of 15-20 years, knitting, purling and casting on were no problem - I had to look up how to bind off though.

Cathy
http://www.craftholic.net/wpsessions/
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busypainter
Chatty Knitter

USA
115 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  2:45:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit busypainter's Homepage Send busypainter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think with me it is the yarn choices we have now then when I was a kid. When I first started to knit, we seemed to have only the basic colors and mostly acrylic yarns. The equipment was very basic and the patterns were basic also. Not too many choices back then as we do have now.

Yhe yarn industry has exploded with new patterns, yarns and equipment to keep everyone interested. They must have been in a slump and this helped turn the industry around. It seems we have more designers that have created us beautiful patterns to go with the new yarn blends. My grandmother would be shocked and pleased at the same time to see where knitting has envolved too.

More books are comming out all the time and of course you just have to have a certain one. It is so exciting to be knitting in this time.

Knitting has helped me over the years and has brought me closer to a few friends. As my life is changing, so has my knitting. lace is very intersting to me now. Being a artist, I can appreciate how the designs go together. I find that very fascinating and hope someday to design a shawl in a lace design.

It is nice to see how my kniting has grown up through the years from a little scarf to an intricate lace shawl pattern.

I enjoy learning new things all the time and in kniting there is always so much to learn.

Knitting lace and loving it!
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hissyknit
Permanent Resident

USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  3:06:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit hissyknit's Homepage Send hissyknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I picked up knitting (again--the first time didn't take) when my physical therapist recommended it to keep my wrist supple after smashing into forty pieces and my elbow from stiffening up (I broke that in three places). I started knitting in earnest over a year ago and have yet to come up for air.

Christy B.
"I run with scissors and eat paste."

I am no longer a blog virgin. Visit my new blog!!!
http://hissyknit.blogspot.com/
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hillstreetmama
Permanent Resident

USA
3448 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  3:24:20 PM  Show Profile Send hillstreetmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I picked it up after a 25 year lapse. I think the yarns weren't too exciting back then, and the only needle choices were aluminum or plastic straights. The internet has helped, since it has been my 'teacher' to go to when I'm stuck. I did crochet for years, but somehow acrylic wasn't so bad for crochet. I just didn't know any other knitters back then! If there had been a group....maybe I would have stuck with it.

Jan
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Mickey
Permanent Resident

USA
1670 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  7:21:06 PM  Show Profile Send Mickey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I learned to knit in highschool, but didn't enjoy it much. Then I picked it up again in the early 80's when I was living in Sweden. Good wool and wool blends have always been available there, as well as wonderful patterns, traditional and contemporary. I've been knitting ever since, sometimes more, sometimes less, continuously learning new techniques and improving my skills.
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yittleknitter
New Pal

13 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  7:40:48 PM  Show Profile Send yittleknitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I learned first as a child (my grandmother tried to teach me I think). Then I tried to teach myself a few times.....

But what made it stick was grief. I came to knitting after a HUGE loss, and I needed it. I needed something to do with my hands, something to hold onto...something to absorb all that pain - something to keep me tethered. Yarn did that, for me. Knitting did it for me. I'm hooked for life.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

You are what you repeatedly do.
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elkymama
Seriously Hooked

USA
688 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  8:11:28 PM  Show Profile Send elkymama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All of y'all's stories are interesting.
I'd been wondering why I didn't much enjoy knitting when I was a teenager, even though I was skillful enough to knit a mohair sweater. I first learned with the "throwing" method and always struggled with uneven stitches and rows.

I laid down my knitting at age 17 and didn't pick it up again for 15 years when my aunt taught me Continental. I took to Continental style immediately and knit for a few years, but set it aside because I couldn't find nice wool yarn. Cotton and acrylic didn't ring my chimes. Yarn aside, I also had many family obligations, running a couple of businesses, raising 2 kids, etc.

A couple of years ago, I began noticing all the many new and interesting yarns and suddenly knitting began singing to me again. Thanks to KR,other knitting resources and all the many beautiful natural yarns now available, I now have a major knitting obsession.

Thanks to the support and advice from the KR community, I think I'm a little more patient and attentive with my knitting.
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yarnmama
Seriously Hooked

880 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  8:17:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit yarnmama's Homepage Send yarnmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with many others that the discovery of wonderful yarns, wool especially and the online knitting community has spurned it on for me. I took the basic skills I learned when I was 14 and ran with it about 7 years ago. I hadn't knit much during the interim years between high school and my early 30's. I found wool and the knitlist and I was off and running. It has been such a wonderful addition to my life.

Catherine Harrison
owner of Knitting Notions:Kettle Dyed yarns, Hardwood yarn swifts and more
http://www.knittingnotionsonline.com
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knitting_wounded
Gabber Extraordinaire

365 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2007 :  9:00:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit knitting_wounded's Homepage  Send knitting_wounded a Yahoo! Message Send knitting_wounded a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Me too. I didn't want to knit any of the ancient intarsia-Disney patterns in the books at my local library with the yarns at my local craft stores. Finding all these neat patterns, communities, and materials online really brought me back to the knitting fold.

Oh, and finally figuring out how to purl really helped too.

quote:
Originally posted by LittleMousling

What made me pick up the needles for good was definitely wool. Wool and the internet.


Check out the Knitting Wounded Tent: http://knittingwounded.blogspot.com
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ceecee
Permanent Resident

1896 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2007 :  06:05:10 AM  Show Profile Send ceecee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Go ahead and laugh - for me, it was novelty yarn. A friend learned to knit and was turning out sparkly scarves with novelty yarn. I needed to come up with items for fundraisers so I jumped back into the knitting game. Around the same time, DD's friend knitted her a scarf and this spurred her to learn so we enabled each other. I have to say that without the internet and forums like KR, I would not have become completely ensnared. It was here that I first became intrigued by lace and socks and these are what I always have on the needles.
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nwilson02
Chatty Knitter

USA
214 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2007 :  06:52:30 AM  Show Profile Send nwilson02 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I picked up knitting 15 years after I had put it down for a specific reason, to lose weight. My idea was good, if I kept my hands busy they couldn't put food in my mouth. Let me tell you that as a weight loss tool knitting doesn't work, at least for me. However, I became hooked and haven't looked back. There've been a few "lapses" where I had knitted so much for a specific reason that I put the needles down for a rest for a short time but they always seem to find their way back to my hands and it's on to the next project. So you can just call me chubby and happy knitting.

Nancy
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KathyMarie
Chatty Knitter

USA
125 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2007 :  07:38:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit KathyMarie's Homepage Send KathyMarie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My mom taught me to crochet in October 2003(?) because I didn't have any money to buy my boyfriend (now husband) a Christmas present. I made him a scarf out of black and grey acrylic, and was hooked (ha!) on crochet. I mostly worked with acrylics because they were *so* cheap and *so* colorful. Except Lion Brand Homespun. That stuff made my skin crawl.

I think what spurred me on to better yarns was going online and looking at crochet and knit forums, reading blogs and hearing what other people were working on. Then I learned to knit and just loved it. Still love it, being able to make someone warm, being able to *make* something from beautiful yarn. I only use acrylics for huge charity afghans now. Another part of what pulled me into knitting were the designs and the look of knitted fabric. Crocheted fabric is often too bulky to be attractive and knits just look better to my eye for garments.

Oh, and I knit Continental now, after learning English initially. I think it's the crochet background that makes yarn in the left hand feel better.

KM

My Blog: http://getyourhookon.blogspot.com
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procrastiknitter
Permanent Resident

Canada
1415 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2007 :  09:44:02 AM  Show Profile Send procrastiknitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was taught to knit when I was eight, but couldn't learn to purl and didn't stick with it. I picked it up again a few years ago and it all clicked and I soon became obsessed. I was/am too sick to do much more, so it gave me a purpose and a sense of achievement. The internet enabled me ... to learn more techniques and to become inspired to do advanced work.

Can you imagine a world without rhetorical questions?
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