12 February 2012

Knitting Through Generations

Everyone has their own story of how they came to learn to knit/crochet/spin.  I particularly love hearing those stories, especially because I personally cannot imagine my life without knitting and spinning!

I learned to knit from my mother my junior year of high school as a way to reduce stress and anxiety.  She gave me my first set of bamboo, straight needles and then bought me a skein of Rowan Cashsoft (in a pretty maroon color if I recall).

It was tough going at first and I had to come to her multiple times wondering where my some of stitches mysteriously disappeared to, but before I knew it she was teaching me how to purl.

After that I used knitting as a strategy for relaxing when I got too stressed, my teachers got used to me determinedly working on my misshapen squares during class.  Now I can honestly say that knitting got me through a pretty rough time in my life (and since then it has accompanied me through some wonderfully exciting times as well).

Shortly after my mother gave me this truly wonderful gift of a new skill, she also started on a sweater for me.  I actually don't remember the specifics of the pattern (Vogue Knitting?) or the yarn, but even after a few years I still love this sweater to death:

When she gave me this sweater I think that was the first time that I realized what I could do with knitting (other than knit squares, unravel them, and repeat), which really inspired me to challenge myself and learn to actually work from a pattern.

I still wear this sweater almost every week because it comforts me and reminds me of the mother who spent a huge amount of time knitting me a cabled sweater because she loves me so much.  It's starting to look a little raggedy now, but I don't care, I'll cherish it forever.

This was also some of my reasoning behind working on her alpaca sweater.  She gave me a sweater that I will love forever, and I would like to attempt the same kind of project for her.

As you can see, I've finally attached the sleeves to the body of the sweater and am getting pretty close to finishing!  Hopefully I'll be able to send it off to her for her birthday next month.

I would love to hear your stories about how you came to knit, crochet, spin, or whatever!


  1. Very cool story! My story is definitely not that interesting. In high school I guess I had the crafty urge so I picked up a learn to crochet book and some cheap acrylic yarn and some plastic crochet hooks. My tension was so tight that I ended up breaking the crochet hook in half and broke down in tears. It was then that I decided crocheting wasn't for me and decided to switch to knitting. I taught myself how to knit using Debbie Stoller's Stitch n' Bitch book. Been having fun ever since!

    1. That is an awesome story! Even though I'm sorry to hear that learning to crochet went so badly. You decided to try something else through the help of a book and look at you now, knitter extraordinaire! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love the sweater that your mother made you. I taught myself to knit when I was in high school, after learning to crochet in elementary school from a teacher. Crocheting never really stuck with me, but I caught the knitting bug and I caught it bad!

  3. I loved reading about the sweater your mother gave you and how you started knitting. A good friend taught me to knit about seven years ago but I was so bad at it I eventually gave up. After I gave away all my needles and yarn I suddenly wanted to knit again, and haven't stopped since.

  4. Me being a crazy Disney person, this is seriously a whole "circle of life" type thing. The idea that your mom made you a sweater and now you are making her one is really interesting and heartfelt. I hope you are able to continue making things for your family that they will cherish forever!


  5. I love these stories too! I first learned how to knit from my grandmom when I was 10 or so. Being the tomboy that I was, I didn't really find it all that interesting then. I would prefer to spend my time outdoors with my brother and cousins. Then when I was a junior in high school I decided I want to try it again. This time I retaught myself using a book. I twisted every stitch for several projects until I realized I was knitting wrong! Though, essentially, I taught myself, I still like to credit my grandmom who tried first! :)

  6. Oh, Pumpkin--You make me smile with this beautiful mother-daughter story!
    How lucky you both are...and how much she will love this 'return on the investment of love' gift!
    (We mothers live for moments like this!) :)

  7. What a lovely story! My parents bought me a set of knitting needles in a case when I was in my mid-twenties because "they thought I would like them." I got discouraged early on because I couldn't figure out how t purl. I didn't end up teaching myself to knit until one day I had a really bad cold and I was bored laying in bed doing nothing. There has been no going back since then, and I've put those needles to good use!

  8. Wow, that sweater is gorgeous! Yours is coming along nicely, too. :)

  9. What a great gift! I'm sure she will treasure it just as much as you treasure the one she made for you!
    I learned to knit when I was around 7 I think. Both my mom and my grandmother taught me. I still remember sitting in a little chair by the stove in my grandmothers kitchen :)

  10. Wow, she started you off on the "good stuff" ... the really good stuff! :) I feel the same way about a favorite sweater my grandma made me. That cabling is gorgeous!

  11. Both sweaters are truly gorgeous, and such a sweet story of how you learned to knit. I actually can't remember learning to knit all that well, I was tiny. I only started to knit actual patterns about two years ago though, because like you I just re-knit the same squares for the first few years...


I would love to hear from you!