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 learned to knit very young, from my mum, who learned to knit from her mum, who learned to knit from her mum, who learned from her stepmother ... and so it goes.
My mum was always doing something crafty when I was little - she made virtually all of our clothes - in the picture below, I'm five - it's probably around my birthday, my sister is a year younger, and we're both wearing jumpers my mum knitted - Sis has a hat my mum made, and my trousers are homemade too - blue Crimplene flares! (And those of you who have seen pictures of the Tot will notice the resemblance between her and her mum at the same age!)
Anyway, it was probably around the time this photo was taken that my mum taught me to knit. Back in the early 1970s, there wasn't a whole host of distractions for children in a family where there wasn't much money, and bad weather ruled out my swing, or seeing Mr Ward's bantam hens, or climbing the apple tree in Matthew Abdy's garden. Mum cast on thirty stitches - I could count to thirty - using some dishcloth cotton and size 7 needles (metric was very much in its infancy in the UK, it's still a stroppy teenager thirty years later, but I digress) and taught me how to knit by chanting "in, over, through and off". And I was away ... I managed to do a couple of rows of purl, too, and how to cast off. Casting on was a technique that took me a while to get - I had to learn a two needle cast on, as being left handed and taught by a right-y, the thumb method just wasn't going to work...
My Ma still calls me cack handed at knitting, she maintains I hold everything in a very awkward way, but that doesn't stop her asking me to knit her socks ... it's rather sweet that I'm now the one making stuff for my mother rather than the other way round. I still sometimes have to call on her to remind me how to do things if I'm away from my books, and it's great that I have this resource and connection to my family going way back because of a shared interest.
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