KniCroBloWeek: Post 1. Starting Out

I came across KniCroBloWeek over at Knitting Ninja and I thought it was a great way to get me blogging this week. It also makes me think about crafts again. I’ve been in a bit of a crafty funk, so this is good motivation.  So, here it is:

Starting Out

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 consider myself to be very lucky to be a part of such a crafty family. My Mum knit, crocheted, did stained glass, glass fusing, crochet beading, lampwork, and paper tole. My sister and I were always encouraged to be creative and crafty, and today, my sister is a student at the Alberta School of Art and Design, with a focus on textile arts. I remember Mum trying to teach me to knit and crochet as a child, but it never really stuck. For me, my attention was stolen by drawing and painting. Despite that, we were always surrounded by hand knit afghans, crocheted slippers and beautiful doilies that we took for granted.

The stained glass lamp my mum made Pat and I

My sister, Tracy, modelling one of the silk scarves she dyed

It was my second year of University when I finally approached Mum to teach me. I was taking a summer distance course from my University in British Literature and needed something to do that would keep me sane while Professor Kermit went on another tirade instead of teaching us about Pride and Prejudice. Mum asked me what I wanted to make, and being who I am, I demanded leg warmers. She tried to convince me that perhaps a nice scarf would be a good place to start, but I insisted. So, for my very first project, I started out with four dpns, some Red Heart cream acrylic and a free pattern from the net (which amazed Mum, she never thought to check online for knitting or crochet patterns).

The legwarmer that started it all

Unfortunately, like any beginner knitter, I dropped stitches, I twisted stitches, I lost needles and had all sorts of gauge issues. I only finished one leg warmer and have since hidden it away. It was pure and total fug, but it didn’t matter. I caught the bug.

I ran out and bought myself a copy of Debbie Stoller’s Stitch ‘N Bitch and realized that Mum was right. A scarf was a much better place to start.

My first finished object (aka FO)

From there, I took the leap to teaching my then best friend to knit, to joining the local knitting meet up, getting a job at the local yarn store (only lasted 3 shifts. Apparently, I couldn’t mix business and pleasure in my early 20s), meeting knitting celebrities and then completely running the local Knit Night and Ravelry group.

Today, things are a bit different. I knit off and on, but I’m no longer part of any group. I’ve given up all of the knit nite and rav group management stuff, and have returned to my roots of crafting for fun and function. The social aspects just got to be too much for me. It’s still something I’m in love with and that I feel connects me to past generations of women in my family.

My Mum teaching my niece to knit, while I watch on.

3 thoughts on “KniCroBloWeek: Post 1. Starting Out

  1. So glad you found this! Reading everyone’s posts this week is going to be a lot of fun. :)

    It’s amazing how many knitters I know that started their craft through reading Stitch and Bitch. It’s such a fab book for getting your feet wet in knitting. I still recommend it to any friend who wants to learn!

    You have such a craft-filled family, that’s so awesome!

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