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Live ~ Laugh ~ Knit

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Who taught you to knit?

The Madison Poncho was hands down the biggest thing ever Eleanor has knit to date.  It is quite an accomplishment  With the leftover yarn, she is knitting a hat to match (from same magazine).

She even found a silk scarf to match.

Eleanor will be Styling with a capital S.  

With the Poncho done, she began swatching for Burrow with North Star (Bulky: 92% Camelid - Alpaca, 8% Nylon, 109 yards). She found this yarn to be a pleasure to knit with.

She can also return to her Customfit cardigan knit with Kid Paillettes (Lace: 42% Mohair, 40% Polyester, 18% Silk, 136 yards).

Last week Corneilia finished the modifications on her daughter's sweater and it fits beautifully.

Now she has nothing to knit! She is religious about only knitting one thing at a time. Her daughter wants a poncho and is coming to pick out yarn, until then she has nothing to knit.   I can't corrupt her to cast on for more than one project.

While Cornelia wandered around the shop looking for inspiration she came upon the Artyarns Ensemble Light (DK: 50% Silk, 50% Cashmere, 400 yards).  This yarn intrigued her (as well it should).  She's considering it for her next Customfit sweater.  We happened to have leftover Ensemble Light from when Danni knit the store sample.

I gave her the yarn and needles to cast on and get a feeling for the yarn. She couldn't remember the long-tail cast on.  While I was helping another student, Jane refreshed her memory. 

    I felt much better now that she had sticks and string in hand.

 Rosie noticed a dropped stitch a few rows down.  I taught her how to ladder up the dropped stitch with a crochet hook.

She is well into the front of her Customfit sweater knit with Berroco Ultra Alpaca (Worsted: 50% Alpaca, 50% Wool, 198 yards).  I don't know how we got on the topic, but she said she collects inspirational magazine clippings (of sweaters).  That could be something to work into customfit.

Jane wanted to measure the upper body of her daughter's sweater compared to her daughter's coat. Then we compared the pattern dimensions to determine where to position the cabled waistband.

Over the weekend she was at a stand still until she came in to ask her questions.  She realized she could cast on for the cuffs. However, she couldn't remember how to work the long-tail cast on. YouTube to the rescue, she was able to cast on with the long tail method. 

We got onto the subject of how we all learned to knit.

Cornelia's mother was a master knitter.  It wasn't easy for her mother to teach her because she is left-handed.  Thankfully she had a lovely Loyal Yarn Store where she learned how to knit. She still remembers her first project. The yarn was beautiful, the color of a peppermint stick ~ a white Jackson Pollock like image with specks of pink/red.  The garment was a straight cardigan. After that she went on to knit sweaters with plaid, and intarsia. After a 40 year hiatus, she created a pattern of her own and made big crib blanket with seed stitch borders and stripes of blue and yellow. 

Eleanor learned to knit in high school. One day she watched one of her sister's friends knitting and knew she had to learn. This girl got her started knitting and later the mother of a friend continued her knitting education.

Rosie learned here, at Westport Yarns, this fall.  She is immersing herself in learning how to knit. She began with a scarf. Since then she has knit 7 hats for holiday gifts.  The yarns were from her trip to all the Western Connecticut Yarn Crawl shops. She's in the midst of learning how to knit two sweaters, one CustomFit and one top down.

Jane learned during WW1. Her mother told her they had to knit afghans for soldiers. Jane knit squares and her mother would sew them together.

Allison's mother was also a master knitter. Like Cornelia's mother, it wasn't easy for Allison's mother to teach her because she is left-handed.  Later in life when Allison was out of college, married, and living in Massachusetts, she took a Continuing Education class got going again. It went in fits and starts. When Allison's kids were born, her mother did all knitting.

Knitting became her therapy when her mother passed.  She realized how she much loved it. Her first sweater was a v-neck sweater that laced up. It was hideous, scratchy, and too small. She gave it to goodwill. Her next sweater was a Chesapeake bay sweater.

As for me, my mother taught my sister and me to knit when we were 12 and 8.  I have very fond memories of shopping together at Goldman's Yarns in Hartsdale, NY and then knitting together at home.  We were only allowed to have one project at a time.  When we finished it, we got a new one.

The first project I remember was an incredibly ugly sweater coat in Lopi yarn with intarsia llamas.  I also knit the sweater my grandmother is wearing.  I believe that was the first and last time she wore it.  It came out WAY  too big.  Knowing what I know now, it was a gauge issue since I knit so loose.

As for my styling LLama sweater coat, I have no idea WHAT I was thinking.  Really, at 12 years old a LLama sweater was cool? It explains a lot. I still have the belt that tied around the waste.  Who knows where the sweater is or why I still have the belt.  The world may never know.

Please share how you learned to knit either in a comment here or on Facebook. I'd love to know your stories.

Books discussed:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
‘Euphoria,’ a novel based on Margaret Mead, by Lily King
Sue Grafton gooks
Patricia Cornwall
Lindsey Davis, Marcus Didius Falco series, set in roman times.

Allison's new puppy, Libby likes yarn. She takes it and hides under a table. Good think Libby is so cute!


Carol said...

When I was 8 years old I had the German Measles and was home from school for many days. After the first few days I began to feel better and I imagine that I was starting to drive my mom crazy. She went to our local
5 and dime store and bought a skein of yarn and 2 knitting needles. She cast on, taught me the garter stitch, and the rest is history. I did not knit much through my 20's and 30's, picked it up again in my 40's (around the same time that one was able to buy amazing and luscious yarn) and now knit all the time and anywhere. For me, for my kids, for my grandkids, and the occasional commission. It is my sanity and my delight and it never grows old.

Anonymous said...

I taught myself to knit. I bought a book at the dime store and used that to learn when I was 10. I made long stockinette stitch scarves for friends and family from Red Heart Yarn on aluminum needles. I was inspired by my paternal grandmother and my maternal great-grandmother. When I was in high school, a friend taught me the continental method, and I took off, never looking back. I knit sweaters, afghans, baby blankets, socks, and even a skirt. Turns out, knitting is great for an ADD person, as it helps me focus while I am knitting, so I have knit through many meetings and lectures. If an item is in stockinette stitch, I can knit without looking! However, my long-tail cast-on is very weird because I couldn't get the idea from the diagrams in the book, so I invented my own way. It works and I still cast on that way!

Judy said...

My mom taught me how to knit and my grandmother taught me how to crochet - although neither of them ever learned the other's craft. I may have seen you at Goldman's Yarns in Hartsdale NY as I have very fond memories of shopping there with my mom as well! One of my high school friends had a roommate in college who married the Goldman's son so years later I got to hear all about the business from a different perspective. Small, lovely, world :-)