These are my grandmothers circa Christmas 1976. My mother’s mother on the left and my father’s on the right*.I am an only child so I spent a lot of time with adults. I was also a bit of a pest who talked a lot and asked a lot of questions. When my mother’s mother and my mother would knit in front of me I drove them crazy with questions so to keep me busy and out of their knitting they showed me how. I was about 5 years old. I knit the start of many many scarves but never got beyond a doll house rug size square. I also didn’t learn anything beyond the knit stitch. Eventually I did learn to purl (I wanted mine smooth like theirs not bumpy) but I had to have my mother cast on for me. In college I had my appendix removed and spent the next week home in bed, knitting. It was at that point I learned to cast on, shape, pick up stitches and bind off all while making a Cabbage Patch doll sized sweater. I also learned that I wrapped the yarn backwards around the needle when I purl so the stitches were wonky.
I picked up knitting again when I was pregnant with H. I knit a blanket for her while my mother knit her sweater after sweater.
A few years later a then neighbor asked me to show her how to knit. She had bought gorgeous wool stocking kits at a craft fair and wanted to knit them for her family. I showed her how but she really didn’t take to it. I doubt she ever finished the stockings. That year I knit stockings (my first foot shaped item) for my parents. My mother had knit a stocking for me when I was a child and I knit one for H.
I would have to say that from that point on (about 1990) I’ve had a project going. I can’t imagine what I would do without my knitting.
I learned to crochet in 4th grade. On Friday afternoons we did an hour of Hobby Time where we were allowed to work on any hobby we wanted. One of the teachers offered to teach crochet and I spent a few weeks learning the basics. I’ve never advanced beyond those early lessons.
*Growing up I always thought my father’s mother was a great knitter. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned that she could only knit one specific afghan pattern that was cabled and knit in strips. We had a couple of these afghans when I was growing up. It was her sister who was the great knitter. She had knit sweaters for all the children in the family. I remember mine. It was blue and white and scratchy as could be.