Knit & Crochet Blog Week: Starting Out

It’s Knit & Crochet Blog Week, and I will be participating! There are a set of seven questions, so I will be answering one per day. Let’s begin.

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?

My mom first tried to teach me how to knit when I was a young teen, but I could never figure it out. I kept adding stitches and dropping stitches. My first piece of knitting turned out to be a green lump with holes in it, so I gave up. In university I tried to take it up again with some guidance from a knitting friend, but I continued adding and dropping stitches, and I found purling to be absolutely horrendous. I couldn’t do it very well, and I hadn’t realized then what I could do with knitting aside from making scarves and dated sweaters.

Years later, I went home for a weekend near the end of my final year at university, in the spring of 2006. I don’t remember what compelled me to do so, but I asked my mom to teach me how to crochet instead of knit. I was bored that day and had been inspired by to take up some sort of fibre art. It worked – I caught on quickly and made a case for my camera that first day. That same weekend, we went to the bookstore where I picked up Stitch ‘n’ Bitch: The Happy Hooker, and I was definitely hooked. I started envisioning all the things I could crochet.

In the fall of that same year, after I had been working at the bookstore for several months, my friend Celia invited me and a few others over to her house for a knit/crochet night. I thought I’d try knitting again, even though I brought my crochet project with me. I cast on, and all of sudden, knitting became really easy. I remembered how to cast on, and, most surprisingly, I remembered the knit and purl stitches. Thanks to crochet, I knew how the yarn worked and what was happening as I knit. My swatch became a basket stitch scarf and that was my first knitting project. It helped having Celia around because she carries as much, if not more, enthusiasm about fibre arts than me. She was always one or two steps ahead, so she could teach me new techniques and tell me how easy it was going to be.

Since then, I had a slow and steady start. There were periods when I didn’t knit at all – I wanted to take some knitting with me when I spent three months backpacking through Europe and one month in Thailand, but I didn’t want to deal with packing my knitting needles and yarn at the major border crossings on airplanes. When I came home, I rediscovered knitting. I went to a weekend knitting camp with Celia, joined Ravelry, read knitting blogs, and that all brings me to today. I haven’t even crocheted since I learned how to knit.


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