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Arts & crafts

Knitting down the generations

(76 Posts)
mrsredboots Thu 14-Apr-11 17:48:53

Do you have a favourite pattern that you knitted for both your child or children and your grandchildren? To say nothing of any nieces and nephews that came between?

The first garment I knitted for my grandson used the same pattern as the first one I knitted for his mother, thirty years ago! And I have made him at least one other sweater, if not two others, that I made her. And all the little girls in my family have had a knitted angel top that I found in a magazine many, many years ago - it's so pretty and useful, all my nieces have worn theirs until they dropped. If I ever have a granddaughter, it will be the first thing I make for her!

pinkprincess Fri 06-May-11 20:03:11

I knitted for all of my five grandchildren when they were babies.Now they prefer ready mades as they think anything handknitted is old fashioned.
I have recently begun lace knitting from Sharon Miller's book.I have so far managed one shetland shawl.It gives my hands something to do when watching TV.
I also enjoy sewing mostly heirloom type.

nottus Sat 07-May-11 15:58:06

Yes, yes yes...we must support our local wool shops. They offer a great service.

naafi Sat 07-May-11 17:34:48

My fav cardi at the moment. Knits up real quick on big needles and goes in and out at all the right places due to very clever leaf design.

naafi Sat 07-May-11 17:38:37

Pattern free on btw.

Oh, link goes to blogger Flickr site - not me in the photos I might add!

jangly Sat 07-May-11 17:41:23

I knitted vests for my babies. Why???!! grin

pamplemousse Sat 07-May-11 18:28:43

Grannyj. I also know someone who is left handed but they knit right handed.
Jangly. My grandma made me some beautiful wrap over vests for my son 30+ years ago. I loved them. Still have some of them. One is used as dolls clothes.

I have knitted for over 40years and my favourite pattern is the first one I knitted for my son. And my daughter.And my neice.And so on. Will be getting it out again soon.

GrandmaAtlast Sun 08-May-11 08:47:25

Hi everbody - just joined gransnet this morning - and just a new grandma too. Yippee!! As for knitting!! I'm one of those kind of knitters whose tension is all over the place, and this makes any garment I knit look really, really homemade - 'slack alice' comes to mind! However - give me a crochet hook and watch me go.

There are some beautiful crotchet books out there now with all kinds of wonderful patterns, and, for me, what I love about crotcheting is that there is always only one stitch on the hook (so I never have to look for dropped stitches) and it's very easy to pull back then make up again if a mistake has been made. I have made the shawl, cardigans, toys for my lovely little GD, and my daugher is keen that I make more. She also wants me to show her and her friend how to crochet - so how good is that?

Currently I'm making shrugs for myself, my daughter and my daughter-in-law and it's amazing how quickly these are worked up on the crotchet hook. And honest - tension is not an issue! Any other crotcheters out there?

Anyway - so happy to join a site online where grandparents can meet up and exchange all kinds of ideas and views - and looking forward to all the chat.

Lepidoptera Sun 08-May-11 11:31:52

Yes, knitting revived some years ago. I taught a short evening course and it was noticeable that most students were mums of little girls. I strongly recommend, a sort of Facebook for knitters, where you can make international friends and access free patterns among other things. Also the magazine is very good. Debbie Bliss is an excellent designer for children, although her patterns are often variants on what she did before, so I'd suggest buying one book and then finding others in the library. My favourite yarn for little ones is Drops Alpaca, a four-ply, £3 for 50g, which I buy from They also have links to hundreds of atttractive free patterns, including many for babies and children.

Knitting is creative and relaxing, and keeps older hands supple. Being an enthusiastic knitter is just one aspect of my personality and I really don't know why people sneer at knitting. At least DD and DiL are very appreciative of the little garments!

naj17 Sun 08-May-11 14:48:30

I love knitting .I have been knitting for all my life practically.I have knitting patterns from 60s I still have copies of Stitchcraft.Which I used to get weekly and still use patterns for Grand children and Children before.Also Womans Weekly was another source of knitting patterns.
I love looking around Craft Shops.They are gradually making a come back.
My local Museum Storrington West Sussex has an exhibition of local Crafty People.Beautiful Clever People.
Knitting ,Glass Cutters,Painters,Woodcraft,Jewellery,Pottery,

Angelwispa Mon 09-May-11 13:02:01

GrandmaAtlast I would love to crochet, but I've never been able to master the art, any tips on getting started, or easy 'how to books' that you could recommend?

Lepidoptera thanks for the recommended websites, I will be strolling along to there shortly to check them out. I love the Debbie Bliss books, the wools are fab too, but unfortunately a bit too pricey for me, so I have to try to find good alternatives. I've always loved the PHILDAR books too, they are gorgeous, I unfortunately only every owned the french ones, and as I can't read french, they were wasted on me, however I now know that they do them in English too. How I wish that I'd kept hold of all those lovely french Phidar books that I had, now that I've got more experience at knitting, I could probably now work them out! smile

CathyS Mon 09-May-11 15:41:13

My grandmother taught me how to knit and to crochet and I am so grateful to her. I started up again a couple of years ago when a fabulous wool shop opened locally. It was run by two very enthusiastic American women. In the States they call such a shop a LYS - local yarn store.

The sites for all you potential knitters to find yarn, patterns, instructions etc are, and

I found out a month ago that I am going to become a grandmother for the first time in November and I am already half way through a blanket and loving every minute of it.

Happy knitting!

MES Mon 09-May-11 16:05:44

Hi Angelwispa. There is a course out now. It's called The Art of Crochet. It's similar to the Art of Knitting. It includes the crochet hook, a ball of wool and instructions to crochet a blanket made up of different squares, from a company called Hachette Partworks Ltd. Telephone 08714724240. Hope this helps.

XingXing Mon 09-May-11 22:48:49

For those of us whose gc's are grown up and would find it far too uncool to wear anything knitted by gran (although GD does like the scarves i knit) my local Oxfam will let you have wool for free if you knit for them. So I'm currently knitting baby/toddler garments for Oxfam who send them off to where they're needed. What I like about knitting for babies is you get to see the fruit of your labour pretty quickly - and it's good to know they'llk be useful to someone somewhere in the world

NannaJeannie Tue 10-May-11 09:32:11

Knitting is very therapeutic. Our daughter was very ill a few years ago (now well) and for a time she suffered with her nerves, finding it hard to communicate with me. She was pregnant with our first grandchild. So we knitted in the same room, we did not talk much, but just knitted. She had learned from my MIL years ago, and with a couple of reminders from me, we knitted stripey blankets for the new baby.

When we were talking about wool, knitting, finding needles, showing each other what we had done......all her nerves were put aside. We made a lot of progress, and yes, there is something about the process and the tactility (sp?) of wool and fabric which is a great comfort and healer.

Angelwispa Tue 10-May-11 10:25:09

Hi MES, thanks for the info, I will look out for it the next time I'm out in town at the shops or I may give them a call, thanks x

Hi NannaJeannie, I would agree, knitting is very theraputic, I've found it very helpful while going through a bout of illness, it has helped me to learn to concentrate again, which is such a relief as my mind was a bit scattered to the winds, so to speak! I'm glad to here that your daughter is well now. x

XingXing, what a great idea, I think I also read somewhere that there was a campaign by someone to knit for premature babies?? Maybe someone else knows more information about this? Oh, and have you heard the one about knitting for chickens, no it's not a joke smile Apparently some ladies have been knitting little jackets for ex-battery hens who no longer have their feathers, aaahhhhhh, how sweet is that smile

em Tue 10-May-11 10:52:41

I've recently come to think that maybe knitting classes should be available on the NHS!
My own grandmother and mother were skilled knitters and I've also done quite a bit. However the joy of knitting became even more apparent during my daughter's two difficult pregnancies. At first, she could handle basic patterns but during those worrying times in hospital she focussed so much of her attention on knitting I feel there was a real therapeutic effect. She was more relaxed and I'm convinced that the distraction helped the blood pressure levels! With a bit of support and encouragement she has progessed to Arans, beautiful shawls and delightful matinee jackets and angel tops. When we are out together with the babies, people stop to admire her work but assume it's mine. We both take pride in telling them that it's my daughter's own work.
It's lovely to see the skill and pleasure trickle down through generations although my daughter seems to be the only one in her circle of friends who knits. She is now producing lovely garments for her friends' babies.
I secretly hope she might encourage some of them to take up knitting too!

Angelwispa Tue 10-May-11 10:58:25

em that's fabulous, how lovely that you have passed on your skills to your daughter. I would agree that knitting can be very theraputic and may help with a variety of ailments. In fact I think that hobbies in general can be very good for us all.

Some people have also found their true vocation in life by taking up a hobby that can then go on to become their paid occupation, and I think that there is nothing better than being paid for something that you take enjoy and take pleasure insmile

I must say that I do enjoy seeing babies/children in handmade knitted clothes as they are made with love smile

supernana Tue 10-May-11 16:24:36

Angelwispa, I like your comments. My dear mother sort-of knitted. The socks that made for family didn't have proper finished-off toes because she "couldn't knit 'round corners". I have knitted scarves so long that they would embrace all of humanity [until I learned to cast-off properly]. I can paint portraits of pets...but oh, how I wish that I could follow a knitting pattern. wink

artygran Tue 10-May-11 19:47:34

I came back to knitting when my grandson (4) was born, and though he now steadfastly refuses to pull a knitted sweater over his head (he prefers hoodies and fleeces, I still carry on knitting them! Daft, isn't it? I knitted cabled cricket sweaters for my son when he was at school and sweaters, for both my children, with pictures on them (Rupert Bear, footballers, ballet dancers, etc) that were designed on a graph system - I would like to be able to get hold of some of the patterns for these again but cannot seem to source them anywhere. I once knitted a pullover for a boyfriend I was particularly smitten with, and the neck hole was so small he couldn't get it over his head! I took it home to my mother and she took it partly to pieces and re-knitted it to fit my dad!

milkflake Tue 10-May-11 20:42:33

Hi all,
I just joined here today smile
My Gran taught me to knit when I was only 4, I knit circular shawls for all the new babies.

I knit for my youngest grandson , the older ones dont want knitted stuff now!

I like knitting bears with funky fur wool and some other toys in snowflake wool.

Catkins Wed 11-May-11 23:24:09

My mother taught me to knit and I knitted my first cardigan when I was 13 years,needless to say I knitted for my girls and the grandchildren when they were small,but teenage girls are not cool in Nan's knitwear anymore.
About five years ago I started knitting fluffy wool scarves which were very popular amongst the younger generation,I continued knitting these scarves for three years and gave them to our local Hospice charity shop to sell,unfortunately the flully wool has gone out of fashion.I am now using Aran wool for my scarves but it does not knit up as soft as the other wool.
Any ideas the type of wool I could use please?

nanafrancis Thu 12-May-11 09:44:24

My mother taught me to knit when I was in bed with measles, many years ago. It wasn't a great success! I didn't knit again until I had my children but have been a regular knitter ever since.
I'm lucky enough to have patterns that I've bought (and knitted) over the years, my mother's patterns and her mother's patterns. So my patterns go back over 100 years.
I knitted for my children and have knitted for my grandson but no-one seems to want hand knitted garments now.
I've used up all my spare wool by crocheting throws which now adorn various people's sofas and I’ve made myself a patchwork cardigan, all of which have been much admired.
So now I’m struggling to find something to do/make!

BeeLilac Thu 12-May-11 10:57:51

Hi, my first post! Lovely to see so many knitters here. I'm a youngish Grandmother, I'm 52, and I live with cancer. Since my diagnosis I've started knitting, it has help keep me occupied in waiting rooms and whilst receiving chemo.
I'm an avid reader of the Ravelry site and one day I may even try to crochet.
Still haven't mastered mattress stitch so I tend to stick to hats, scarves, toys, blankets.

MadHairGranny Tue 17-May-11 17:22:13

When my DD was a teenager (1970s) there was a big craze for knitting, and there were fabulous, fashionable patterns by Patricia Roberts. Does anyone else remember knitting them? Very complicated, with bobbles etc, really satisfying when you got it right. Now aged 47, she still has one of the sweaters I knitted then.

harrigran Tue 17-May-11 18:19:53

In the sixties I used to knit socks on four needles, used for hiking and youth hostelling. I also knit bobbly hats and gloves, dread to think what I looked like, but it's cold up north.