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What age were you

(128 Posts)
Maywalk Wed 05-Dec-18 16:47:32

when you learnt to knit???

I had to give up knitting last year after it being a soothing pastime for me for over 79 years. I learnt to knit on four needles when I was about 9 years old while sitting in the Anderson shelter in 1940 during the London Blitz. . Unfortunately illness has robbed me of being able to grip the needles now but looking back and wondering how I managed to knit on size 14 or 2mm as they are now I realise how many hours were spent knitting a jumper in 2ply yarn especially with having to cast on nearly 200 stitches for each side.

janeainsworth Wed 05-Dec-18 19:26:14

I was four when my Grandma taught me.
I remember thinking I had worked out a quick way to knit, by simply slipping stitches from the left hand needle to the right.
It took me some time to realise that if you did that, the knitting wouldn’t actually grow.
Later on my friends could all knit & we would sit in each others’ houses, talking and making clothes for our dolls.
I used to love going to the wool shop with mum & looking at all the different coloured wools and patterns. They sold ribbon too & I would mither mum for new hair ribbons.
When I was 8 I made a pink cardigan for myself.
I love knitting but I still don’t like sewing the pieces together!

Buffybee Wed 05-Dec-18 19:26:22

Anyone tempted, like me, to get the knitting needles out and start making something?

Marthjolly1 Wed 05-Dec-18 20:05:14

Mum taught me to knit when I was probably about 8 or 9. She didn't exactly teach me to cook but as I was always in the kitchen I picked up an awful lot of her skills. School taught me to sew. I made most of my children's school clothes and did a lot of knitting. I learned to crochet about 3 years and now couldn't live without it. Always have something on the go and usually take it with me where ever I go.

Oakleaf Wed 05-Dec-18 20:18:47

I have no recollection of learning. I must have been quite young because age ten - it was the 1966 football World Cup - I was knitting World Cup Willie sweater emblems from a pattern in my grandmother's Woman's Weekly magazine. It was stranded colourwork so quite complicated for a ten year old.

I have always loved to knit and still do. I enjoy knitting on small gauge needles to make socks and lacy scarves and shawls.

I have several friends who knit but few like sewing pieces together. If it's a plain knit and a nice straight edge I'll mattress stitch the seams but often I'll adapt a pattern to minimise the sewing up, knitting in the round, for example. Or, I may pick up stitches along seam edges and do a three needle bind off, crochet seams together or leave live stitches and graft them. It creates more work but looks neater.

Lately, I've noticed my hands aching and cramping more often so I try to alternate with some crochet, sewing (fabric) or weaving. My sympathies to people who can no longer do the crafts they have enjoyed for so many years.

Greyduster Wed 05-Dec-18 20:21:14

I remember knitting a sweater for a fellow I was going out with, with whom I was particularly bessotted at the time. I was really proud of it, but when he put it on I had knitted the neck hole too small and it wouldn’t fit over his head! I sent it home to my mother who reworked the neck, and as by that time I had parted company with the boyfriend, my father ended up wearing it!

Oakleaf Wed 05-Dec-18 20:24:16

Marthjolly1 I always pop a small crochet project in my bag, a blanket square or a hat so I have something to do on the train.

hdh74 Wed 05-Dec-18 20:40:08

I learned to knit as a child, but after doing baby clothes when my kids were little forgot about it. Crochet simiilar. Then one day my DD asked me to teach her to knit. Years later, she, being a much more skilled knitter than I ever was started teaching me to knit in the round, double-knit, loom-knit etc. Not to be outdone I taught myself Tunisian crochet, so I can teach her if she wants.
We both suffer from illness and disability, so sitting together knitting is a wonderful thing we can share when we are both up to it.

Oakleaf Wed 05-Dec-18 20:49:40

hdh74 Knitting and crochet are such companionable activites to do and very calming.

I enjoy Tunisian crochet too. A woman at my local yarn shop made a lovely temperature blanket all in TSS using a hook and a very, very long cable.

MissAdventure Wed 05-Dec-18 20:52:08

I can't knit or crochet, apart from casting on.
I remember both my Nans and my mum trying to show me, and giving up because I was so 'cackhanded'.

merlotgran Wed 05-Dec-18 21:04:35

I think I was about seven when my mother taught me to knit. This was when we were stationed in Bedfordshire for two years in the middle of some overseas postings. I'm left handed so my technique was not quite so slick but I soon picked it up.

I had to abandon it when we lived in Aden because not only did nobody ever wear jumpers but if you did the 'woolly bugs' would munch them. I soon picked it up when we returned to UK and during my teens knitted my own 'Sloppy Joe' sweaters.

I haven't bothered knitting for years because I'm always busy doing other things.

lilypollen Wed 05-Dec-18 21:52:26

Maywalk shame that you have to stop knitting. My GM taught me and though I gave up for many years I now enjoy it again. My last big knit was an Aran sweater but I wore it once when we lived in a very chilly 18th century farmhouse, now we are in a 2008 faux Regency!!

mcem Wed 05-Dec-18 22:19:58

My son now has a 50 yearold gardening sweater which I knitted for his father. I'm currently knitting a 2ply shawl and a dk pram blanket for DS's first baby due in April.

Although we had knitting lessons in primary school I found them boring but loved sitting with gran who was the one who really taught me to enjoy knitting.
Mum also had something on the go at all times and frequently reminded me that as a toddler I grabbed and pulled out her needle when she was mid- row on a fair isle sweater.
Throughout a difficult pregnancy DD found knitting very therapeutic and produced some lovely results for her babies!

Auntieflo Wed 05-Dec-18 22:34:10

I think I learned to knit around 7/8 , and knitting pot holders at school. They were in a white/ cream sort of string wool. I love knitting, it’s so nice to have something to pick up and put down. Recently I finished a jumper and am now unravelling one that turned out much too big. I crochet as well. A friend taught me a long time ago. My GD wanted to learn and we began, but she took her efforts home and they haven’t seen light of day since.

Jalima1108 Wed 05-Dec-18 22:43:58

I think I was about 7 or 8 and in all those years I have never knit anything in 2 ply!

I used to do French knitting when I was about that age and made endless mats etc by sewing them into circles.

However, I then discovered plaster of Paris and those moulds and spent a lot of time making models, painting and varnishing them then giving them away as presents.

Jalima1108 Wed 05-Dec-18 22:45:37

I remember knitting a sweater for a fellow I was going out with, with whom I was particularly bessotted at the time.
I started knitting one for a boy I was going out with but he finished with me before I finished the sweater, so I wore it myself.

Jalima1108 Wed 05-Dec-18 22:47:49

I'm sorry you can't knit any longer Maywalk; that was one thing my DM missed doing when she became incapacitated.

SueDonim Wed 05-Dec-18 22:49:26

I'm sure I could knit by the age of seven, after my mum taught me. (She used to knit while asleep on the sofa! )I think I made a tiny cardigan for a baby expected by my much older sister's friend.

I made loads of things for my children, including matching fair isle sweaters for my boys. How did I have the time?? I also made a 2 ply lacy cardigan on size 13 needles.

I've taken to knitting again lately as my dd wanted hand knits for her new baby last year. My younger dd then wanted a hand-knitted jumper so I've just got that to sew together now. I used a circular needle for the main body which knitted up much more quickly than I'd imagined.

I've also started crocheting again, blankets and so on. The yarns and patterns available nowadays are just stunning.

Both my dd's are left handed and one hasn't managed to master knitting at all. The other can knit but not cast on or off. grin

SueDonim Wed 05-Dec-18 22:50:22

Oh, I forgot to say, Maywalk that it must be very sad to have to give up an enjoyable pastime like that. flowers

Day6 Thu 06-Dec-18 03:06:49

My mother taught me to knit when I was about seven. I took up knitting again when I became a mother and began to follow quite complicated patterns. I made some beautiful cardigans and jumpers for my little ones and a couple of cardigans for myself. How I found the time to do it ( and sew/do dressmaking, I'll never know. I had a full time demanding job, four children, a mum who was frail and needed lots of help and companionship and an errant husband. I think I must have taken up the needles in every spare moment just to stop myself from thinking/worrying.

Now I have more time on my hands I don't seem to indulge in any hobbies. Inspired by Witzend's recent post regarding her beautiful knitted nativity scene, I ordered the patterns from Amazon. I skimmed through them this morning and all the tiny pieces look very complicated!shock I must be bonkers! It would be easier to knit myself something - even after a break of 20+years!! grin

annep Thu 06-Dec-18 03:07:14

I hated knitting at primary school. I used to sneak it home for my mum to do a few rows.

Day6 Thu 06-Dec-18 03:12:55

PS: Just in case you thought I might be clicking away with the needles this month to finish the nativity scene before Christmas, rest assured, I am not that quick, ambitious, clever or talented!! grin

Perhaps it could be a 2019 project?

Jalima1108 Thu 06-Dec-18 10:23:01

Perhaps it could be a 2019 project?
I am starting to think that too Day6
Started with much enthusiasm but the sewing up could take all of next year!

Witzend Thu 06-Dec-18 11:07:04

About 6 - my mother taught me. In, over, through, off.... but it was ages before I became at all proficient. (Not that I've ever been proficient enough for fancy patterns.).

I had to knit something simple for Brownies - it never got finished and the feeling of having. to do it finally made me leave the Brownies - after which there was a message to say, 'Brown Owl wants her red wool back!'

My Swedish friend finds our way of knitting very odd - she didn't show me how they do it, though.

I never learned to crochet. Was put off for life by all those crocheted ponchos etc. in the 70s - a flatmate used to make them, all in horrible garish colours! A daft prejudice, I know.

winterwhite Thu 06-Dec-18 11:32:06

I learned at brownies and i think that the brown owl had to take a couple of aspirin every time she thought of it for years afterwards.
As a teenager I loved knitting and wool shops and leafing through pattern books and choosing colours. My mother usually had to sew my garments together, though. Seems to be a much more specialised activity now, for craft enthusiasts not clumsy people like me.

Granny23 Thu 06-Dec-18 11:41:56

I could knit after a fashion from around 9/10 yo, but was exceedingly slow. Last year at Primary School we had to knit socks and I was so far behind the others that when I asked the teacher what to do next she gave me the instructions for turning the heel, which I did and finished up with one sock with 2 heels because everyone else was on their second sock by then.

Much later my Honorary Aunt Peggy, who wrote patterns for Patons and Baldwins took me in hand and showed me her method of knitting (wool wrapped round index finger) and I became reasonably proficient, knitting for my babies, nephews and nieces. Another Aunt taught me to crochet but I never got beyond Granny Squares, made pram blankets and cushion covers. Like others I have arthritic fingers and can only do half an hour at a time but find it very calming. Mostly do beanie hats for DGC and charity shops.