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Arts & crafts

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.

SueSocks Wed 09-Jan-19 16:49:51

In the final years at primary school, we had a lovely teacher called Miss Benson who taught the girls to knit and sew, the boys went off and did something else. We knitted a dish cloth with very big needles then a purse with a long over the shoulder handle.
I also think that we knitted squares in the Brownies.

Witzend Wed 09-Jan-19 16:30:40

Thanks for the twiddlemuff link, Greengran. I have a lot of DK in different colours to use up so will try one once I've finished my Captain Hook.
My mother had dementia for many years but I'd never heard of these while she was still alive. I dare say her very good dementia care home - she was there from age 89 to 97 - would welcome twiddle muffs. Or else the local hospital.

Billybob4491 Wed 09-Jan-19 07:02:19

Bradford - I have knitted a few twiddlemuffs and decorated them with buttons, bows and odd scraps of materials. I donate them to local hospitals. Don't worry about dropping a stitch, it could easily be covered up on a twiddlemuff.

BradfordLass72 Wed 09-Jan-19 04:55:37

My Mum didn't knit, sew or crochet so I had to teach myself when I was about 18 or so.

I've never had much time for knitting as I was full on with other crafts until I started with these eye problems then I realised I could do it with my eyes closed, literally.

The only problem comes if/when I drop a stitch.

Now I knit hats, scarves and slippers/bed socks for the local food bank who distribute them to needy families.

The Twiddlemuff looks to be a great idea

Eloethan Mon 31-Dec-18 00:51:33

I think I learned when I was about 7. At one of the schools I went to - in Wembley - we used to have a knitting class run by the headmistress - I hated it, likewise needlework. It's a shame I didn't take after my Mum who was a very good knitter. Even knitting a scarf proved too difficult for me - I was forever dropping stitches and starting again. I am pretty cackhanded and impractical with most things but I have some aptitude for art.

Proffads Sun 30-Dec-18 21:22:22

I must be the odd one out as although I can do knit and pearl stitches (only) I can't follow a pattern and manage to magically increase the number of stitches per row unintentionally! Keep hoping it will all click one day! I'm even worse at Crochet but am ok at sewing and dressmaking.

Witzend Fri 28-Dec-18 19:01:30

Buffybee, what a lovely photo of your Dgs! No wonder it won!
Re crochet, must say I'm very impressed with a niece, who knitted two really lovely, professional looking snowman jumpers, complete with carrot noses, as presents for my little Gdcs. .
The stitched-on snowman figures are largely crochet, and I heard today from my sister that my niece had to learn to crochet in order to make them.
Give that girl (well, she's mid 40s now) 10 out of 10 and a host of gold stars!

GreenGran78 Fri 28-Dec-18 18:30:52

hollie57 a twiddlemuff is something for dementia sufferers to put their hands in, and 'twiddle' with various bits and bobs. Pieces of different fabrics, objects, or literally anything which give different sensations to the fingers. They have a calming effect, I believe. There are many patterns, but you can attach anything you like to the basic muff. Here is one link.

Cressida Fri 28-Dec-18 16:26:17

I'm not sure when I started knitting or who taught me but it would either have been at primary school or my grandmother who taught me. Granny was an expert knitter and I think I must have inherited her ability. I love knitting and can knit almost anything. During the 1970s when 'picture sweaters' were fashionable I knitted them in mohair for a local company who exported them. Macy's in New York was one of their customers.

Granny & her sisters were all very skilled at crochet but never taught me. A few years ago I managed to master granny squares thanks to You Tube but so far haven't progressed any further. My bed has a king size bedspread that I made with granny squares.

H1954 Wed 26-Dec-18 20:40:58

My dear mum taught me to knit when I was around 7 years old; mum knitted all our school jumpers/cardigans as well as hats, gloves scarves etc., we certainly never got the winter chills. I remember her knitting dads work socks too. She had such patience and dedication.That was around 60 years ago. In her latter years mum spent a great deal of time in hospital and keeping occupied was half the battle. I had a thought to take some knitting yarn and a pair of needles to her in an attempt to engage her in something that I was pretty sure she would recall doing; it was so difficult to begin with but after a while she was my "mum" again, knitting away with that familiar click-clack of the needles and the ball of wool bouncing around the floor and tangling around the chair legs. Mum passed away not long afterwards but when I pick up my own knitting project now I am transported back to those wonderful times.

Florabunda60 Mon 10-Dec-18 02:29:40

Apparently I was my infant teacher's first pupil who could already knit when I went to her school age 5. But not on 4 pins I hasten to add! Only tried that a few years back by watching a U-tube video!
My grandmother had taught me to knit. Don't do much these days as prefer likes of sudoku, crosswords, reading. But what fabulous yarns like bamboo which I've not tried and silk and alpaca are available although now very expensive and lovely designs to knit. I did knit a few items using free patterns printed from online. Happy click clacking to you all!

hollie57 Sun 09-Dec-18 20:23:36

Hi what is a twiddle muff please mum had dementia have not heard of it.thanks.

Happysexagenarian Sun 09-Dec-18 16:17:17

I think I was about 7. My Mum was always knitting and I always had beautifully hand knitted jumpers and cardigans made by her. She usually bought wool, but would also unpick old jumpers and reuse the wool, so I suppose she knitted for economy. Knitting yarns today are so expensive it is now more or a luxury pastime than an economy. I did learn various stitches and patterns and even completed a few jumpers, and baby clothes for my own babies. But I never really enjoyed knitting, it was too slow and laborious for me, many projects went unfinished. I much prefer sewing.

Grandma2213 Sun 09-Dec-18 02:20:29

This post brings back so many memories. I think I was about 7 when I learned to knit, a combination of Mother and school. I remember knitting squares for blankets and while most people cast on a number of stitches and carried on knitting into a square my mother insisted on starting with one stitch then casting on two etc etc and then reversing the process by casting off at the beginning and end of a row. Strictly speaking these were diamonds!

I started to knit a vest for my baby sister but it was still unfinished two siblings later! I found mistakes incredibly hard to correct.

Having said that I did make my own DS a stocking stitch jumper and one of those long stripey Doctor Who scarves. Action Man was also dressed in some knitted garments.

I then discovered crochet which to me was much easier to correct. My sisters and I all had ponchos which were very much 'in' at the time. I made a double bed blanket where the squares were actually crocheted together with black wool. As it was real wool it was incredibly heavy and may be worth a fortune today just in view of the cost of wool then and the hours of work that went into it.

I used to sew my own clothes and when DC came along I made trousers and ties for my sister's wedding. I made soft toys as presents including Rod Hull's Emu which my younger sister loved. Then I discovered patchwork and made two bed covers for DSs. My sister still has her patchwork toilet bag which she uses all the time.

I wonder where did the creative me go?

Cathywab Sat 08-Dec-18 22:26:48

My mother did a lot of knitting, she taught me too, I like to remmeber her sitting knitting away on a pullover or shawl. God rest her soul.

Jalima1108 Sat 08-Dec-18 18:49:44

Babies are definitely even more cuddly in hand-knits!

What a lovely picture Buffybee and a lovely gummy smile smile

Bathsheba Sat 08-Dec-18 16:47:26

You’re so right Jalima - I make most of my granddaughter’s clothes and they cost far more than the majority of RTW clothes, but my daughter loves the uniqueness of her daughter’s wardrobe and I love to sew. Win win!

Buffybee Sat 08-Dec-18 14:24:18

Talking of squidgy babies in hand knits!
I just had to post this photo of my Dgs at 3 months in a hand knit from his Ggm.
The photo won the smiliest baby competition in a local paper.
We think it's hilarious, his smile is almost as big as his head! 🤣

Bijou Sat 08-Dec-18 14:05:12

When I was teaching my small daughter how to knit my son wanted learn too. Not wanting to be left out my husband also joined in. The first thing he knitted was a complete layette for his sisters baby. After that he knitted all his own pullovers and socks.

SueDonim Sat 08-Dec-18 13:31:44

EllanVannin your comment about snug babies reminds me of my daughter when she was pregnant last year. I asked her if she wanted any handknits (lots of people don't) and she said 'Yes please, I want to have a proper baby, all squishy to hug!' grin

starbird Sat 08-Dec-18 13:16:33

I was probably about 8 - my sisters and I were taught by my dad who learnt to knit and sew in the navy! (which he joined as a young boy a few years before WW1).
I knitted school jumpers for secondary school as well as making the summer skirt ( but we had to buy the winter pleated ones). We made the short sleeved blouses too. Us ‘home maders’ stood out a mile as the fabric supplied by the school shop was a different dye to the ready bought ones and of course a hand knit is easy to spot. (My sons suffered the same fate as I knitted their school jumpers too but primary school only). As children we knitted all our jumpers and gloves etc, not so keen on cardigans, but I remember a lovely cardy mum knitted when I was little - dark blue with white scottie dogs round the bottom, and will never forget the dark gold colour one I knitted for myself when pregnant with my first son, born in October - it matched the chrysanths in the garden. 48 yrs on I have just bought a jumper the same colour in lovely warm, soft touch acrylic. No more hand knitting clothes these days - much too expensive, but I am thinking of getting back to it for whatever the current trend is for charity gifts at our local knit and natter.

Jalima1108 Sat 08-Dec-18 13:07:07

Whilst the rest of us, of course, (the hoi polloi I believe we're called) are so desperately poor that we need to knit and sew for ourselves.
Perhaps the poster meant because clothes are relatively cheap these days Bathsheba grin
(benefit of the doubt and all that)

It costs more to knit a jumper than buy one and fabric + a pattern probably costs more than a shop-bought dress.

I was chatting to a young woman working in the Waitrose café not long ago and she said she made all her own clothes and sourced lovely fabrics from overseas - she prefers to be unique!

tavimama Sat 08-Dec-18 12:29:28

I was 5 or so and wanted to knit dresses for my dollies. I and 51 now and now knit for a preemie charity, and have recently made a batch of fingerless mittens for my daughter to sell at her Christmas Fayre.

Next project will be twiddle muffs for a local Dementia project.

I can follow virtually any knitting pattern (but don’t like Intarsia) - but cannot crochet to save my life.

I taught my twin girls when they were 6 and asked to learn when they went into Rainbows (pre-Brownies), to earn badges.

Granny23 Sat 08-Dec-18 12:13:49

I taught my left handed daughter and her LH friend to knit after their teacher tried and failed. It is really very easy. Instead of sitting side by side while you coach them, you simply sit opposite and let them mirror your actions. Both managed to knit nicely this way, but I had to go and have words with their teacher who kept trying to make them knit 'the right way'.

mummsymags Sat 08-Dec-18 12:13:38

Learned to knit at eight and at seventeen knitted a navy polo neck for my first love. He tried it on and realised I had knitted two fronts (or two backs) but insisted on wearing it as it was and proudly (or mischievously!) telling everyone I had made it for him. He was a playful tease - long gone now, sadly. (and the sweater, I hope)