Gransnet forums



(68 Posts)
NanKate Wed 23-Sep-15 19:24:43

I have noticed we have quite a few knitters on GN and on another thread they are talking about knitting patterns.

Now this is my personal view, which I suspect is unfair to knitters, but whenever I see anyone in a hand-knitted sweater I think they could have bought something some much nicer in a shop.

Do knitters knit because:

they like doing something with their hands.
they prefer the look of hand-knitted items
it's cheaper than buying machine knitted items
they are knitting for charity (I like this reason)


Finally many years ago my mum knitted me a green sweater with a crew collar and I loved it. smile

loopylou Wed 23-Sep-15 20:21:34

I can't sit and do nothing, not even watch television. I knit on long car journeys too. Generally it's for DGS, frequently for charity (Age UK takes thousands of knitted hats for Smoothies to raise funds and knitted muffs for the Winter Warmth campaign)
I have started a fisherman's knit sweater for me after finding one of four old patterns I knitted probably 30+ years ago. The pattern is easy and it's made in Aran yarn so knits up quite quickly.

Marelli Wed 23-Sep-15 20:44:23

I always have some knitting on the go, too. Like loopylou, I can't just sit and do nothing, either. The television is on at the moment, and if I wasn't on GN on my laptop, I would have my knitting in my hands.
I usually knit for me. I'm doing a 'hoody' for myself in purple yarn grin

tanith Wed 23-Sep-15 20:45:15

I like to knit in the Winter when I can't get outside , its usually school cardies for my youngest granddaughter

janeainsworth Wed 23-Sep-15 21:01:20

How can you tell which are hand-knits Nankate?

I have more than one shop-bought sweater which people have asked admiringly if I've knitted myself.

I'm knitting a bedspread at the moment, it looks like being a twenty-year project hmm

Liz46 Wed 23-Sep-15 21:24:28

I have a M&S cardigan which looks hand knitted and is usually admired when I wear it. I would like to have a similar pattern because like NanKate, I think that hand knitted jumpers and cardigans on adults just do not look fashionable. I know a lady who knits and wears intricate hand knitted cable cardigans and although they are beautifully made, I don't think they look good.

I usually make novelty baby clothes. At the moment I am knitting froggy mittens with a mouth (the child can put fingers in the top and thumb in the bottom and 'bite') and bulging eyes.

janeainsworth, if you are not sure if something is hand knitted, just look at the rib.

Indinana Wed 23-Sep-15 21:53:15

Intricate cable knit cardigans aren't particularly fashionable, so handmade or shop bought, I wouldn't think they look good either. A bit frumpy and old-fashioned.
It's not always the hand-knitting that's at fault, but often the choice of pattern. I don't bother knitting for myself anymore because it is quite difficult to find patterns that are modern and fashionable. And anyway, I can't be bothered to knit large items like that - I usually knit only baby or toddler clothes. Or craft things, C*******s tree decorations for example! Or I use felting wool and make felted cases for specs or sunglasses, lined with quilting fabric.
Like others upthread, I can't simply sit and watch TV with nothing to do with my hands! So I've usually got some knitting or crochet to do while watching.

Greyduster Wed 23-Sep-15 22:15:13

I used to knit a lot for my own children, and until he was about four, I knitted for GS. The last thing I knitted for him was a sweater with a Star Wars storm trooper on it. He wore it for a few months and then decided he didn't like knitted sweaters anymore. They were 'scratchy'! I stopped knitting after that, but have thought I might get my needles out again this winter.

NanKate Wed 23-Sep-15 22:22:46

Jane in answer to your question. Hand knitted items do not look as smooth as machine knitted. We have someone at our WI who always wears hand knitted sweaters which IMO look awful. You can see between the stitches.

However a number of our WI members knitted some cute bonnets for premature babies which I am sure were welcomed by the parents.

I think a hand knitted scarf would be ok but that is about all.

Leticia Wed 23-Sep-15 22:35:31

I knit because I need something to do when watching TV. There are wonderful designs now- I don't think they look homemade.

Marelli Wed 23-Sep-15 22:40:11

I never worry whether my hand-knitted stuff looks awful, because I've never been a very tidy person, clothes-wise grin. I get a lot of my patterns from Ravelry, so they're really up-to-date. Actually, they can't be that awful, as I've had quite a few compliments on the finished items wink.

rosequartz Wed 23-Sep-15 23:26:37

Well, the OP could put me off knitting hmm

However, some people stitch up their handknitting badly then just wear it as it is.
To make it look more professional you need to sew it up very carefully (I use mattress stitch) then block it.
I have two cardigans for DGDs pinned out and blocked at the moment.
When they start to turn their noses up at handknitted stuff I'll stick to knitting for charity. They still seem to like them, but I do try to buy a pattern that's 'in' at the moment.

Anyway, I can't just sit and watch telly in the evenings. I knit lots of squares for charity, and little jumpers and hats for charity too.
I hope a Syrian refugee child will worry more about being warm than being fashionable.

Knitted garments are very fashionable - and can be very expensive to buy.
Even buying some of the yarn can cost a lot.

Nelliemoser Wed 23-Sep-15 23:35:58

You can get something more distinctive if you hand knit.
It gives your hands something to do.

rosequartz Wed 23-Sep-15 23:47:01

Yes, instead of looking the same as everyone else .....

(although I don't knit for myself, or anything large)

rosequartz Wed 23-Sep-15 23:54:42

I knitted this Fairy Doll which the DGDs love:
She's called Rose smile

Indinana Thu 24-Sep-15 00:03:28

You've hit the nail on the head rosequartz. Finishing is all important with handknits - as indeed it is with any handmade item, knitted, crocheted or sewn. If an item is finished and sewn properly it will look professional. If knitting is properly blocked, the stitches do look 'smooth'. Many good quality clothes retailers sell hand knitted items, knitted up by professional hand knitters, not machines. And they can be prohibitively expensive!

suzied Thu 24-Sep-15 05:51:08

I have a couple of Marion Foale hand knits which cost a fortune. They are beautiful, retro style in lovely yarns.i think you can buy the patterns.

Leticia Thu 24-Sep-15 07:02:00

It is the finishing that is all important.

whitewave Thu 24-Sep-15 08:03:05

I knit like mad for periods at a time, my knitting is quite dreadful, but I churn out all sorts of stuff.

Grannyknot Thu 24-Sep-15 08:10:25

I have never knitted a cardigan for a grown up, I only knit small projects.

I knit because:

It is mindfulness/meditation in action.
It zones out Sky Sports whilst keeping husband happy because I'm there.
It connects me to the memory of my grandmother.
I can recreate vintage patterns.
My family love my hand-made gifts - weekend socks, vintage "bow tie" scarves (they stay put when on and fit into a handbag), the toys/blankets/cardis for my grandson that my daughter-in-law shows off.

When I was still working in an office, I taught all the younger women to knit. We would all have projects on the go stuffed into our desk drawers and have hurried conversations about dropped stitches etc. During one of those, the Chief Executive walked straight towards us and all you saw were knitting being chucked down or stuffed into a drawer. He purposefully strode towards me, shook my hand and said "Well done, you've got them off the internet".

I rest my case. smile

Grannyknot Thu 24-Sep-15 08:11:40

That should be "was" not "were". Oh, the shame blush

Grannyknot Thu 24-Sep-15 08:12:29

rose I live that doll and am gonna knit one.

Grannyknot Thu 24-Sep-15 08:12:51

Love! Damn Kindle.

Greyduster Thu 24-Sep-15 08:51:14

I don't agree that hand knits look awful. My DiL knitted several tops over the summer in some beautiful fine yarns and you would have been hard pressed to say that they were hand knitted. In the past eighteen months, I have taken back three sweaters that had hardly been worn to M&S that have had finishing issues - seams coming apart at the rib and cuffs, even the back of the neck! I know if I knit a sweater, this is not going to happen. With hand knits it's all down to tension and finishing.

Granne72 Thu 24-Sep-15 09:01:05

Grannyknot I'm with you I find knitting mindful too and it connects me to many strong (character)women in my family and one male knitter too. I love that my granny and mother taught me to knit and sew and I enjoy passing these skills on n to my GCh. I love the knitting traditions ganseys/guernseys and aran. There is a wonderful tradition of knitting on this island of ours. Anyone who saw the range of garments produced by my little knitting group aged 18 to 87 would be amazed at the diversity and quality. We also knit many items for different charities and have a laugh into the bargain. I see hand knitting as a skill and a gift which more people should try.