I don’t remember exactly when I first learned to knit. I just remember very long aluminium needles and very red yarn. My small brown hands and the slightly larger hands of my mum teaching me to knit and purl. I don’t remember what I was knitting, or if I ever finished it. In all likelihood, I probably knit around for a while, frogged and reknit until I got the hang of it.
I’d like to think that she taught me to knit, so that I could get my brownie craft/knitter badge. But it may have been earlier. As I write this, it surprises me how intense I was about those brownie badges: I wanted to get all the badges I could. It wasn’t about competing with anyone else in our pack. I just wanted them badly. That fierce ambitious emotion is still attached to the memory. Needless to say, I did earn quite a few badges, and I was extremely proud of three badges: knitting, reading and the lovely one with the globe.
Quite a few years later, I was an exchange student in what I considered the place furthest away from home as possible. My hostmom in Norway found out that I could knit and insisted that I take it up again. I guess to get me through the long winter. And so, I found myself, trotting over to the village shop after school to buy yarn and get started on a colourwork pullover. I don’t mind aging myself by telling you it was the Lillehammer Olympic pullover. From Dale of Norway.
I never did finish it. All the same, it taught me quite a few things about knitting.
1. Just start.
2. Keep going.
3. If you need help, find someone to ask, and just ask.
4. Of course you can do …..(fill in the blank), See rule 3. As Henry Ford once said, ‘Whether you think you can, or you can’t – you’re right.’
That sweater ended up back in Jamaica, at the back of my closet and eventually got donated or chucked out. That is my Great White Whale. The WIP that got away. The one I long to finish. But more on that another time.
There was another long break, until just before I had my first child. I got bitten by that nervous nesting bug, so I went and ordered a Debbie Bliss baby knits book and knit my way from front to back. For my baby, for friends babies. When my mother-in-law found out, she gifted me her mother-in-law’s needle collection. And so, I am now the keeper of the needles: in addition to my own aquisitions (mostly larger needles), I now have an unbelievable assortment of postwar straight and round needles and crochet hooks in sizes going down to 2mm and finer.
And that’s how I got back into kniting. How did you get into knitting?