Today’s Topic is: How and when did you start knitting/crocheting?
Because I knit and crochet this is a two part question.
I became thoroughly fascinated with the art of crocheting when I was five years old when I was in Kindergarden. My mother worked so I spent the afternoons after school was out with an elderly lady who lived a few doors down from the school. In good weather she sat outside in her front yard and crocheted. I vividly remember watching her make the most beautiful pineapple doilies using very fine thread and tiny steel crochet hooks. I was completely fascinated. She sat and made beautiful creations without a pattern meanwhile talking with me. One time I asked her how she could it without a pattern and she told me words to the effect of “I have done it so many times the pattern is in my head. ”
I was hooked and in love. From that time my goal was to learn to crochet with thread. My mother had different ideas saying that crocheting was only for poor people or old ladies. I did not care. I knew that one day this is what I wanted to do.
I was 12 or 13 before I finally learned to crochet using a book to teach myself. This was a bit of a challenge because I am left handed and the only books available to me in the 1960’s were written for right handed people. I was able to look at the pictures and follow the written instructions. It worked. I managed to learn enough basic skills to satisfy my curiosity until I became an adult.
Growing up I met some of my parent’s older relatives who crocheted. I was always fascinated.
Even as a young person I had distinct tastes in crochet hooks. My choice was the Boye hooks because they suited my hands and style better than other hooks.
I did not resume crocheting with any degree of seriousness until after College and Nursing School. At that time I was able to purchase my own books, yarn and tools. I discovered books such as:
- Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework
- The Reinhold Book of Needlecraft
- Crocheting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti
I spent many hours devouring them. I learned to read English and American instructions. I learned so much there is not room to list it all here or anywhere.They remain treasured volumes in my collection.
I made my share of Granny squares and some small items in yarn. for many years knitting and crocheting took a back seat to to other interests.
I allowed myself to take a Crocheting class at what was then Lee Wards in the 1990’s. I quickly learned that I knew more than I realized. I came away from the class with a large amount of much needed self confidence. It also helped increase my love for and fascination with this wonderful art.
There was finally courage to try my hand at thread crochet! I successfully made an assortment of small doilies, coasters and a couple of collars to satisfy my hunger for thread. I had to face the reality that my eyes limit some of what I can feel comfortable doing. This is one of those things. I own some magnifying equipment and have the ability to purchase more, but it is not worth time or energy to do so at this time.
I learned to knit when i was 8 years old. Knitting lessons at a local Sears store were a gift from my mother. it was an alternative to my desire for crocheting. I learned to knit right handed on some 14 inch size 8 metal needles. I still own them today.
The lessons were good. i learned a lot and took to knitting easily and naturally. Reading patterns was the same way. In addition to basic knitting I learned to treat yarn with respect and care. I made lots of slippers and other small items. I distinctly remember my mother being annoyed at my ability to knit without watching what I was doing.
I continue to knit and crochet to this day. There is normally at least one project on hooks and needles at the same time. There is still much to learn and do.
As much as I enjoy knitting, my first love continues to be crocheting. Memories of my first encounter with that amazing lady, her tiny steel hooks and fine thread continue to inspire me.
Thank you kind babysitting lady whose name I do not know! You have given me the gift of a lifetime.