Monday, 26 April 2010

Starting Out – Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 1

Just as I want to try to get back into the swing of blogging (and generally being creative) again conveniently there's something to join in with that will prompt me to get going each day this week. Courtesy of Eskimimi this week is Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, each day there's a different topic for those taking part to blog about.

I also notice (and I'm afraid I've already forgotten where I saw this) that once I've got a hold of my knitting inspirations "Elsie Marley" is having a kid's clothes week challenge - for the second year she's challenging herself and others who want to join in to "spend an hour each day working on clothes for your kid’s–or kids’–summer wardrobe." Hopefully this will get me motivated to work on some new baby clothes, and make some things for my nearly 4yo too (although I'm afraid she has quite a lot of summer dresses already).

Of course part of the danger of all this will also be discovering more blogs I want to add to my insanely congested feedreeder but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it! I'll have to be firm with myself and get my bloglines subscriptions in better order and then actually get around to making a blogroll here.

And at last on to the blogging topic of the day. This may not be my finest blogging hour since I've left it rather late to sit down and write (and then I may just have fallen asleep on the couch for 3 hours and woken up, ahem, oh and then resettled my daughter who also woke up).

So, Starting Out. How did I come to be a knitter and sometime crocheter? Well it must be initially in large part be due to the fact that my mother is a knitter (not to mention that she's also being doing many other crafts my whole life) so it always seemed like something one would want to do. My grandmothers also both knit, and my mum's mother -aka Nana- at least used to crochet (in fact she crocheted my christening gown which is a lot prettier than that may sound if you're not a crochet fan). I always had some mum-made hand knit sweaters, some of which I've long outgrown but sometimes still squeeze into around the house when visiting my parents!

My mum, Nana and I think even my dad (who I don't think I've ever otherwise seen knit, although he does occasionally hook rugs and has been known to sew on his own buttons if someone threads the needle for him) sat down with me and showed me how to knit, and probably crochet, as a child. However I'm really not the best pupil when it comes to things like that (I always want to be able to just do it NOW and not have someone tell me how, it's the same with me and musical instruments), so I think my progress went in fits and starts. Too bad I didn't have knittinghelp and sites like that to hand back then, but once I was older and motivated I started to fill in my knowledge with help from books with good diagrams and descriptions and have been knitting, and dabbling in crocheting, on and off ever since.

I took textiles as one of my GCSE subjects and did some knitting as part of that (including some brief experimentation with machine knitting). As family and friends had babies I would start and not finish sweaters for gifts, and similarly start but never finish experiments for myself. Then while I was at university I made my first adult size sweater (I still wear it, here's the ravelry project link) for myself (improvising a pattern using some lovely sturdy wool yarn bought from a store in Lancaster which I think might have disappeared by my last year of uni sadly). During my year abroad (I went to Wellesley College in Massachusetts) my mother and I collaborated on a cardigan for me (I knit the easy part and she did the complicated pattern and finishing!). In my final year back in Lancaster I actually finished and presented a baby cardigan in a timely fashion and really felt like I was now a knitter!

All of this was also compounded by the time I spent singing and touring in my late teens and early twenties with a singing group (both in the form of summer camps and semi-professional touring groups) based in Vermont where on some of the tours it seemed as though almost every member of the group was knitting or crocheting (this is also where I met my husband who does neither of those things but does sing, a lot). Someday soon I'm sure I'll sit down and show my daughter how to knit and crochet too, she's already showing an interest if not the staying power to figure it out just yet...

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