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Sunday, February 11, 2007

New big question...

Okay--now that I'm done fawning all over Robin (and Sora and Roxie and Catie if she's done w/Vulnerable and not too disappointed!) I've got to admit that she brought up a good question--she asked where she would go to learn how to knit...

Now, the main character of my 1st three books (oh, Goddess, hurry up BOUND, hurry up hurry up hurry up!), Cory Kirkpatrick, learned how to knit after almost dying from a multiple supernatural entity attack and exhaustion brought on by grief. Knitting was therapy for her, and without giving too much up from BOUND, knitting and the Local Yarn Store play a nice sized role in the action. (I can't wait for Roxie to read it--there's a scene with a sweater that...no. No spoilers, I can't give spoilers now when it's probably less than 2 weeks from release. I can't.) Anyway, a vampire who used to be a homemaker taught her how to knit while she was recovering--Cory's not the best patient in the world, and the knitting kept her sane.

Personally, I taught myself to knit. I know I've replied to a couple of other people's post with this story (Julie, was that you're question?) so bear with me if this is repetetive, but I first dreamt crocheting. I mean, I'd watched a couple of grandmothers knit and crochet when I was a child, and one night I went to bed as a perfectly sane adult, and dreamt about the hook and the yarn and woke up and thought "AHA!" I went out and bought myself a 'how to' book and taught myself how to crochet and how to read the instructions. I asked on veteran one question (what does it mean 'in the space' as opposed to 'in the stitch') and have been crocheting happily ever since. I had a coupld of books (not to mention the heavily mourned Family Circle Easy Knitting magazine) that featured knitting with the crochet patterns, and, well, I hate to be left out of anything, so I taught myself knitting. Then I realized that Michael's didn't have all the yarn out there, so I found a couple of LYS including Babetta's, and I taught myself some freakin' yarn-buying discretion and the rest is history.

I have a list of shit I've made--some of it literally shit, and some of it I'm rather quietly proud of--but the list, including some 140 blankets, is about 10 pages long--it usually features who I made it from, what it's made out of, and where (sort of) the pattern came from...

So now that your eyes are glazed over with details and the baby's crying to be put to bed (two completely unrelated incidents, I assure you...) I'm just curious--and I bet so is Robin if she is still with us...

Where did you learn to knit? What would you change? What was your motivation...

I'm just freakin' nosy and you've all been so good to me in the last couple weeks, and I wanted to know!

(Knitech gave me this:-O

Your Linguistic Profile:
50% General American English
20% Yankee
15% Upper Midwestern
10% Dixie
0% Midwestern

12 comments:

NeedleTart said...

I had six aunts and Mom was the baby. One day my oldest aunt (at least the one still living, I was the baby, too) saw me sitting and looking out the window. She felt I needed something to do, idle hands and all that so she made one of those spool knitting things (empty thread spool and 4 nails?) and taught me to make i-cord. I was 4. After that the aunts passed me around and each taught me her specialty: needlepoint, crewel, knitting, tatting, dressmaking, drawn thread embroidery and just about any needle art. I never made anything that wasn't turned over or inside out and critiqued. My Mom kept it up until I was 33 and one of her friends said, "Leave her alone. She's one of the best I've ever seen."

Amy Lane said...

That's a very cool story-- seriously--it's almost a fairy tale...and if it isn't, it should be. (In fact, I feel a fairy tale coming on...if it blossoms into a full blown short story, I'll let you know!)

Louiz said...

I learnt to knit from my mother. I gave it up almost as soon as I learnt for tapestry and cross stitch (which my grandmother taught me). Then after a while I realised all you can do with tapestry and cross stitch is cushions and pictures... so taught myself crochet. Then my wrist started to go from all the crochet I was doing, so I re-learnt knitting from my mum.

I like reading about knitting in fiction:)

Rae said...

My beloved MawMaw (mom's mom) taught me. Interestingly, MawMaw didn't knit anything other than dishcloths, slippers (which I always [and still] hate because they're knobby and uncomfortable and ugly), and scarves. I don't think she ever knit anything else, not even a blanket.

But no matter if it's simple things or elaborate things, she taught me to knit. Kind of sadly IMO, I followed her footsteps for 20 years and knit only dishcloths. Not even scarves. Only in the last few years have I gotten into anything remotely more interesting.

Funny -- she taught me to purl backwards, which I did for over 20 years. It resulted in twisted stitches that never laid flat and looked pretty like in the pictures. It's been just shy of a year that I learned how to purl (and it was so natural to purl the "right" way), and it's transformed how my knitting looks. I also LIKE purling now -- hated it before (it was so awkward), but I love it now.

Roxie said...

I don't remember when I didn't know how to knit. I remember in the second grade knitting a scarf for the school janitor (just like the little girl in a book I read) and he laughed himself silly. My Norwegian granny may have taught me, but I was about six when she died. Still, I have it on good authority that Norwegian girls of five had to knit their own socks, so who knows? I remember Grandma letting me help make banana bread, but I don't remember learning how to knit.

Amy Lane said...

(This one's from Knittech--I was moderating comments with the baby on my lap and accidentally pushed 'reject'--I can't wait until comment moderation goes bye bye...)

I remember trying to learn to knit at 13. I showed the step-monster, she said "so". I put it down, I should have showed it to Granny who would have helped me. I remember by the third row there was twice as many stitches. The yarn split really badly, it had nothing to do with my skill or lack of.

About seven years ago, I decided I wanted to knit. I picked up a book and learned. Course I had zero confidence. So, I took a class because I wanted mostly learn how to read patterns. What I learned was, I was knitting through the backloop. The teacher said, "you don't need to be here." Since that point, after learning to speak (or read) knitize, I haven't looked back.

Mother of Chaos said...

I learned to knit by going to a local yarn store and signing up for a class.

I wanted to knit because I had just learned to spin. I spent an entire run of Renaissance Faire spinning...I had LOTS of yarn, but neither knit nor crocheted.

The one thing I wish I could change is, the first real project I did was a cabled afghan for my Gran. There is a MAJOR mistake in the cables, and I would give my interest in the hot place to be able to go back in time and make myself go back and fix it. I was about three hard-earned inched above when I saw it, and I decided it "wasn't that bad".

Now, it drives me @*^&@ing crazy, every time I see it. And do I see it often? Yes I do - because Gran proudly displays this evidence of my knitterly prowess (ahem) in her front room.

Julie said...

I honestly had not read this before I did my own post on how I learned to knit.

Maybe we share a brain. That could be interesting.

FEAR US!! AHAHAHAHA!

Robin said...

This all sounds very intriguing, I'll have to give it a go. How long did it take before you really liked your results?

Amy Lane said...

I love alllllll the stories--but I've got to say, the one that surprises me the least is Roxie's--it doesn't surprise me in the least that she's been knitting as long as she's been saying her ABC's...

Amy Lane said...

And when Julie and I merge our cerebrums completely, the world will tremble at our feet...

The Lady in Red said...

I still haven't learned to knit. I can barely crochet and even that is craptacular. I need to learn how to do both correctly, but the damn books confuse me more than they help me some times.