"How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda?"
I first started knitting in a variety of frustrated episodes as a child. Various relatives tried to teach me (as they do), but I couldn't ever remember what I was doing and, unusually for me, quickly lost patience. It was rare for me not to be able to learn something new so I undoubtedly proclaimed the whole thing to be stupid and rationalised that I didn't need/want to know how to knit anyway.
I first started being able to knit in January 2008 when, like Mimi, I picked up a book called 'I Love Knitting' in a discount book shop. The book wasn't terribly informative but it was motivation and between its confusing instructions and some people around me who actually knew how to knit I finally figured out the basics of garter stitch and started my way on an acrylic scarf for my boyfriend who's allergic to wool anyway. The project progressed slowly and it took a long time for me to decide I actually kind of enjoyed this knitting thing. In August, once the scarf was done (and what perfect weather for it...), I played around with other projects, many of which were never finished but each taught me something new.
That first scarf - as modeled by the cat, not the boyfriend :)
I first started to be able to knit with confidence whilst out in the US last year. Three months in Pittsburgh for my PhD may or may not have helped my studies, but it did wonders for my knitting. In the first few days of my stay I was feeling lonely and rather bored, particularly of an evening. On some bizarre whim I put "knitting" into a Google map of Pittsburgh and discovered Natural Stitches. I drew myself a map, plotted the bus times and decided I would head out there the following night - it rained torrentially and I decided that maybe the next night would do instead :) Over my three months in Pittsburgh, the lovely folks at Natural Stitches taught me an incredibly large amount about knitting in a sort-of gentle, absorption way and I suspect without them:
1) I would never know the things I know now
2) I would still (and probably always) be somewhat afraid of my knitting
3) I'd have a much smaller stash!
So there we are, my knitting adventure so far.
I'm still at the beginning of my crochet journey. I played around with crochet a bit on my own after learning to knit in 2008, but never had any idea if I was doing the right thing. Out in the US I took a couple of crochet classes at Natural Stitches and I'm now able to form a few stitches and even follow a pattern if there's someone there to hold my hand :) One day I'll commit to really trying to master pattern reading on my own.
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