Saturday, 14 April 2007

SP10 Contest Questions

I'm sorry to have to admit that I have no idea what 'Socks That Rock Yarn' might look like but I do know that other Bloggers and sock knitters rave about the stuff so it must be good!!

The answers to my SP10 Contest questions are.....

How Old Were You When You Learnt to Knit?

When I was first given a pair of thick wooden needles and a ball of dishcloth cotton, I was about 8 years old. My Mother's bright idea was that I should knit dishcloths as Christmas presents for elderly relatives. She cast on enough stitches and then showed me how to do Garter Stitch. I have to say that I was useless at it and completely bored. I kept dropping stitches and asking her for help, then when she'd picked the stitches up I'd drop some more and keep looking at the TV instead of the knitting. Before long she'd lost her temper with me and I was banished to the freezing cold dining room and told not to come out until I had knitted 3 rows without dropping a stitch.

I can't remember whether I ever finished the dishcloths but I do know that I didn't do any knitting after that for at least a year!!

Who Taught You to Knit?

Well, my Mother taught me to cast on and off and to knit and purl but I didn't knit anything from a pattern until I was in my teens. My Mother had a serious yarn buying habit and was always knitting complicated sweaters - Scandanavian Skiing Sweaters for my Dad, Picture Sweaters with about 20 colours for me (remember those? all the rage in the 80s!) Xmas pressies for older relatives. I got all the leftovers and used to use them to knit clothes for my teddy bears. I made them up as I went along and worked out how to increase and decrease through trial and error (some day I must read and book and find out how to do it properly).

My School teacher Miss Rutherford taught me to crochet. Boy, did that woman hate me with a passion - I had her for two years in Junior School and I don't think she had a kind word to say to me - I was always being sent outside or kept in at playtime and I could just tell she didn't like me. Handwork was compulsory twice a week and when I was 10 we had to learn to crochet - first a potholder and then a bag made of triangles. I was always being shouted at for doing it wrong or doing it too slowly but at least she taught me what to do and I've never forgotten.

For years and years I had no-one to teach me anything. I bought a pattern I liked and the yarn it recommended and followed the instructions. I learnt to do fair isle, cables, lace, swiss darning and loads of other things just by reading.

In the early 90s my husband and I went to visit his cousins in Norway and they are all knitters. Anna-Liese took me to a Norwegian Yarn Store and helped me pick a traditional pattern and the right yarns. We also bought needles and each day whilst we were there she would show me how to knit the complicated pattern in the round. I wasn't there long enough to finish the sweater so she had to translate the pattern from Norwegian into English and write down for me how to cut the holes for the arms. I've never been so frightened in my life as when I took a pair of scissors to a piece of knitting that had taken me months! Her instructions were good ones though and the sweater has never unravelled.
Its a piece of art isn't it!
Now in the age of the Internet I learn more from forums, blogs and websites than anything else. This week I learnt to block properly from Eunny Jang's blog (having never blocked anything in my entire life) and soon I'll be learning to dye using the Internet. I love computers!!!


Krafty1 said...

Wow!!!! What an AWESOME sweater! After all of the rough starts, it is a good thing you came to be a knitter...Girl, you've got skills!

Secret Squirrel said...

That is a beautiful sweater!!!

And if your secret pal is a good secret pal (and I am...even if I'm not the promptest in sending my parcels) then you'll get a little treat very soon!!!