Posted in KnitCroBloWeek

Knit and Crochet Blog Week: Starting Out

Karen pointed out to me that this week is Knitting and Crochet Blog Week (I’d been living under a rock for a few days while at the Spring Fling, which I promise I will post about as soon as I get some pictures uploaded – it was a blast!), so I’ve decided to join in! It’s a week of bloging on topics related to knitting and crochet. Here’s some more detail on what it’s all about.

The first topic is:

Starting Out: 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?

Years ago, when I was 15 or 16 and was staying with my grandparents for the summer, I asked my grandmother to teach me to crochet. For as long as I could remember, she had crocheted things, mostly afghans and golf club cozies, and I wanted to learn. She handed me a book on learning to crochet (which she told me was the same book she learned from), a few skeins of acrylic yarn, and a crochet hook. I set to work learning to crochet. I learned the basic stitches, but my gauge was all over the place (at the time I didn’t realize that was the problem) and my squares looked all out of whack. Over the next few years I tried again and again to do something with what I had learned. I kept putting it aside in favor of other crafty things, reading, or writing. My senior year of high school I did manage to make an afghan in single crochet with a large hook and double stranded Red Heart yarn. It was a little wonky, which I “fixed” by doing a single crochet around the whole thing. After that, I didn’t pick it up again until 2003 (about 3 years later) to try and crochet another afghan out of squares. I never did finish that project and it’s disappeared between all the moves I’ve made since then.

In March 2004 I went to AC Moore to find something to crochet for a baby for a co-worker who was pregnant. While I was there, I found a “Learn to Knit Kit” from Lion Brand for a baby hat and booties. It included instructions, knitting needles, and yarn. I don’t have any pictures of this project, but I knew after I finished it that I wanted to knit more. I didn’t know any knitters at that time and didn’t know anyone who had ever knit anything. After that hat and bootie set, I knit a double stranded baby blanket out of Red Heart Pound of Love. It was intended for the same co-worker, but by the time I finished it, she had moved away from the area and we weren’t in contact any longer. Next came some Santa hats made with chenille and fun fur. After that, I just couldn’t put down the needles!

I learned from that kit, the first Stitch ‘n Bitch book, and various online sources. I’m completely self-taught and because I didn’t know any knitters when I first started, I really didn’t have any fear or concept of projects that might be beyond my capabilities. That worked out okay sometimes and terrible others, but it’s been a great learning experience.

I learned about Local Yarn Shops from the Yarn Harlot and the first Stitch ‘n Bitch book and eventually I made my first trip to the yarn store. I found that there was more yarn then the big box craft stores had and soon after that first LYS trip (which was 45 mintues away), I found Knit Picks and other online yarn shops. Stitch ‘n Bitch inspired me to start the first knitting group I attended and I spread the word through my old LiveJournal. People heard about it and showed up to that first meeting. It was fantastic to share my love of knitting with others and learn from them, too. Now with Ravelry, Plurk, Twitter, and all the other great knitting and crochet blogs out there I’ve been able to share that love with a lot of great people who also love the craft.

In writing this blog post, I looked up when that first project was and I realized that last month marked 6 years of knitting. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long! I thought I was close to 5 years now, but thanks to Ravelry and the fact that I documented those early projects through my old blog (which no longer exists), I can easily look back on the dates of those early projects. It’s been fantastic to find a hobby I’m so passionate about and I have a feeling I won’t be putting down these needles any time soon! 🙂

26/365: In Need of Some Wine
Here’s to many more years of knitting!

Be sure to check out the other entries for today’s topic!