"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


My Knitting History Part II

The Scarf Years

I think it's important to mention that one knitting lesson from my father is the only knitting lesson he ever gave me. When I got to the end of my first complete scarf I asked him about binding it off. He replied that he couldn't remember how and that's why he bought me the How to Knit book. Remember, I was 9 years old. It's a testament to how much I loved knitting that I persevered and stuck to it under the circumstances. I didn't know anyone else who knit, so I had no choice but to use the book. For some reason, though, I found learning from the book easy for me.

For the next several years I knit scarves. I became well known for my scarves. Anyone who knew me, or knew someone who knew me, got a scarf made by me. I made scarves for 2 reasons. I liked them, and I was scared to make anything else. Doing anything with a stitch pattern, or any shaping at all was incredibly daunting to me. It was a long time before I got the courage to move on to something else.

Once in awhile I did ribbing or stockinette, but mostly I knit my scarves in garter stitch with 3 colors of stripes. The local grocery store carried a fairly nice acrylic yarn called Love Knit that came in every color under the sun, and then some. I spent most of my allowance and babysitting money on that yarn. I loved experimenting with different color combinations. I made so many scarves that I actually wore off the blue coloring on the tips of my needles. My knitting got incredibly even in stitch construction too.

I still remember 'the pattern'. I'd made it up myself.

Materials: One 3.5 oz. skein each of 3 colors of worsted weight yarn. (A,B,C)

Tools: One pair size 6 knitting needles.

Finished measurements: Approximately 6, or was it 8, inches wide by 5 feet long, plus fringe.

Gauge: Not important (Never heard of it at the time so have no idea.)

Cast on 50 stitches with color A. Knit 20 rows. Change to color B. Knit 20 rows. Change to color C. Knit 20 rows.

Repeat this stripe pattern until scarf measures 5 feet. End with an A colored stripe.

Bind off. Weave in ends. Add fringe to ends if desired.

I actually started getting orders for scarves. People payed me money for MY scarves. It was very exciting. I didn't make much money. Just enough to keep me in yarn. Eventually, though, I saturated the market and ran out of folks to make scarves for.

In my senior year of high school I finally got the desire to make a sweater.

Next time, Part III, The Sweater

Have a great day.

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