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


How I Learned to Knit

 On this first day of Knit & Crochet Blog Week the topic is: How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting?

I wrote about this a couple years ago. I am republishing that post:

I don't have anything to write about yesterday because it was a quiet, boring day for the most part. So I thought I'd write about my knitting history.

When I was 9 years old my father took me down to the local Payless Drug store. He bought me a pair of 14-inch blue Boye size 6 knitting needles, a skein of really ugly worsted weight acrylic gold variegated yarn, and a little book with knitting lessons in it. When we got home he showed me how to cast on and do the knit stitch. Then told me to knit a scarf.

Up until that day, I did not even know my father knew how to knit. So this was all quite a surprise. For years and years I wondered how and where he learned to knit because he'd never told me. My father is not one to talk about himself. However, whenever he did talk about knitting, it was stories from his army days about knitting socks while sitting in a fox hole. So I assumed that's where he learned. It wasn't until just a few years or so ago I found out he'd learned to knit from his father, who learned from his father, who learned from his father, on down the line. (I had no brothers, so I got lucky.)

Needless to say, I LOVED it! I worked on that scarf until I ran out of yarn. Unfortunately, I needed a second ball to finish it. I hated the color so much I never got around to asking for that second ball-so I never finished the scarf. Instead, I talked my Mom into getting me 2 skeins of purple and white variegated (see? I've always loved purple). With this new yarn, and my little How To book, I learned the purl stitch. I knit a whole scarf in stockinette stitch, and used the book to learn how to bind off. I was HOOKED.

I used to carry my knitting around with me in a little basket. I even took it to school and worked on it on the school bus and during my lunch break. It took weeks and weeks for me to knit that scarf. I don't remember what the other kids thought about this. I must not have cared.

Over the years I have often wondered why? Why did he decide that day to teach me how to knit? I think I might know the answer. Earlier that year I'd been hanging out in the Cherry tree in the front yard, eating cherries. The branch I was standing on broke. I fell out and landed flat on my back, fracturing it. The fact that I can walk around today is a miracle.

Injuring my back severely curtailed my physical activity, pretty much for the rest of my life. I think my Dad taught me to knit because he saw that I needed something to do while sitting around. Whatever the reason, I'm thankful for what he did because knitting has given me many many hours of joy.


 And now for a current WIP. Over the weekend I started the sweater for my son-in-law. It's kind of a gansey style sweater.

 I like the design very much. It's got nice patterning in it, but it's not difficult patterning. All three stitch patterns are simple and easily memorized. That makes it somewhat portable. At the same time, not so easy that I'll get bored. It's got nice classic lines so I think he'll be pleased with it.

I am using a Navy Blue tweed yarn that I found in the stash. I will from here on refer to it as the Navy Textured sweater.

It has not been without trouble. First of all, I'm not sure about the test swatch. I thought I used my size 8 needles for the swatch and got perfect gauge. However, now I'm not so sure. 

On Friday evening I went to get the size 6 needles to knit the welt ribbing as instructed. I definitely walked into the sun room, took the 6's out of the case, and returned to my chair where I then cast on for the back and did the ribbing. The next day, out on the deck, in the sunshine, I was ready to start the first stitch pattern section. I needed to change to the size 8's. I got 4 rows into it before I noticed I hadn't changed needles so I had to frog back to the welt. I went back into the house to get the size 8 needles, which I thought were on the table next to my chair, but weren't. I can't find them. I've searched everywhere I can think of, including all my knitting bags, under the chair, under the table, all over the house-everywhere! I can't find the 24-inch size 8 Addi Turbos I think I used.

So, now I'm wondering if perhaps I imagined the part where I went and got the size 6 and perhaps actually knit that swatch with the 6's, not the 8's. Clearly, I'm feeling like I've lost my mind. I will continue to feel that way until I find my 8's.

Have a good day.


  1. How wonderful that your dad not only taught you, but was carrying on the tradition! Now that's a GREAT story!

  2. What a wonderful story. There's nothing cooler than a dude who knits!

  3. Wow, that is quite the story! You are a very lucky person - for being okay, and for having such an awesome dad!

    Your son-in-law will have to love that sweater, it is very nice! Great colour choice.

  4. That is a wonderful story I think its great that your dad taught you to knit before joining Ravelry I didn't think there were many male knitters out there. I love the color you using for the sweater.

    I hope the needles work out for you

  5. Gold acrylic is ugly. I did a whole sweater in it for 4H and then stopped knitting for years. Glad you got to switch to a favorite color right way. Susan in Colorado