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anniversary, and a contest!

October 31, 2008
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Today marks the fifth anniversary of me teaching myself to knit.

I learned to crochet when I was seven, and tried to teach myself knitting when I was around ten, but I didn’t quite get it then. Five years ago today though, armed with size 5 needles and a skein of Red Heart (I know), I watched some how-to videos and learned how to knit and purl.

And then I discovered Noro and blogs and socks and lace and I was reborn. I really don’t think that I would have stuck with it if it weren’t for any of those things.

So, to celebrate I’m giving away this sweet little skein of handspun and handdyed mohair in grey-green that I got at Salon des métiers d’art last December, here in Montréal. I made a hat out of the other skein I bought and it’s super warm and silky, not scratchy like some mohair can be.

For a chance to win, delurk and post a comment. Tell me something that made you want to learn to knit, or that renewed your interest in knitting. I’ll be taking comments until November 10th when I’ll draw a winner at random. Spread the word!

Nov. 10 ETA : The contest is now closed. I’ll be announcing the winner later today.

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20 Comments
  1. October 31, 2008 5:54 pm

    I learnt to knit because I was tired of buying crappy acrylic tuques and mittens. I knew there was better yarns to be had, and knitting seemed like fun anyway.

  2. October 31, 2008 7:35 pm

    I started at the age of about 10, out of curiosity., taught by my mom (knit and purl stitch, that’s it). Since then, it was on and off. But June last year, the itch started and remained since. For me, it was all the fibers available. Now that I knit in Montreal, I have such a great choice of fibers. Like you, I have known Red Heart and now I flee acrylic with a passion.

    Today, all the reasons for which I knit include the fibers available (quality, interesting properties, softness, etc.), to make something original, to be able to make something cool without relying on fashion and trends (urgh!) and to have sweaters, socks and various accessories of high quality (not polyester, acrylic, etc.), as opposed to low quality, cheap and made in china. Now that there are websites, blogs, videos, ravelry and cool patterns available, it renewed my interest as well. It is so stimulating!

    With all that, I should be good for not switching to “off” again! 🙂

  3. November 3, 2008 5:08 pm

    In some ways, all of my reasons for taking up knitting and then getting deeper into it were rather silly. Or rather, they weren’t well thought out or purposeful.

    I learned to knit in high school because one of my favorite teachers was going to teach a knitting class. It was just a way to get to spend more time with a teacher I liked.

    I forgot all about knitting until college, when one of my friends re-taught me to knit while we were travelling together. It was just a thing to do to pass time on the train.

    Then I really got into knitting in graduate school, when I needed something to do with my hands to give my brain a rest from time to time. That’s when the real obsession started, and I fell absolutely in love with everything about the craft.

    So, that’s my story!! It started off as a short-term, passing interest and ended up a life passion.

    p.s. I’ll be posting about your contest on WiKnit (http://wiknit.blogspot.com), my knitting contest blog.

  4. November 3, 2008 6:12 pm

    I also learned crochet at about 7 or 8 from Mom. She never knit, so I tried to pick it up on my own as a teen. I found it made me tense instead of relaxed, I’d try it out every ten years or so, but it never stuck. About three years ago crochet started causing pain in my off hand, so I tried knitting again, and this time it like Cupid’s arrow had found the target.

  5. November 3, 2008 6:15 pm

    I learned to knit as a child, and had two major knitting breaks — the first as a teenager, and the second when I had babies. But ever since I joined Ravelry, I’ve been knitting nonstop because there are so many more yarns and patterns that I want to try.

  6. Nicole (ikkinlala) permalink
    November 3, 2008 7:22 pm

    I learned the knit stitch as a kid and made a couple of garter stitch dishcloths, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I rediscovered knitting. It was recommended to me by several friends as a good way to relax. Then I discovered the wealth of information online, and knitting became a bit of an obsession.

  7. Marilyn permalink
    November 3, 2008 10:54 pm

    I took up knitting again when I inherited all my aunt’s knitting needles. Why did I ever stop??

  8. Erin permalink
    November 4, 2008 12:16 am

    The devil baby pants in the second Stitch ‘n Bitch made me want to learn how to knit. By the time I had a baby to knit for, I knew I could never knit at that small gauge, but still!

  9. November 4, 2008 1:13 am

    I learned to knit when I was college freshman. My grandmother had passed away several years earlier, and had left me her large box of knitting needles, stitch markers, etc, as well as two unfinished projects – a black wool sweater, and a creamy wool baby blanket. I had always wanted to finish those for her, and when a friend offered to teach me to knit, I jumped at the chance.

    I have been knitting with Grandmother’s needles for 11 years now. I’ve finished her uncompleted projects, and I love revisiting some of her old patterns – reading her little notes and reminders on the edges helps me feel connected to her.

  10. November 4, 2008 2:30 am

    I learned to knit at school and to be honest I was not good at it, at first. My mom helped me, and since that time I never stopped. (that is 33 years ago)

    Congrats on your blog-anniversary

  11. November 4, 2008 5:03 am

    I learned to knit at 38 because I was always drooling over handknit items at christmas bazaars and thought I would give it a try now Iam pretty good at it and love it so relaxing and now started crochet this last Summer to:)Hugs Darcy

  12. November 4, 2008 9:49 am

    wow, happy knitiversary! i just made it to 2 1/2/ years myself. I had tried to knit as a teen and it didn’t happen well. So when i was stressed out and taking my state exams my mom was out visiting. She showed me how to knit the very basic fuzzy scarf (which at that point was all her knitting experience and skill as well) That did it! i was hooked and now also spin and dye. So my testing anxiety was what inspired me!

  13. Jenny permalink
    November 4, 2008 12:39 pm

    My mom, grandmother, aunt, etc. all crochet. I tried so hard as a child to learn to crochet. I learned, forgot, re-learned, forgot over and over again for years. I desperately wanted to do yarn craft, but I never, ever enjoyed crocheting. I finally decided that I was just going to do it.

    I went to a yarn store to buy the materials for a gorgeous shawl and my hopes were dashed by the cost of good wool (I’d only ever had acrylic in my life’s experience, my mom and sister and many others in my family are allergic to wool plus they bought acrylic for blankets that would never, ever die). I couldn’t afford all that delightful, gorgeous wool.

    The woman at the store suggested that I learn to knit since it uses less yarn than crochet (I’ve never tested this theory, but I do believe it). I decided to give it a try, and I did learn to knit (from books and websites since I’d never seen someone knit outside of movies and books. I’ve since met other knitters, and I never did make a shawl. It turns out that I really like knitting socks, hats, scarves, mittens, etc. (small projects – I have no patience and working on a project for months would drive me mad).

  14. November 5, 2008 12:53 am

    I too learned how to crochet first, but I found myself finding patterns that I wanted to make, but lacking the skills to make them. So, I took my little ‘Learn to knit, crochet and tat’ book and with a bit of help from the ‘net, taught myself to knit! Now I know I can pick up any pattern and go at it – it’s a wonderful feeling isn’t it?

  15. Kristen permalink
    November 5, 2008 10:43 pm

    I started knitting when a free community class was offered, and I immediately loved the meditative aspect of it. It required enough attention to quiet the mental chatter plus I got a hat or something a the end!

  16. November 6, 2008 1:53 pm

    I started knitting because I wanted to make a felted purse.
    I’d love to learn domino knitting. There’s a class at Madrona from the woman who wrote the book on it. I may just have to splurge there!

  17. Penny Powekk permalink
    November 7, 2008 3:10 am

    I am a fairly new knitter. I would like to learn how to knit socks. Knitting has saved my sanity this past year. I lost my dad last Nov. after 2 wks of fighting after a heart attack. Now, we found out my mother only has days to live. I have spent a many of nights at the hospital knitting to keep myself from breaking down. I think knitting is good for the soul.
    Penny

  18. TripletMom permalink
    November 9, 2008 12:55 pm

    I taught myself to knit when I was pregnant. The girls came and I put the knitting and crochet down for over a year. Then I rediscovered my Yarn Girls book and stumbled upon Knitty Gritty on DIY network. That was all it took. I haven’t put the needles down since!

  19. November 10, 2008 12:46 am

    My grandmother is a master crocheter and an excellent knitter. My mom can make socks and dog sweaters (my grandmother says that fiber runs in the family (her mom was great also), but it must have skipped my mom…).

    I learned to crochet a tiny bit when I was really young. I made a few small blankets. Then I wanted to learn to spin… that came from my love of breeding/showing rabbits and seeing angora breeders spin at shows. I got a wheel when I was 16, learned to spin, and… needed something to do with the yarn! Knit stitch came and I was on my way with a too-tight garter stitch scarf in purple alpaca that was over spun and over plied. My dad will has it. I quit fiber for a while when I started college (never really got that into it), but then a roommate was knitting a scarf and I jumped back in with both feet and am here today with a fiber and yarn stash that’s quickly filling up my tiny campus apartment. I’m now a spinner, knitter, weaver, crochet, needle felter, and do some fiber prep and will be getting back into angora rabbits and goats after graduating!

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