A couple of days ago while sorting through one of my many baskets of yarn I came across a special ball of yarn which inspired me to tell you how I started on this yarn journey.
My love of yarn and all things yarny started as a child. I would go stay with my Great Aunt Betty and she was a crocheter. From what I remember she mostly crocheted granny squares. I was fascinated and so she taught me to make them too. I didn’t have yarn or hooks or anything at home, and so the only time I got to play with it was at Aunt Betty’s house. As time went on and we moved, I didn’t get to go over there as much so I forgot how to crochet or even about crocheting. The love of yarny things stayed with me though. I have always been drawn to sweaters, blankets, and anything else made of yarn.
Jump forward many years and I am now mom to 3 children, ages 7 & 3.. We homeschool and at one of our meetups with other homeschoolers one of the moms is knitting while she chats. This catches my eye and I start asking questions about it; she told me how she had learned and that it helps keep her sane. I decided that I wanted to learn so I had everyone get me knitting things for Christmas that year. One of the things was a ball of ‘fun fur’ and a dvd.. Fun Fur is NOT the best thing to try to learn with by the way; I learned this the hard way. I did manage to knit two hats, in the round, at that point, but it was so agonizingly difficult using the method the dvd showed and the needles and yarn that I had that I gave up for a long time.
Here is a picture of one of the two hats I made when I first tried to learn to knit. My son is modeling for me, as you can see he is no longer 3.
Another jump through time and I am still mom to 3 children, however they are now ages 12 & 8. We are walking through Walmart and as always, even though I ‘cannot’ knit or crochet, I always walked through the yarn aisle. This time I happened across a ball of Aunt Lydia’s Bamboo Crochet Thread and it is so soft! I didn’t know they made yarn out of bamboo or how soft the fiber would be.
So I bought it!
Then I went home determined to learn to knit or crochet so I could use this lovely soft bamboo. I did a search on the internet and came across the awesome site of Ravelry.. I kid you not, I stayed on Ravelry for 3 days straight looking at patterns! I didn’t even cook, we ordered pizza. The kids loved it I found tons and tons of patterns to add to my library on Ravelry and to this day still check in there to add more.
I tried learning to crochet first since the Aunt Lydia Bamboo is crochet thread, but I had a hard time keeping up with the stitches so I turned to knitting. This go around I found it much easier to knit. I also discovered that there were many different ways to knit and lots of methods that can make things easier. For example, years ago when I tried to knit those hats I didn’t know anything about switching to dpns for the decreasing nor did I know about magic loop, or even that I should knit the hat on 16 in long circulars or dpns to begin with, so you can probably imagine the difficulties I had as the stitches became fewer and fewer and tried to fit it on those Boye needles sold at Walmart in the 29in long size.. I detest those things now!
The first pattern that I knit when I decided to really learn were the 30 Stitches Mitts by Fiona Donovan. I made these for my daughter. They are great to start with and I have recommended them to others for learning how to knit. You get to practice the knit stitch and finish up with a useful, pretty item in very little time, as compared to starting with a scarf. I couldn’t bring myself to start with a scarf because I knew I would not stick to it if it took too long.
Sorry about the bad picture here.. this was an old camera and these mitts have since went into hiding so I haven’t been able to update their photo.
After I had gotten the hang of knitting I decided to give crochet another go, and cracked it too. The first crochet pattern that I work was the Marshmallow Bunnies by Doni Speigle. I made these for Easter that year and each year since.
We had a lot of things happen during the year that I learned to knit and crochet, but we got through it all and my knitting/crochet really helped. Due to the circumstances we were in my blood pressure was out of control for a bit and I had to go on medicine to control it, but thanks to all of the knitting & crochet I was doing I was able to come off of them in only a few months and continue to stay off of them now.
The next year I met Ellen, my Stitch Geek partner, and we worked together running the group Knitting & Crochet on Facebook for several years. During this time we got to know each other really well and became great friends, working together on projects and patterns and eventually launching this site. We handed over the administration of the Knitting & Crochet group to some of our dear friends and have been putting most of our available time and efforts into building up this website as well as working on our patterns and personal knitting projects.