The First Time I Picked Up Knitting Needles

When I was little, one of my mother’s friends seemed to be able to do anything she set her mind to doing:  wallpapering, painting, sewing, and….knitting.  She probably crocheted, too, but I don’t remember her doing that.  I watched her knit and was fascinated by the things she made and I wanted to learn to do that.  I pestered Mother until she let me ask Ruby to teach me how to knit. I vaguely remember wanting to knit a sweater and that’s what she started me on – a sweater!  Not a scarf or scarves, not a washcloth, or even a hat but a whole sweater.  I remember it was a simple cardigan with 2×2 ribbing in a soft olive-green wool.  Mother bought the needles and yarn for me and I was on my way to knit;ing a sweater!  But….. I didn’t finish it.  However, I did complete the back but never knitted the front sides or the sleeves.  I remember seeing the back with bound off armholes and the neck stitches on a brass holder, stored in Mother’s double cedar closet; but after she died and we cleared out the house I didn’t find it in the closet.  When I think about when I learned to knit and how young I was, I am amazed that Ruby let me begin knitting on a sweater and not something simple like a garter stitch scarf.  Maybe that is why I am not intimidated by complicated designs or patterns considered advanced or needing experience; I was not told that I “could not do that.”  I am the same way when it comes to sewing.  The first piece of clothing I made after taking Singer sewing classes when I was 14 was a lined, wool, princess-seamed jumper with two pleats.  Daddy always told me to never say “I can’t.”

It has been a long while since that first almost-sweater.  These days I am finishing a second v-neck sweater.  I call it my “tornado” sweater since I started it back in April when the power was out from the tornadoes that hit a community two miles from where I lived at the time.  The back andthe front are finished and the sleeves are being knitted at the same times on circular needles.

"Double" knitting sleeves

This ‘double’ knitting is great in that when I finish a sleeve, they are both finished!

Sleeve for the Charlotte "tornado" tee shirt

Coco sitting on the back of the sweater.







This photo was taken at the same time as the one above but with a different exposure.





I would love to complete the sweater in time to wear to a wedding this Saturday but it is a wool blend and the wedding is in downtown Chattanooga, in the middle of July, no less.  Maybe not.  I may wear the first v-neck sweater I finished earlier this summer a combination of linen and cotton, perfect for a hot, humid Southern afternoon.


7 thoughts on “The First Time I Picked Up Knitting Needles

  1. My first knitting project was a headband. That was when I was ten. It was just a garter stitch rectangle that I sewed the ends together. I was so proud and wore it often. I also knit two sleeves at once. Your sweater is lovely:) Judy

  2. That was an awesome read! I have only been knitting a year, and doing crochet for about a month, but sewed since my teens. I have not tempted a jumper yet, but I love working in the round so I should really give it a try. I find I am being more adventurous with crochet maybe because I find the patterns easier to understand. Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂 you asked me what am I to do with all the fabric. I am collecting vintage patterns, buttons, fabric, to make vintage inspired Childrens clothes and accessories, if you look back through my blog you can see the buttons I have collected and a few dresses I have made 🙂
    Danielle @ AStashAddictsRamblings

  3. Thank you ever so much for your book suggestion on Kate’s needled blog re pdd. It is indeed a matter of hanging in there, the main problem for me is insomnia. I will be starting some cognitive therapy very soon – waiting for date – and am hopeful.

    Lovely to have found your blog this way, too!

    Off to update on Ravelry.


  4. This post reminded me of my aunt who taught me how to crochet and the many blankets of hers that I still have and use today. She’s always surprised at her own work because she’s forgotten how many people have her blankets as gifts. This also takes me back to my sister teaching me many years later how to knit. I still get frustrated with patterns in either style and end up free-styling.
    Your cat Monkee, looks just like my girl Kai, down to the placement of the white fur patches.

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