Daily Prompt: Knitting Memories

Knitting

Mum was always knitting, Money always seemed to be scarce, and when she decided to knit a pullover or jacket, she would go to the store and select the wool. She would only buy about a third of it, and have the rest reserved for when she had used the original supply. Dad had a weekly wage and so she could only afford the cost but buying her wool weekly. The first time I decided to knit something for myself, I had saved some money. I suppose I was about 12 years old and so we went together to the shop. I chose my wool and bought it all. Mum was almost shocked that I would buy all the wool I needed without reserving the rest.

I was always knitting something, usually for myself: one plain, one purl, make a stitch and knit two together  was the language we used. I moved over to Switzerland and got married and not only did I have children to knit for, but a Swiss mother-in-law that was convinced she had invented knitting. I discovered that in Europe people knit differently to those in England. We would wrap the wool around the needle to make a stitch and the continentals would fetch the wool through the stich. The result was the same, although Swiss mother-in-law was convinced her knitted garments were better than mine.

As time passed I learned to knit socks. Now that was really something rewarding. My poor kids wore knitted knee high socks under their trousers to keep them warm. Knitting socks was a scientific exercise. The heel and toe had to be knitted incorporating an extra thread matching the original wool to strengthen the sock in the right places. Yes family Angloswiss all had knitted socks, although Mr. Swiss only wore them at home, and not in the office: seems they did not match the suit and tie.

In the meanwhile Swiss mother-in-law taught me to crochet. All the pullovers I had knitted were unraveled and again reduce to the original balls of wool. I crochered covers from this now recycled wool using two colours together. I had many covers, too many, but it kept me busy. In the meanwhile my mum was still knitting in England and had discovered the nylon wool in bright fluorescent colours. When she visited us in Switzerland she always brought a few of these neon coloured pullovers with her. They were very good for taking apart and making covers.

Then the computer arrived. Who wants to knit when you have a computer. There are games to be played and all sorts of new tricks to learn. I think that was the death of knitting for me. I would rather spend time on my computer than knitting. I can always buy a pullover in a store. I actually never wear knitted garments, they are too warm for me. We had central heating at home and I live in t-shirts Winter and Summer. I even go out wearing a t-shirt in Winter beneath my jacket.

I noticed that the local supermarket no longer sells wool. Golden Oldie grandmothers have no time for knitting, we are too busy writing blogs or uploading photos: not to mention the interesting conversations in Facebook. When I think of it, I have never seen a conversation in Facebook based on knitting problems. Even the sheep have become redundant.

Sheep 17.04 (2)
Daily Prompt: Knitting Memories

16 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Knitting Memories

  1. LOTS of people knit where I live. I was really surprised. My Australian neighbor knits first because she likes to and second to keep her arthritic fingers nimble. I’m glad she knits. Her work is beautiful and I wear it! 🙂

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    • I knitted a lot for the kids. I was quite good at aran patterns, colourful patterns etc. I really enjoyed knitting, the more complicated the better. As the kids got older I realised it was no longer such a thing as it was, and I discovered the computer. I lost interest in knitting. I never really wore any knitted garments because I was uncomfortable in them and so I stopped knitting. Now I have a grandson and I realise that you no longer really knit for the babies: just now and again, but otherwise the ready made baby clothing today is so practical.

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        • Baby clothing today is different. It is more practical and there are many opportunities to get baby clothes second hand as babies do not stay babies very long. My grandson is now 3 months old and half of his original baby clothes are already too small.

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  2. Oh, you’re clearly not looking in the right corners of the internet 😉 Knitting and needle crafts in general are going through a bit of a renaissance these days. It’s no longer a matter of making things cheaper, as good materials can cost quite a bit, but people are rediscovering the pleasure and satisfaction of making things for themselves. I follow a number of knitting/crocheting/embroidery forums, there are huge online communities for people to exchange knowledge, patterns, ideas, show off their creations etc. I’ve learnt all these skills solely online, nobody ever taught me, as my mum is not of a needle-friendly variety 😉

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    • You are right because I no longer have interest in handcrafts. I spent many years knitting and crocheting and visited a sewing group for 15 years. I made trousers for the kids, knitted Pullovers and even recovered an armchair, but today my hobbies are no longer the same. I enjoy writing and like to take walks with my camera, although walking is no longer so easy because of my MS. I now prefer relaxing with a good book than knitting. I made my own clothes for many years and learnt a lot.

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      • I hope my comment didn’t come across as snooty, I didn’t mean it that way. I’m absolutely positive that your experience with needle crafts is much more extensive and in-depth than mine 🙂 And it’s perfectly understandable why you prefer other hobbies now, I was just refering to your saying that you don’t see people talking about knitting online 🙂

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        • No, not at all, it is just that I have other interests now. If you have a particular hobby, just search in internet and you find many groups that have the same interests.

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    • I did it also for financial reasons. Four kids are not free, you have to clothe them and feed them. I also discovered that making my own clothes, they fit. I am quite tall and standard sizes were too short. You can always alter stuff to make it shorter, but adding the length was more complicated.

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  3. I was a disappointment to my mother. I couldn’t sew or knit. My teacher held my knitting up for the whole class to laugh at. This year on the caravan we had a lot of cold nights indoors and I was sick of screens, TV, Kindle, iPad, phone…then I remembered how much I enjoyed tying knots when we used to sail. Now I’m doing small macrame inspired by a few ideas from Pinterest and making coasters and mats in Celtic knots. It’s very relaxing though I must say the Pinterest emails are far too prolific.

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    • I knitted and sewed when the kids were still at home. It saved a lot of money. Otherwise today I am more interested in computer and photography. I now have „me“ time in my life at last

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