How I Started Out Knitting | Storytime

April 04, 2013

I thought that because I want to share knitting and the things that I make more on my blog, I should share how I initially became a knitter. So this is the story of how I became a knitter (to tell you the truth it's pretty random) actually. 

I've learnt over time that it is peculiar and unusual for teens my age to knit. It is usually stereotyped as a hobby that retired grandparents take up to pass the time or an old fashioned, motherly thing to do. I'm not big on stereotypes and I guess because I started knitting at a young age, I never really learned to see it that way. And to be honest, I am so glad, because knitting is peaceful and relaxing and such a rewarding hobby. It encourages my creativity and if you are interested, I would definitely recommend you to try it too! You'll be surprised at how simple and easy it is and what a variety of things that you can make with your hands, a bit of yarn and a pair of needles.

I've always had a creative streak as a child and used to love craft projects and home and at school (I remember making all of the little Easter Baskets and Mothers Day cards back in Primary School so well, haha!) I was always a massive fan of shows like "Art Attack" and making little DIY bracelets and colouring in posters with my friends. I remember sewing clothes for my Build a Bears too. I was infatuated with arts and crafts, to put it lightly, but the things I made never really came out how I imagined them (the story of my life).

It was May half term (a one week break at the end of May for those who don't know), I was 10, and my friend and I were in my garden, and my Aunt and Mum were sewing some things. My parents aren't particularly creative, I think that my mum was just mending some clothes on the sewing machine and stitching some fraying curtains. 

After some time, they ran out of the brown thread that they were using so we all went to our local shopping centre to get more. I had never been to the haberdashery before, and it was almost like a "kid in a candy store" experience for me. There was loads of stuff! Yarns, patterns, needles and thread lines with walls and the counters. My eyes were probably saucers. I had £4, just enough for a pair of 4mm acrylic needles (I think that they are usually about £2.30?) and the amazing acrylic rainbow gradient yarn (which I can now safely say that I never made anything out of. I don't even know where it is, probably in the bin). I begged my mum to let me buy them, luckily she was in a good mood and bought them for me! I was ecstatic! (That was probably the only time I wanted my friend to go home).

I don't know why I suddenly wanted to learn to knit, but the idea got into my stubborn little head and I am happy that it did. So I went home that day with my knitting needles and yarn and had no idea what to do with them. All of the evening after my friend went back home,  I searched Youtube, looking at Youtube videos on how to cast on, bind off, knit, purl etc. It took me a couple of evening but I actually did pick it up pretty fast. The best ones I found were The Teen Knit Cafe (no longer on Youtube) and Brittunia videos, they were really helpful and insightful for a beginner. 

A while ago, I went through a phase where I spent a long time just knitting and ripping apart my knitting projects after they were complete. I am a perfectionist and I always wanted my projects to be perfect. My only longstanding projects are the dolls that I made for my nieces and perhaps an odd baby dress or two, because I was never satisfied with the work that I produced, although I really enjoyed knitting. Nowadays, I have learnt to find patterns that I like and make them, and although I do still rip back and frog my projects, it happens a lot less. 

For a really long time I also exclusively knit with the cheapest acrylic yarn that I could find and acrylic or plastic needles. I remember buying knitting kits from the 99pstore with this dreadful eyelash yarn and rough acrylic needles. Nowadays I am lucky to own a set of interchangeable needles that a friend purchased for me for Christmas as well as a few pairs of double pointed knitting needles.

This allows me to delve into making different things like socks (which I am still yet to try) and jumpers. I also have a couple of balls of different yarns- merinos, silks, cottons. I have learnt to find cotton yarns on Ebay, charity shops and online shops, like Wool Warehouse. Don't get me wrong though, I still have a shedload of acrylic, garish coloured yarn. I'll figure out what to do with it... one day. 

I've also had the opportunity to knit squares for charities and knit gifts for people, which is really enjoyable and rewarding. It is something that I plan to do more often. 

To make and sell yarn and patterns would be a dream for me, maybe not full time but definitely something that I would enjoy a lot. I hope that one day in the future and can get the guts to have a go! Right now though, I am very happy just knitting and stitching away on projects that I find on ravelry and listening to knitting podcasts. (please let me know if you want a post on my favourite knitting podcasts!)

Well, that was my knitting story, I hope you found it interesting. If you want to learn how to knit, I would strongly encourage that you do try it. If you are interested in a post talking about beginners knitting tips, please comment below!

This post was originally written on the 4th of March 2013 and edited on the 6th of June 2017

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  1. I am a crochet person and did a similar post. I have tried knitting. My mum was an avid knitter, but it was my dad that taught me initially to crochet. Although I had to relearn as an adult and yes I learned from youtube too.

    I agree re the stereotype, but it does seem to be becoming more popular as teens think it is cool to go ‘retro’.

    I am intrigued though by interchangable needles???

    1. That's really cool!
      Yes- interchangeable needles are an assortment of cables and needles which you can connect together to form circular needles, which allow you to make jumpers and skirts etc. So from one set of needles, you could make virtually anything.

      Thanks for commenting!


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