I have been asked to answer these questions by the Secret Pal 10 hostess.
1) How old were you when you learned how to knit?
2) Who taught you?
I must have been about 7 years old when I learned to knit, I was still in Primary school as I remember having an argument on the school steps with another girl who could also knit and she thought she had invented a new stitch and I kept telling her “No, that’s a 2×2 rib!”.
I had a great little book from which I learned most about knitting basics, I can’t remember what it was called now but it had lots of little frogs wearing scarves and leg warmers, I think there was a little baby blanket in there too, there was probably more but those are the ones that I remember.
My mum was a knitter, but I have no memories of knitting with her, she’s not alive now, but I’m sure she’d be proud that I studied knitting technology.
I spent a great deal of time as a child playing with a huge black bag she had stashed in her wardrobe, full of knitting paraphanalia and was told off frequently for loosing needles and tangling wool!
It was probably then when she bought me my first pair of needles. I remember it was when I lived in Dursley, Gloucestershire. I was 6 then, but I can’t imagine I understood knitting instructions at that age. The argument I mention before took place in Fairbourne, North Wales, I was 8 years old then.
After the “frog book” I moved on to one of those Harmony books of knitting stitches and made lots of little squares, familiarising myself with knitting instructions and terms.
Ok, so that answers question 2 too, one person who really stands out is textile designer Pam Hemmings (if I remember rightly she was taught by the John Allen) who I studied under at Carmarthenshire college, she taught me that knitting was so much more than scarves and sweaters, it was a much more versatile craft. She taught me about knitting yarns and what each one is capable of when manipulated and so my knitting became much more scuptural and free.
Pam supported me, inspired me and was very proud when I was involved in a Jaeger handknitting competition! She taught me all I know and even now I go back to her notes. Thank you always Pam! (This is quite possibly her…as there is no photograph I am not certain!)