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Monday, 31 August 2009

The Need To Knit

I was chatting on a craft forum about Aran knitting, and it reminded me of when I knitted my first garment. I was about 16 and in the Rangers. Several of the girls had lovely Aran jumpers, either made for them or purchased. We were all going away for a weekend in the winter and knew these would be ideal (in the days before fleeces!). So I asked Mum to knit me one before our weekend away. No luck there! My knitting skills were very poor, I had tried several times with the help of my mother and my grandmother to learn, but it was hopeless.

There was a wool shop within easy walking distance of my school and so one lunch time I called in and came out with a pattern and two skeins of Aran wool. The rest was saved for me so I could go in and buy a few skeins at a time. I found a victim to hold the skeins while I wound them into balls, and started on my own jumper. The text inside the pattern was Greek to me, what did P.3, C.3F., C.3B., P.2, C.3F., C.3B.,P.3 mean? And that was just one row of one panel pattern. I must have driven my mother mad, keep asking what this meant and what that meant! Slowly I worked it all out with her help and the pattern began to take shape. Actually the fact I managed to complete the band of ribbing before launching into the patterns was amazing for me!

I knitted at every spare moment and had the jumper ready for my weekend away, it had several imperfections in the patterns where I had 'pearled' instead of 'knitted' or vice versa, but I was really pleased with the finished result. That jumper was worn such a lot, by my sister as well as myself. My knitting skills improved and later I knitted another from the same pattern. I found a photo of myself wearing the second jumper, on a day trip to Greenwich. It was one of my first days out with Alan. These photos have been scanned in from colour negatives,
I am gradually working my way through the big pile of negatives we have collected over the years. I think this must have been about 1981/2. If I keep going I may find the negatives from my weekend away with me wearing the original jumper!


  1. I used to love knitting and made lots of things over the years. It helped that my mother started selling wool and patterns in her shop so I just knitted samples which I then had once new ones were made.

  2. Had this lovely comment from lizot, not sure why blogger would not allow her to comment.

    "Hi Lynn
    Love your blog - thank you for the invite. I was fascinated to read about your aran jumper. I did a similar thing to you in that I wanted one and decided to knit it. My boyfriend had an accident and was in Edgeware Hospital so I used to visit him each evening after work. I travelled on the tube and did my knitting and after a few disasters managed to complete it. Like you I wore it constantly. I was so proud of it.
    Love your scrapbooking pages - they're even more impressive when viewed in real life. You're very clever.
    Liz x"

    Thanks Liz

  3. Linda, the shop sound great.

  4. Lucky you Lynn. Fancy having access to all that wool. Shame crafting wasn't so fashionable then. What a lovely time you would have had!!

  5. Great story Lynn and photos to go with it. I tried to knit a jumper when I was in my late teens. 4-5 years after I started it and it had laid idol in a drawer, I had to get my great aunt to finish it by which time I had grown out of it!

  6. Is the art of knitting now dead? or making a comeback. I knitted dh a sweater, I remember it was red, and he left it on a wall at work lol. I often wondered if iot was a deliberate mistake. I haven't knitted for years. Maybe I will take it up again. Or maybe not lol

  7. Hi there, just dropped by from Shimelle's :-) I love the look of your blog! See you in class ;-)

  8. Thanks Humel, will take a look at yours too.

    Jill, there is a big revival in knitting and crochet. Lots of magazines now available. The lovely specialist wools make it much more interesting now too.


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