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I have moved - I can now be found at Cathy @ Still Waters
Living, loving, Laughing and Travelling as much as possible. Come along and join in my life and travels - I'll be happy to have you there with me.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 13 - K

Letter K of The Blogging from A-Z April Challenge
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Knitting
My Mum and I may have had a few issues when I was growing up
but she did do one good thing for me and that was to teach me how to knit.

Yes I realise that dates me
– but have you heard that knitting is making a come back, -
maybe not in the nana knits dept
'cose we are already 'with it' lol
but in fancy yarns and way out patterns.

Mum had a passion for Fair Isle –
here's me at 6yrs in a Fair Isle cardigan
Being post wartime most probably knitted
from all little bits she scavenged from friends and family


She also knitted this beret for little sister –

I'm beginning to think this liking for this style of knitting must be hereditary
because this is one style of knitting I really enjoy 
Fair Isle or stranded knitting is a technique that really gets the brain working
Apart from colour choices 
there is also the added interest of following a row chart
or reading a sometimes complicated written pattern
detailing which clolour is needed for which stitch and what order you need to use it

Sometimes I've used regular patterns with the X and O design
but lots of times have adapted or made up styles using motifs
usually on childrens clothing

If you are interested these links have loads of information
and free patterns
http://crafts.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Fair_Isle_Knitting_Patterns
http://www.craftshq.com.au/article/25129-Fair-Isle-Knitting.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Isle_(technique)

The blog below hasn't been updated for a while
but also has information there I haven't been able to find anywhere else
http://fairisleknitting.blogspot.com/

For as long as I can remember I have knitted.
Here I am at 14yrs having knitted the jumper/sweater I'm wearing
and my little brother's one also

Living in England with cold winters and not too hot summers
and houses with no central heating
for most people wearing handknitted garments
especially if you could afford pure wool
was the easiest way to keep warm
,
After I married and for all of the 60s I never seemed to be far from my knitting needles
 Cardigans for my first-born
'Say ah everyone'
 This little one turned 48 last January
but he's still my first baby lol


 Fair Isle for most of the children - coats and hats and gloves when they were small -
and so it has gone on from there.
Slowed down when we arrived here in Australia,
then the, 'oh Mum do I have to wear that' started.
They preferred shop bought clothes and often they were cheaper
and they were getting bigger too lol

The needles lay quiet for a lot of years
then it was time to pass on some of my skills
to the next generation
Well - their Mums were too busy so it was up to me lol
I feel that passing those skills down is necessary
doesn't matter if its cooking or sewing
painting and decorating or car maintenance
theres a possibility you will ignite that spark
that will develop into a flame
and those skills and the wishing to learn more will continue
Then it won't just be remembered as something 'Grandma or Grandad did'


Tastes changed - Grandchildren grow up
and the needles were put away again

Anyway, I've begun knitting again - this time to sell on charity stalls
I mentioned the other week the baby garments
I had been making during the summer
Most of them are finished now - thank goodness
When the creative juices are flowing I get carried away lol

Over the years I started collecting vintage knitting patterns
These garments are so very different to what we use for babies these days

Knitted singlets and pilchs
no disposable nappies/diapers or plastic pants in those days
(Although a lot of mothers these days are knitting similar pants
that I think they call soakers)
but look at the patterns they put onto day to day garments
most of them knitted in 2ply and on very small/thin needles

Dresses with pilch to match - in what looks like a mock cable

Dresses for round the house and for going out

But it wasthrough looking at the lacy shawls
that my interest in lace work began  
and of course my marathon effort over last year and this year
We are taking a trip to Canada later this year
And after being gifted an enormous amount of fine yarn in a Mohair/Nylon/ Acrylic mix
I decided to knit scarves to take as gifts 
Being lightweight I'd get away with them in my baggage
Supposedly in a simple lace pattern 
they seem to be taking forever to finish
and at times have caused a little bit of grief


Six down - only 2 more to go lol

17 comments:

  1. I've always admired knitters, it seems like it takes great patience and skill. It's nice to have your passions reawaken

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  2. Hi Cathy:)

    Greetings and good wishes:)

    I am coming from Lee's blog and thrilled to see you are doing exeeding well in the challenge.

    The photos are fantastic and your style of narration is very interesting.

    All the best Cathy:)
    Joseph

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  3. Those are truly beautiful! :) I haven't the patience to knit, or crochet, though Lord knows my grandmother tried to teach me! Everybody in my office got into these knitting loom type things that they were all making scarves on last fall and winter. I managed to talk the receptionist into making one for me since she is far craftier than I. It would have been even prettier with the type of yarn you are using for these. The recipients of your thoughtful gifts will be delighted!

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  4. Love the post and all the fabulous pictures!! I never learned to knit but always wanted to. Never have the time.

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  5. I've never knitted before. I think things like knitting and sewing are becoming a lost art. My mom and two sisters would sew entire outfits. But their kids. Ha. No way.

    Stephen Tremp

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  6. I've knitted all my life, but never ventured into Fair Isle.
    A very interesting trip down memory lane.
    All the best - Jan

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  7. Love knitting Cathy it is my favourite pastime if I have to sit still for very long.....out comes the needles. I have not actually done any fair isle, have done motifs on the front of jumpers when my boys were little and I just adore knitting lace.
    Those patterns are adorable you don't see them like that anymore.

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  8. A post most dear to my heart,
    My mother, brother and myself lived with my maternal grandparents as my dad died died when I was three, My grandmother taught me how to knit when quite young, I used to make squares at first for a blanket, then at the age of 10, I made my first cardigan,Later on in life I knitted all my three children's clothes.Thanks for the memories.
    Your post was as always excellent,

    Yvonne,

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  9. I can't think of a more perfect 'K' post - but I'm biased. I'm a knitter. What an interesting piece to read, though. Thank you for sharing it. I like to read about historical knitting. Thanks, Cathy.

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  10. I have for a long time wished I could go to Fair Isle, one of the most remote places to live in the UK. They actually advertized for and got another couple to come and live there. They have crofter's cottages to rent which would be lovely if you wanted go somewhere to write or study. There is also a large bird sanctuary there.

    I was only vaguely aware of their historic sweaters. They still manufacture some and the website for the Island community shows some lovely sweaters with traditional pattern. http://www.fairisle.org.uk/

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  11. This post brought back some happy memories for me too Cathy.

    Only one of my daughters was interested in knitting, but she did it, beautifully ! My only son at 16 years of age (he is now 52) decided that he'd like to learn to knit. No one taught him, he learnt from a "how to knit" book. First item he tackled, a pair of socks on 4 needles! Then a sleeveless jumper, the tension so perfect you'd swear that it was machine knitted. Then because someone made fun of him....a boy knitting...he has never knitted since.

    Your scarves look so invitingly soft and warm, I'm sure the lucky recipients will be delighted.

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  12. I enjoyed seeing the beautiful work your mother created! I learned to knit as a young girl although I am just a basic knitter. My daughter knows how. I used to love to just sit and watch my grandmother knit, she had it all memorized and I was amazed she could talk while she worked! Your scarves are absolutely gorgeous, so light and airy!

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  13. I admire your talent here, I don't have the patience for knitting but I love everything it produces! I especially love your baby stuff as I am soon to be a first time mom!

    Great post!

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  14. Love the photos and the warmth your post evoked! I want to learn to knit! Your work is beautiful!

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  15. In many societies, norms about clothing reflect standards of modesty, religion, gender, and social status. Clothing may also function as a form of adornment and an expression of personal taste or style.

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  16. Wow Cathy, What an amazing post. I love all of your photos too. And oh your first born is so sweet in that photo. Beautiful.

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  17. My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was 8, and though there are huge periods of time when I haven't lifted the knitting needles, I still adore knitting. Cabling is my favourite, though, not fair isle. Though I do like following fun patterns on fair isle.

    And your lace scarves are really awesome. I would love to be able to knit myself one of those.

    ~ Rayna

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Take care
Cathy