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LK Personals LK Personals Merion - how I learned to knit on the LoveCrochet blog

Published on August 20th, 2015 | by Merion

10 comments

How Merion learned to knit…

All knitters have stories!  Welcome to our new series of blog posts, LK Personals, sharing our stories about learning to knit, patterns we’ve loved and yarns that bring back memories!

My story is not original, but one that will be very familiar to many knitters – a loving grandma with a little girl on her lap…

Twinkle comic - how I learned to knit on the LoveKnitting blog

My Grandma, Doris May Rees, was an evangelical knitter, crocheter and maker of fruit pies.  I was very lucky – I had a dreamy childhood running about in my grandparents’ garden, picking apples, blackberries and rhubarb, practising tap dancing on wooden floors and singing along with the piano.  Ours was a theatrical family, lots of music, my Mum was an actress, my Dad a clarinettist, and everybody sang, ALL the time.

Gran was never very well – after battling rheumatic fever as a child, she was left with heart problems that meant spending most of her time resting, which meant knitting and crocheting.

It all began with a Twinkle comic. I was an avid reader and consumer of books, and I loved my copy of Twinkle (6p!) every week.  Imagine my excitement when I found a knitting pattern inside! It was a dolly outfit – three piece set, trousers, vest and cardigan. In great excitement I took it to Gran and asked her if she would make it – and a week later, she’d made my sister and I matching outfits for our dollies!  She had already spent hours in the kitchen teaching me how to make pastry (rolling it out with a milk bottle, her hands over mine) – now I wanted her to teach me to knit!

One rainy afternoon, we were sitting in the old conservatory listening to the rain hammering on the roof and my Grandma presented my sister and I cotton reels with four tiny nails hammered into the top – home made French knitting dollies!  Hours of i-cord later, I was rummaging through the treasure trove of Gran’s knitting bag and the old fashioned, multi-coloured metal needles that lived there – I had found my spiritual home!

Cotton reel knitting bobbin on the LoveKnitting blog

Lopsided scarves and triangle shaped squares followed, but my thirst for making got bigger – making perfume from rose petals in the garden, hand sewing dolly clothes, and eventually writing very hammy novels and poems.  My love of making has never diminished, but thankfully my skills have evolved!

Shopping for yarn then was very different to today – most of it was navy, brown or grey (with a few exotic poster paint reds), but I felt the same zing of excitement as I do today at LoveKnitting HQ, when faced with yarn of every hue and fibre.  The alchemy of knitting never fails to thrill me – that a ball of string and two sticks can produce fabric – it’s magical!

When I had my own children, I started knitting in earnest.  I learned to crochet too, and I go through stages where I am madly in love with one or the other. Sometimes when I’m knitting, I wonder what my Gran would think – I’m sure she would be thrilled, and I think she would love the huge range of yarn we stock here at LoveKnitting.  I have often compared this job to working in the world’s biggest sweetshop for knitters, and it’s true!

These days I love teaching people these gentle crafts – both my children can knit and crochet, and I see in them the same love of making that is in me.  I hope they remember learning with as much fondness as I do – I’d be lost without my knitting!

How did you learn to knit? Do you have a favourite pattern or yarn memory?  We’d love to hear it – please tell us in the comments!

For more knitting inspiration from knitters, don’t forget to …

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About the Author

Merion admits that her stash is wildly out of control, but has many projects in dream-form! She loves knitting, crochet, Shire horses, cake and garden swing-seats.


Last updated: August 20th, 2015.

10 Responses to How Merion learned to knit…

  1. Rima Trew says:

    I was only talking about this on my blog a few weeks ago. I learnt to knit at school when we had a blanket drive and everyone had to crochet or knit squares. I can remember being so proud that after I had finished my blanket square, I knitted a rust coloured square which I backed with felt, and crocheted a little piece of blue wool into a chain, which I made into a letter “K” for kettle placed in the corner of the square, and then “Ta Da”, my Nanny Jarvis had a lovely homemade kettle holder.

    • Merion says:

      Hi Rima, that’s a lovely story! Knitting and sewing should definitely be taught in schools! I think it’s creeping back – fingers crossed!
      Kindest,
      Merion and the LoveKnitting team

  2. Carly says:

    Loved reading your story, Merion! I miss knitting with you at LoveKnitting.

  3. Renee says:

    I was living in the Bay Area at the time I learned to knit and crochet. I learned to crochet from my great Aunt. She taught me how to make doilies, but mine always looked like small bowls because I’d not learn to increase as the doily got larger. I was discouraged a bit, but I’ve been crocheting off-and-on for over 50 years.
    I learned to knit around the same time by my favorite librarian. I would walk to the library every Saturday morning and she had me knitting swatches. I can’t remember if my mom bought the yarn and knitting needles or the librarian supplied them. But after I felt comfortable with what I was doing, I made a V-neck vest for my 2-foot doll.
    I was about 9 years old when I learned to do these crafts. I’ve been more performing these crafts through parts of elementary school, parts of junior high school, not much in high school; but after that, it’s been more steady since then. I’ve made shawls (knit & crochet), afghans (knit & crochet); baby clothes (knit & crochet); kitchen accessories. I even tried rug hooking.

    • Merion says:

      Renee, that’s lovely – and how kind that Librarian was to teach you! These crafts really are life-long passions aren’t they! I’m so glad you find as much joy in it as I do!
      Thank you so much for telling us your story!
      Kindest,
      Merion and the LoveKnitting team

  4. Ellen says:

    Please learn that “I” is not an object form – “she’d made my sister and I matching outfits” should be “she’d made my sister and me matching outfits” (would you say “She made I an outfit”? – outside of Bristol, I mean). “Grandma presented my sister and I cotton reels” should be “Grandma presented my sister and me cotton reels”.
    Editor? Proofreader? Maybe someone to check before it’s published for the world to read?

    • Merion says:

      Ellen, you are quite right. I very rarely make such mistakes – I can only blame my excitement at sharing such very lovely memories. Thank you for pointing it out.

      Kindest,
      Merion

  5. Robin Tyler Saunter says:

    Ellen, get over yourself, already! Look at the BIG picture here, the fond memories Merion so kindly shared with us about her knitting experiences. Quibbling about a couple of grammar errors is hardly necessary.

    • Merion says:

      Robin, you are very kind, thank you. I am surprised at myself to be honest – rookie errors! Am very pleased you enjoyed my story.

      Kindest,
      Merion

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