Newest Review: ... person would perceive something. I've been responsible for the death of many a tin-opener, and now think my initial failure at knittin... more
Knit your kit
Member Name: lellagrace
Advantages: Cheaper and softer to the skin
Disadvantages: Dying art
Not sure why this is under the toys category, unless it is to encourage youngsters to knit, but anyway, here is my review.
I have vivid memories of being taught to knit by my mum one miserable Sunday afternoon. She had bought me some small plastic needles and a ball of wool and after casting on some stitches, mum painstakingly set about the task of teaching me this craft.
I must have been around six years of age, but by the time I was eight we were having needlework lessons one afternoon a week at school. Only the girls did needlework, the boys did woodwork. One week we did sewing, the next week knitting and so it went on. Balls of white cotton were handed out and we had to knit a dishcloth in garter stitch. Once we had done this satisfactorily we progressed to learning stocking stitch.
For the non knitters, garter stitch is where every row is knitted, stocking stitch is one row knit, one row pearl. If you still don't follow this, then perhaps you should borrow a book on knitting or get a friend to teach you how to knit.
My first lesson in knitting was several decades ago but I have never forgotten the skill and I am delighted that after years of being out of fashion, knitting is making a come back.
Charity shops are full of unwanted knitting needles and balls of wool, so you can start a new hobby very cheaply initially. You don't even need a pattern at first, just cast on a few stitches and experiment.
Over the years I have knitted cardigans, sweaters, scarves, tea cosies, slippers, even a dress when they were fashionable. I also knitted numerous little cardigans and hats, mitts and bootees when I was expecting my babies.
I am amazed at how much young parents spend today on baby clothes from the designer shops. Babies are much more comfortable in soft woollen clothes, the wool is gentle on their skin and keeps them nice and warm. Why dress a baby in rough denim when this will chafe their delicate skin?
Also, of course, knitting baby clothes is far cheaper than buying them. For anyone on a budget who is expecting a baby then get out the knitting needles. It is also a good way of passing the time while you wait patiently for those last few weeks of pregnancy to pass.
Knitting is a pastime that can be done while you are watching television or having a natter with friends.
Indeed, I have learnt recently that there are now Stitch and Bitch groups where women take along their knitting and have a good gossip!
Have you seen those Aran sweaters that were once so popular with fishermen? These were knitted by their women folk, who knew the thick wool would keep out the biting cold. But also, each sweater was knitted in a pattern just for a particular family. That way if a man was drowned at sea, he could be identified by his Aran sweater.
Knitting has been a hobby for many generations, like I said I was taught at home and later at school. When I wanted to knit my first sweater I bought a pattern and had to ask relatives what the various abbreviations meant. We had no need of books, everyone knew how to knit.
Sadly, it seems a whole generation has missed out on learning to knit. But that looks like changing. Today when out shopping I noticed a knitting set in the toy section of a store. Hopefully some child will be happy to discover a new talent.
Maybe this explains the reason for the review category, by the way.
Just before I finish I should add that knitting is not just for women. My grandfather was born in a rural area and boys as well as girls were taught to knit, perhaps this was so they could help produce garments for the many cottage industries which provided knitted items for sale.
If you want to start knitting, then look around the smaller towns to find a shop selling yarn. Or you could try those charity shops. But please don't let this valuable skill die out completely. I have recently been asked by a young woman to help her learn to knit an intricate pattern as she is making a shawl for her expected baby and hopes it will become a family heirloom. What a brilliant idea!
Summary: Learn to knit and save a fortune