Learning then and now

How we have learned our craft has changed over the years. It used to be that you learned from someone, usually a mother or a grandmother.  To learn new things, you found someone to teach you. It is really only recently (a few decades) that there have been books as well as an increase in magazines that feature both methodologies as well as pattern collections with a wide range of interests.

The Knittyvritti made comment on grandmothers as she used what she calls her Virtual Grandmother to help her.

Thinking back on my two grandmothers: one did an extensive amount of handwork during the 30s. It was the depression and they had little money. To her it was a necessity, not pleasure or joy. Once she could afford store bought, Esther never looked back.

My mother felt much the same way, viewing handmade clothing and sweaters as a sign of poverty. It was only when she was extremely stressed that she turned to knitting, sewing or needlework. Her background did not let her see that handmade=loved from the point of view of her two daughters.

My other grandmother did exquisite needlework which she used to decorate fancy outfits and sweaters. That grandfather had a good job and they sailed through the depression without worries. Ann had the luxury of time to enjoy her abilities along with a social circle that appreciated her creativity.

Neither of them, nor my mother were particularly teaching minded. I started with sewing in high school, it was a mandatory part of Home Economics in those days. All girls took Home Ec, all guys took shop. (the 1960s for those of you who can’t relate.)

I wound up finding that I learned best from reading. The pattern guide, a book, a pamphlet. I have taken a few courses over the years, but find them frustrating as I like to learn at my own pace, and not that of the class. I like to figure things out on my own, look them up in a book. Occasionally I will search things out on the web, but have never watched an instructional video, YouTube clip, or a DvD. Give me a drawn illustration, a few words, a graph and I am good to go. It is my hands that will translate those directions into something.

Now, I won’t claim that something is always correct or exactly what I intended. Serendipity and errors creep in all the time.


This may be the reason that I am knitting Tubey from the bottom up, rather than from the sleeves back out. The directions are rather clear, and having constructed garments before by knitting a piece in work together with a finished piece, it doesn’t seem all that hard (Vejborg – Lavold; several Noro garments; after though soles).

I just have to decide if this

17 March Hodge Podge

or this is long enough for the body

A bit farther with the remaining yarn

and what colour is up next.

The British Slipover is to here

British Slipover - neck

and the final 7 Kippot are blocking. Since I used Sox Pixies pattern only a couple of times before modifying it – I suppose I should write up the variations.

seven more Kippot


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