What I love about knitting

Because this pathetic storage attempt:

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Can be turned into this:

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And this shoulder tote:DSCF3589used to be a vest my mom made me when I was 10 years old. I turned it into a tote for my daughter. It is lined, has a zipper and a shoulder strap and she still uses it.

And although I knitted what I thought was a size 12/18 months pullover, it fits my 7.5 month old grandson pretty well…

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But the beauty of knitting is that I can add to it! I I have another ball of the stuff (Knit Picks Stroll sport) and am heading off to Cape Cod soon, so I’ll just knit a few extra inches so he can keep growing into it.

Mostly what I love is that knitting provides loads of memories. You remember knitting all those special things. I even remember what movie I was “watching” when I knit a particular sweater. I recently visited my mom and we went through some old photo albums. She remembered the colour and the yarn and when and how she knit every sweater that we looked at. My parents lived through some tough times in communist Hungary and then fled in 1956, leaving pretty well everything behind. While in Hungary, my mother had to be very clever and frugal, usually taking apart old clothing to make new stylish pieces.

She started young:1And quickly got the hang of things. All her sweaters were knit without a pattern, just based on something she saw or used to own, and she figured it all out for herself. Think about that the next time you are searching for a pattern to knit wrist warmers!

This sweater was apple green:6

Here’s a more detailed shot.7Even the button is covered  with knitted material. And it had angled slash pockets, mirroring the neckline. I thought she bought this one, but no, she knitted it, possibly using bicycle spokes the yarn is so fine!

This one was gold, a pattern she came up with on her own, a bit of a Chinoiserie feel to it:19

 

And full body shot:17

It even had a front pouch for pockets.

This one was blue, with sweet little rows of eyelet and a zipper:20

 

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Look at that collar! I mean, look at it!

And this clever construction resulted in a striped V front:9

She knit another version of this once they were in Canada, in yellow and white, because she left the other one behind:4And even knit a clever sweater for my father:

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All these sweaters were knit with incredibly fine yarn, and completely professionally finished. A bit later in life she worked in a knitting store in Montreal. She brought in some of her garments to show her level of knitting ability and was hired on the spot.

Here is the dress I mentioned in an earlier post, again knit in fingering weight yarn, it was rusty orange with black flecks:2

The neckline is a zigzag sewn on at each point. Later she added sleeves and then later yet she took the whole thing apart and my sister used the yarn to knit herself a shawl-collared pullover. My mother was never overly sentimental about her knitted things and routinely unraveled them to make new things.22My sister and I had matching knitted jackets, when we outgrew them, she frogged them and knitted one houndstooth patterned jacket out of them.

And this dress later became a sweater, she just adjusted the little skirt part of it (and that is some LITTLE skirt, yay 60’s)5I won’t be unraveling and reknitting any of my sweaters any time soon (unless they turn out to be truly wretched) since I can afford not to, but I love the idea that I can. And I can make something new or something better. It drives me nuts when I hear people say they are “afraid” to try a technique or a style or whatever in knitting. If it doesn’t work, tear it out and start again, for crying out loud! What is there to be afraid of??? The yarn won’t be wasted and actually your time won’t be wasted either because maybe you’ll learn something new.

So get out there and KNIT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “What I love about knitting

  1. Wonderful post! I love the tribute to your mother…my goodness, she was a knock-out! And yes, her creations look like courtier-level masterpieces. You come by your talent and beauty honestly! Mary Lou

  2. I love theseweaters from the past. Your Mom was so beautiful, she probably still is. You look much like her Julie. What an amazing knitter she is, so resourceful and as you say, fearless. These photos made my day.

  3. Loved your photos and explanations. My parents also immigrated from Hungary in 1956. My mother knit for us as well. Thank you for sharing.

  4. hey surprise surprise, its me Neena (from Guelph)
    What a lovely walk into the 60’s ! Marta senior is raw Hungarian beauty! As for the knitting, I would never have thought its genetics, but you are both so gifted & I have never met anyone who knits without a pattern! and on a funny note I couldn’t figure why Hanah was in the pictures…..!

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