Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Knitting Story, Part 1

I Learned to Knit from my Great Grandmother

My name is Lisette. I am a 49 year old American woman. I knit English style and I am a thrower. This is my knitting story.

Most young girls learn knitting from a Grandmother. My knitting story is similar except I learned to knit from my maternal Great Grandmother Murl (1894-1971). To all her family, she was lovingly known as G.G. (Great Grandmother).

I presume my G.G. learned to knit from her Mother and so on and so on. It was my G.G.'s Great Grandmother Lady Elizabeth (1813-1874) that came from Yorkshire England to America in 1838. My G.G. is my link to my love for England and British wool. I knit today to honor my G.G. and my English heritage.

G.G. taught me to knit and introduced me to tea when I was probably about 8 or 9 years old. I don't remember much from those days except I do remember that I liked both. I remember that G.G. was always knitting slippers (with a pom pom on them). I am sure she knit many other things but those slippers stand out most in my childhood memory. I also remember that she drank Lipton tea.

As a young girl, I remember knitting easy garter stitch headbands. I am wearing a thin white one in my 4th grade school photograph in the photo collage above.

I also remember going to Woolworth's with G.G.. I remember the colorful tall rack yarn display there. Woolworth's was close to her home so she probably bought all her yarn there. I also remember the mod 1960's jewelry at Woolworth's, too!

My G.G. passed away when I was about 11 years old. I don't remember knitting much after that. I wish that I would have learned more from her about knitting. I am so grateful that she taught me and my sister to knit when we were little girls.

My paternal Grandmother Margaret (1910- 1988) was also a knitter. I think she helped me with knitting in my early teen years. I remember when I was about 13 years old (1973) I knit a bikini. I remember I found the pattern in a magazine. It was probably in a Woman's Day magazine? It was in pastel colors, stockinette stitch and probably in Red Heart acrylic yarn. I don't think I would have undertaken such a project on my own so I am sure my Grandma Margaret was my next knitting teacher.

Grandma Margaret was a perfectionist and an accomplished knitter. She and her mother (whom I am named after) were fabulous dressmakers. They even had their own dress shop in Waynesburg, PA. Grandma Margaret made me lots of ponchos and ski hats growing up. I remember she knit gorgeous shawls, floral afghans and even had a knitting machine. When I was a teenager, I requested a knit beret from her. She knit me a gorgeous cream angora beret. Sadly it was,too, small for me but I saved it and I still have it. To this day, berets are still my favorite hat!

I don't remember knitting much after my bikini project in 1973 so there is a long pause in my knitting story.

....To be continued.

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