Well, I have to admit that I do not remember ever learning it. I just remember doing it. I think it must have happened in 5th grade. I went to school in Germany and in 5th grade we had the choice between something comparable to Home Ec (minus the cooking) and Woodworking. All the girls and one boy took Home Ec. Our teacher was an elderly Lady who we often thought as weird. We crocheted and sewed an apron and I guess, I must have learned to knit.
But I remember knitting – obsessively! I took Latin and in the last lesson of the week our teacher read us a story with the title”Gaius asinus est” (Gaius is a donkey) about a boy living in ancient Rome. Our teacher allowed us to knit while he read. I loved it!
I knit constantly until I was 17 or so, when a good friend taught me to sew (not an apron). I remember not believing in pattern, but inventing my own designs. I was too lazy to figure out how to knit a regular neck opening and finished everything with a boat neck. I made a striped vest out of ribbon yarn and seamed only the shoulders and the ribbing at the bottom. I thought, it was the coolest thing ever.
I remember working in a small store in the village I lived and leaving my earnings right there and coming home with yarn. I would raid every stashes I could get my hands on (“Do you still need this?”) and if someone gave me money, I took it to the yarn store.
I once knit a sweater with 5 strands held together. It was very beautiful, but because I must have used mainly cotton it was extremely heavy.
I made sweaters for my young brothers with cars and clowns on them. Once my brother complained, that the pompom on the clown hurt him when he played while lying on his stomach.
One of my prized possessions was a book filled with stitch patterns, a friend had given me. I wish, I still had it!
My uncle’s sister taught me how to knit socks a few years later. But after failing to make a sock that fit my Grandpa I let it be for a few years.
When I was pregnant with my first child I sewed a lot of maternity clothes and a few things for the baby. At the department store, where I bought my fabrics, were the yarns next to the fabrics. One day I walked over and decided to make socks for my Midwife. I think, she was the only one then that I knew who wore handknit socks. I fell in love again with knitting and I kept on knitting socks especially while I was on bedrest.
There was a time when we moved a lot and I enjoyed knitting as my portable creative outlet. Now I find, that I knit much more than I sew, because it is something I can do and still be with my family. I have learned so much due to the Internet and by studying every book I can get my hands on. And I still love knitting while somebody reads to me, even if it is a stranger on a CD…