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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Humble beginnings

There was a time when I didn't knit or crochet. This feels a little hard to believe now, since they monopolize so much of my time, energy, thoughts and money. But until maybe early 2001, my only hobbies were reading and eating and fretting.

Prompted by Yahaira's brave choice to share with us the kooky book she used to teach herself, I thought I'd show you folks the ridiculous pamphlets that I picked up when I was inspired to work with yarn. (I wrote a longer, kinda sappy missive about why I decided to take up crochet here, for the seemingly defunct crafty gal. I was really missing my grandmother when I wrote this, so if you read it, please forgive me for being a little maudlin.)

Anyway. I went to JoAnn fabric and picked up this. It should be called, "I can't believe I bought this":



Luckily, my mother dabbled in crochet when she was younger and had this fantastic, totally '60s pamphlet. The patterns are fantastic, all granny squares and hippie, dippy ponchos. And, of course, the punny title drew me in -- "The Bare Facts of Crochet for Beginners."



My taste didn't improve when I decided that it was time to pick up knitting needles. There was no "Stitch N Bitch" yet, no "Knitty," and I didn't know any knitters to point me in the proper direction. I went straight for this beauty:


In my defense, I only used it for the instructions and opted not to knit up any of the boxy, stiff, acrylic wonders.









Ok, enough of the trip down memory lane. Back to tomorrow's knits today! I'm honestly not crazy about the flecks in the plymouth napa yarn. It's just not my speed. But gosh darnit, I'm finishing the ballet pullover. It's such an embarrassingly quick knit that I truly have no excuse.

15 Comments:

Blogger MeBeth said...

Ooh - I definitey have a few beginner pamphlets like that - really awful 80's sweaters. I'm going to have to dig them out!

11:41 AM  
Blogger Veronique said...

Well, I don't actually own any 80s pattern books, but my grandmother knitted quite a few acrylic wonders for me during the 70s and 80s. (My great-uncle actually owned a Phildar franchise, but it was not hip and trendy back then). Anyway, my father would not let me wear these items outside of my grand-parents' house.
Hope to see you soon at The Point with the Spiders!

1:19 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

hehe! I actually have the analogous pamplet, i can't believe I'm knitting! Honestly though, I still refer to it for things like invisible increases, teaching DF to knit continental and grafting, and there's a pair of baby booties in there that I really like. C'mon, it can't be all that bad if you stuck with it, right?

1:26 PM  
Blogger yahaira said...

Is she my woman's cousin? It's good to know I wasn't the only one with these gems in my stash.

Keep going, you are almost done with the sweater! It's going to be cold this weekend finally.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Saun said...

I know I have some pamphlets that are probably just as awful, if not worse, but I'm so ashamed of them that they are packed in the bottom of a box somewhere. They're so cheesey I could make myself some nachos.

You'll probably end up wearing that sweater. You may not think it's your thing, but I'm sure it will look good on you. Plus it looks like it will be really comfy.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Amanda Woodward said...

Yay for little pamplets, I wanted to learn how to crochet & I keep finding almost the exact same ones at my ancient joanns :D

3:33 PM  
Blogger Mayarn said...

whatever works, you gotta go with it. I think my first book was The Big Book of Knitting" and it included a lot of 80s mod intarsia. Awesome.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Iraida said...

I learned how to knit because I missed my aunt and she always wanted to teach me how. I have to go to The Point soon and meet the other Spiders! I'm too shy though :-/

6:45 PM  
Blogger Brooklyn Handspun said...

Ohh I too have some of those stashed away behind more modern knitting books in my library, but I must admit they were helpful when I was just starting out! I've heard os much about this ballet pullover and how easy it is, I might have to make it my first real sweater project. Hey can't wait to see you with the Spiders.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Shannon said...

These pamphlets remind me of recipe magazines that are in my mom's cupboard. You know the ones where every dish contains either cream cheese or cream of mushroom soup...

3:05 PM  
Blogger Lolly said...

Those pamphlets are too cool. Wow, a naked baby on the front--that really draws in the crochet crowd! hehe! That was a fun and cute walk down memory lane ;)

I love the ballet pullover. I think it will look fantastic on you, flecks and all.

Take care, Carrie!

4:57 PM  
Blogger Karin said...

Oh man I wish I could remember what the book was that I got when I first started knitting. It was from the library though, so I haven't a way for figuring it out. It was something really hideous though! My mom got me a horrible pamphlet for crocheting too, yet it does have pretty good instructions. And thank you for your comments on my FEFI!

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Joelene said...

This was a cute post! It is funny to think about where you started!

(i didn't know you were on glitter.... funny it is a small world)

1:36 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I'm embarrassed to say I learned to knit from a cheesy booklet and some acrylic yarn I bought at Wal-mart. But in my defense, I was visiting my parents in GA and Wal-mart was the only choice I had! My great grandmother was a fabulous knitter though, and my mom was able to pass on a few of her tricks to me.

I think the sweater is lovely, and the specks are a nice touch!

8:50 AM  
Blogger the knitrider said...

i love how your ballet pullover is turning out. I really want to make it as well, but i might put that one off for a while. I cant wait to see how it comes out! does it seem to you like you are going to have to wear something under it? i know the patern is kind of "holey".
thanks for the encouragement and congrats on my finished fefi! its very exciting to finish an entire sweater for the first time. i really thought it wouldnt fit at first, but after blocking it out and sewing up seams, it was perfect!

6:15 PM  

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