Friday, March 15, 2013

Jan's Love Affair with Knitting

As I am now a fully fledged member of the Colour Adventures Team, we thought it about time you knew a bit more about me.

My Nana Harvey - I am wearing a cardigan she made me.
My earliest memory of knitting was when I was 3 years old.  My Nana Harvey was looking after me and my younger sister, we were playing on the floor - what with I'm not sure, but what does stick in my memory though is the way her ball of yarn would every now and again JUMP onto the floor near us. I remember being entrusted to pick up the yarn for her so she could carry on with what she was doing.  I was utterly fascinated watching her hands moving and the pointy things she was holding in them.

Gradually I edged up to sit on her right side on the long black couch; from this better vantage point I was able to see that as the yarn disappeared between the pointy sticks so the ball of yarn would LEAP into the air and fly to the floor necessitating its retrival.   I remember deciding to hold the ball of yarn to just allow a little bit of it to escape at a time so that it would behave and not end up on the floor.

As I watched my grandmothers fingers move and guide the yarn I tried to keep pace turning the ball of yarn - I can still remember her asking me to unwind more yarn when I was unable to keep up through being distracted by watching those fingers move and create something out of a long thin line.  If I close my eyes now I can see how when I lost pace with her I would try to make up for it and unwind a bit more yarn than was needed and allow it to drape over my knees and feet where they dangled high above the floor.

And so began my life long love affair with knitting.

I wonder what she would think of me being a part of the Colour Adventure's team?

My sister in one of the pink cardi's
However, it was my mum who taught me to knit - she was making pretty pink cardigans for my new sister, and I was desperate to make something too.  Eventually after much asking I was given some very large needles and left over yarn, I was a pretty determined 5 year old and eventually I did manage to knit a few stitches.  I would play for hours with my French knitting bobbin, needles and any yarn I could claim as my own. 

By the time I was 12 years old, I was making lots of baby cardigans, mits and booties for all the new cousins as they arrived.  It was then that I managed to read and knit at the same time - quite an accomplishment I thought! 

By the time I was 14 I had made several heavily cabled sweaters for different family members.  With the arrival of my own children I started to look for differently styled garments I could make them.  This has peaked with the invention of the internet and Ravelry - how I wish they'd been around when I was a teenager! 
Then the discovery of Elena Nodel and her interesting designs further encouraged me to continue with this craft.  I feel honoured to have been a part of Elena's creative process for two years now and am looking forward to seeing many more designs coming to fruition.

We would love to hear your stories about what inspired you to learn to knit too!


  1. Jan, what an amazing story! I can't believe you could read and knit at age 12. I can purl without looking, but not knit, hehe. Sophie has been BEGGING me to teach her how to "mit", and I think your story has finally convinced me to let her try. : ) Thanks, Jan!

  2. Lovely story. Thank you for sharing!

  3. If you have been knitting for any length of time you have probably built up a fair amount of knowledge about knitting. Villapaketti