My heroes are an ecclectic bunch, and all are real people who’ve had a significant influence on my knitting.
The first pair of heroes are my grandparents, presented in this piece of work by my sister. It took both of them to teach me to knit, Nanny providing inspiration and a checking eye, while Grandad taught the technique. Nanny’s left-handedness presented a problem for learning the skills required but as I grew up she was always making a cardigan or a jumper. The one Grandad wears in this picture is one of Nanny’s endeavours. Grandad’s skills were, apparently, learnt in the army and he taught both his daughter and granddaughter to knit. The interest in textiles remains in each generation, but in different ways. Mum’s a textiles teacher, and clicking through to my sister’s artwork shows the use she’s made of textiles and textural influences in her work. Mum’s interests are diverse but are primarily in sewing and my sister’s is in texture, so knitting is something which has become very much my thing. This is particularly evident as mum is always keen to receive another pair of socks!
It wasn’t until after university that I progressed much beyond garter stitch scarves and that owes much to the next hero. Seemingly a few lifetimes ago, LMM and I lived not that far from each other and spent time encouraging each other in crafting. She took to sock knitting fantastically and gave me both my first sock knitting kit and my first sock club membership. Her meticulous socks are a real inspiration to me, and despite not managing to catch up with her as often as I’d like, it’s still a great spur to hope my socks are as good as hers.
Other friends who inspire my knitting are Blissfully Eccentric, who had a reputation which reached me at work for her ability to make anything (particularly with her eyes closed, and/or her hands behind her back… literally), Seen in the Street (not that she blogs about knitting) for her engagement with what sounds like the coolest knitting group ever and for her reaction to being invited to see my yarn stash. Finally, of the friends, is Muffetly. A friend from uni, she has made some of the most beautiful things ever put together by crafting. Included in her repertoire is knitting, cake making and decorating, card making and generally being very very cool. Long before the Mrs and I moved to the current part of the world, she’d take me to exciting yarn shops and craft centres. Ahead of the birth of her son, last year, she made the most stunning baby blanket which inspired me to make a matching elefante.
It now feels that there are a good gathering of knitters to spend time with. My recent birthday celebration led to vast amounts of time spent in the roof playing with the yarn and showing it off to a variety of friends. This has also been matched by joining the uni Stitch and Bitch Group, where I’ve come across Stephcuddles and Jenny_Knits amongst others. It’s really great to be part of a continuing knitting community, which covers generations and geography, internet and reality, old and young. It makes me very happy!