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FOR THE LOVE OF KNITTING

Did you have the pleasure of watching your Mother knitting little dresses or baby jackets or even socks when you were little and think this was just #fortheloveofknitting, not realizing that it was more than likely a necessity at that time? It was the time of war and deprivation and many men couldn’t get part-time jobs when they were home. Money was scarce.

Knitting-Baby-Clothes-For-Orders

I know my own mother used to knit with 2ply wood on No.13 needles. She did this for orders in order to enable her to feed her family of three (the fourth one came a couple of years later), when Pat, my older sister turned five and a half.

WE MOVE FROM JOHANNESBURG TO SOUTHERN RHODESIA (NOW ZIMBABWE)

Mom and Dad had very good friends they had met in Johannesburg (Gauteng) and when Uncle Jack sent Dad a telegram (remember them?) to say they were looking for good workmen in Bulawayo, off we went. Mom had our little brother quite soon after we arrived there and Pat who had spent hours watching Mom knit and had learned to knit from her, knitted a complete layette for the baby.

PAT’S KNITTING PROWESS

Pat is the fastest knitter and crocheter I have yet to see. She tucks her needles under her arms and off she goes.

It is remarkable. She doesn’t even seem to look at her work. I wonder how many garments my sister has knitted in her lifetime.

She should have kept a count, it would have been so interesting to see just what one woman with a pair of knitting needles and some wool is capable of.

I do know that she knitted dozens of baby jackets, booties and caps for the newborns in New Zealand, not sure if she is still involved with that project.

Par's-Knitting-Prowess

When Pat arrived in Cape Town to fetch our mother to take her to live in New Zealand, she stayed with us for two weeks and in that time knitted each of my 5 grandchildren a jersey and beanie for go with it. That is besides all the sorting out what she felt Mom should take with her, as Mom was 92 and was going to New Zealand to stay.

Well, Pat and Mark really went to live in the right country for a knitter, as the wool there is amazing.

I still wear a cardigan that Pat made for Mom but was deemed too heavy to take in the very full to overflowing suitcases. A bonus for me.

MY KNITTING EXPERIENCE

Baby's Booties

All I can say it was vastly different to Pat’s. It was more, knit one, drop one. When Pat had her daughter, It was such a thrill to become an Aunt, and I thought, now I will show them and I knitted a pair of booties for Tracey. They fitted her when she was about six years old and she wore them as slippers.

TURNING THE CORNERGorgeous-Socks

Things took a turn for the better when I joined the Women’s Agricultural Society in Vryheid, Northern Kwa Zulu Natal. What a lovely group of talented people I met there. Each month they had various competitions and this brought out the competitive streak in me. (This was much to my Mother’s amazement as she could not think where this had come from). It must have been Dad with his Tennis and Bowls. He loved his sport and was really competitive.

As a boy and young man he rode in horse races in the Transkei and from what I remember of his stories, he did well. He was a very short man and this great for a jockey.

One of the competitions was to knit a top and I found a super pattern in a Woman’s Own magazine and decided this was just what I wanted and would wear it. So I purchased really pretty variegated wool (more cotton really) and I knitted it up. No one was more surprised than I, that I got the first prize. It was worn with pride for many years.

That was the turning point of my knitting journey.

Never would I be able to match the prowess of my sister but at least the things now fitted.

KNITTING, TOP OF THE POPS ONCE MORE

Knitting appeared to go out of fashion for a while but from my research, it is back and more popular than ever.

There are many reasons one should knit, #fortheloveofknitting, and here are some of them. Knitting for one’s best friend.

If you have always loved knitting or just found a passion for it. This is the post for you. It will give you some ideas perhaps for a new business or just for learning to relax.
  1. It appears that it is a great way to get rid of stress, and very good for one. A natural anti-depressant.
  2. The rhythmic movement calms one down and brings blood pressure down naturally.
  3. One gets satisfaction when making something and it is cost effective too.
  4. As you knit, you relax and it is a good time to meditate on the things that make you happy.
  5. Keeps your mind sharp as you need to concentrate on not dropping stitches, thus retards dementia
  6. It is a very sociable occupation as you knit with others, you can still keep a conversation flowing. Being with others is so important especially as one ages and is unable to do a lot of things you could do when younger and more sprightly.
  7. There are so many charities that need a warm garment for the winter months and what could be more rewarding than helping others. Or making gifts which will be appreciated by friends and family.
  8. I have seen some really beautiful knitted cushion covers made, and they last so long and are not difficult to care for.

Knitted Gifts Make Someone Happy

HAVE YOU BEEN BITTEN BY THE KNITTING BUG?

What are the things you have most enjoyed about knitting, and what are your favorites items to knit? It would be great to hear what you do #fortheloveofknitting.

I would love to hear from you about your knitting experiences. Why don’t you drop me a line, when you have finished clearing away all the Christmas wrapping paper and cleaning up after the last guest has left. Sit down for a while and visit with me.

Jill du Preez

Creative Entrepreneur ● Seamstress | Quilter | Artist | Published Author | Creative Promoter of Emerging Artists

20 Comments

  1. Hi Jill! I never looked at knitting this way. We grew up with all of our sweaters knitted either by my mom or grandmother. We loved how we were able to ask them for custom sweaters, my brother hated buttons, so he was the only kid whose sweaters had zipper openings! I also remember shopping for wood and accessories to adorn our hats, mittens, and scarves.
    You are right I believe it is really meditative and calming, personally I never learned it but i love watching other people knit, it is satisfying to watch 🙂
    Thank you for this lovely post!

  2. It sounds like knitting has many positives that are beneficial such as being good therapy it allows you to make your own garments thus saving money .Plus it gives you personal satisfaction to make your items with your own two hands.i personally have not knitted but my grandmother use to sew and knit items like place holders or doilies I think they are called.for sure I would a person giving a sweater they made them selves than if it was store bought.I have so mush respect for people that can create things out of thin air is very impressive .I compare it to a artist who creates a work of art out their own genius mind and imagination.

  3. I’ve forgotten how to knit myself, but my nanny had taught me that in the children’s days. My mother knitted me stocks that were not only of great quality, but they were also warm because my mother had knitted them.I sometimes buy a pair of socks from old ladies who sell them next to supermarkets and give them even a little more money than they ask. I should try knitting myself again as it comforts my nerves.

    • Hi Andrejs, Thank you for your comments on my post. There is something very special about wearing something made especially for you.

      Kind Regards,

      Jill

  4. Dear Jill,

    Thank you for this elaborated write up about Knitting. Your article certainly made me think more on the subject and recalled some beautiful memories.

    My Mom use to do this and made me a sweater. I do still remember it and its very special for me. I am keeping it as a great asset and now its very small but I can see the great love of my mom via that sweater.

    My Wife and myself are expecting a baby soon so I believe now I can use that sweater to my baby.

    I am amazed at the benefits of Knitting and got great insights. I shared your post with my wife and she is interested in Knitting.

    Wishing you great success!

    Paul

    • Hi Paul, Thank you for reading my post and the lovely comments. Wishing you and your wife well when the baby arrives. Hope your wife gets to knit some little things for the baby.

      Kind Regards,

      Jill

  5. I’ve never had the luxury of knitting my on clothes, but I’ve always been amazed by how creative and artistic knitted apearal looks.Just take a chance I do believe it can be very calming and relaxing.Besides theirs nothing wrong with developing good habits at any stage in your life.Knitting is also a good way to save money create, unique styles,and believe it or not I’ve even heard from some people it can act as a stress reliever.Just a little something to think about next you bored or want something to do food for thought .Thank you and have a great day 

    • Hi Steven, Thank you so much for reading my post and the kind comments.

      All the best, Jill

  6. Hi Jill,

    It’s sometimes amazing what you can do with knitting yarn and those pins. The fulfilment in the eyes when you produce and people love and appreciate what you made with your two hands is unquantifyable.

    Do you know you can make other beautiful things and home decors like pompom rugs with your knitting pin and wool? They come out fantastic! 

    My mum knits too but but I ‘ve  never been able to make head or tail of it, but I love making pompom rugs.

  7. Hello Jill and thank you for this wonderful and inspiring article. I really had an amazing time reading it. My grandma also used to knit. While I was reading I remembered her. She was making those warm and comfy wool socks. She was really good at it also.

    I taught the time of the knitting passed long time ago. Never knew it became popular once again. So great to hear that and to see you still passionate about your craft. Many young girls learned this from their mothers or grandmothers. 

    Hopefully, you are satisfied with the reward you receive from knitting. You brought back so many memories.

    You are going on bookmarks.

    Strahinja.

  8. Jill:
    I liked your post “For the love of knitting” because it brought back memories of the early years of my marriage; my wife had among her many abilities, that of knitting. And what wonderful pieces of clothing she produced! from a simple scarf, to the most intricately adorned sweater, many of our relatives had the good fortune of enjoying the results of her handicraft.
    Looking through your pictures made me wonder if she’l ever be bitten but that knitting bug.

  9. Hi Jill, I love this post. I used to knit a long time back, but I have not done it for a long time. Maybe that should be one of the things to start in 2019, just need to figure out where I put my needles. anyway, happy holidays Jill and may 2019 bring you lots of joy and laughter.

    • Hi Rose, Thanks for the lovely comments. I must say, I have not done what I call real knitting for a while. Mostly beanies and little tops for newborns. Nothing startling.
      Wishing you all good things for 2019.

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