1 2 3 4 5 6 7 -->

Tuesday 1 April 2014

How I started knitting.....

I was writing my 'About Me' page for this blog when it turned into this......too much for an 'About Me' but definitely enough for a post. 

Here goes......

Five years ago I started a PhD in cancer research. Whilst it was great, it was also beyond stressful! During this time, inspired by my Mum who had recently picked up the needles again, I thought I would have a go at knitting. My Nanny taught us all to knit as young children (I wish I had some pictures of those odd shaped squares!) but I only really knitted a few scarves (by about the 4th scarf I was pleased to announce that I could end a project with the same number of stitches that I started with!). 

I got a 'Knit Your Own Monkey' kit (suitable for an 8 year old....I was 22 so should have been ok!) and got going. The pattern went straight into increases, decreased, picking up stitches and to be honest I was massively overwhelmed. I got frustrated, angry and even accidentally broke a few needles because of my super tight knitting! However, with a bit (read a LOT) of help from my Mum I managed to make the little fella (albeit with no ears- why do kits never contain enough yarn to complete a project!). Here he is:

Despite the poor thing not having any ears I credit this monkey to teaching me pretty much all I needed to know about knitting, and for getting me addicted!

I then mastered stocking stitch and knitted more animals....

Such as this tiger for my sister......

.....and this tortoise for my Nanny....

.....and then the obsession with crochet began!

Details of all these projects can be found on my Ravelry page. Please excuse the bad photography- these were all made pre-blog for my personal records only!

How did you get started with knitting? I would love to hear your stories....



  1. I love reading about crafty stories! My nan taught me to knit too - its my favourite form of craft and the one I'm most comfortable with! I've yet to master crochet..
    That tortoise AND tiger look incredible! Xx

    1. Thanks Emma! The tiger was from the book 'Knitted Wild Animals' by Sarah Keen and the tortoise from the book 'Knitted Toys' by Zoe Mellor. They both contain loads of great patterns and they are quite old now so you may even be able to get them from the library! I think I do more crochet than knitting nowadays but still love it (maybe even prefer it in some ways!) xxx

  2. I too was a bit like you, learnt as a child, knitted a bit as and the returned to it after a break. Your animals are amazing. Do you find crocheting them easier than knitting now?

    1. Thank you! To be honest I find crochet so much quicker (plus there is less sewing up if you make them in the round!) so kind of prefer it in that respect but I love the way the knitted toys look. I also find that crocheting small toys hurts my wrists quite a bit so overall maybe I still like to knit toys more than crochet them....

  3. I started to learn to knit when a friend and her sister decided that we should all sign up to learn at the local knit shop. We went to the lessons, but sorry to say the teacher was not a very good teacher. She was a very good knitter, just not very good at teaching. I managed to learn despite her , and came home and found some very good tutorials on youtube to supplement her bad teaching and help me learn better techniques and easier cast-on methods. I still prefer crochet, but occasionally pull out the knitting needles. My daughter-in-law knits constantly, so one day I may return to it and figure out how to really love it.