I learned to knit at a young age, before I was seven, at any rate. I am no longer able to say whether it was mum or my teacher who first put knitting needles into my hands, but of course, mum was the one who taught me most and she helped when things went wrong.
The thing I knitted at school was a coathanger cover in bright red and dark blue. I still have it!
I remember knitting mittens for myself and then modifying the pattern to knit much smaller mitts for my dolls.
My mum knitted for us when we were young. It was a family tradition that we all got a new set of clothes for the Dunfermline Children's Gala and that often meant a new jumper or cardigan. Mum usually sat up past midnight to finish it in time.
When I started knitting for myself in earnest, I am not sure. I think it was in my late teens. I don't seem to have any photos of these knitted items. Certainly I knitted an aran jumper, with only one glaring mistake. Up until I left Scotland to live in Ireland, my mother was expected to sew up my knitting. Thinking back on it, I am appalled at my laziness! Needs must when the devil drives, and I learned to sew things up myself when I lived in Ireland.
One item I still have is the Landscape jumper from a Sirdar pattern. I still have it although it is not really wearable. Obviously I am too proud of it to throw it away. Still, that is the reason I am able to show a photo of it. Since I didn't have a 'stash', I bought a ball of every colour even when I only needed a tiny amount. It worked out quite expensive!
At a certain time, I decided to knit myself a striped jumper. I used the pattern of the landscape jumper for the size and so on, and I used up all the bits of yarn I had left over from the landscape jumper and a few other bits and pieces. I even managed to match up the stripes on the body and the arms. Since then I bought a (very expensive) striped cardigan from Monsoon, I love stripes.
I also still have a sweater I knit from a Phildar pattern, again I was proud of it.
When we moved from Dublin, Ireland to Delft, the Netherlands, I did not have a job and decided to buy yarn and patterns for some complicated projects, to keep me busy and stop me feeling bored and lonely. In fact, I started a job a few weeks after arriving in NL and didn't do very much of the knitting at all. Fast forward to Christmas 2004. I was looking for something to do and found the yarn and patterns I had abandoned. Since then I have done a bit of knitting but nothing very succesful! Various items were too big or too small. Still, I am persevering. Maybe I need to go back to basics, instead of trying to start off with these complicated patterns that I bought 7 years earlier.
In March, while in France, I bought 2 patterns and yarn – knitting in French was a bit of a challenge, but not too difficult really! Funny though, I haven't even tried a Dutch pattern yet.
I am really enjoying the internet: free patterns, discussion boards, on line magazines and blogs. All very inspiring.