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Old 07-24-2009, 05:09 AM   #1
Irishmam
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Does knitting run in the blood?
From what I have read, many of you were taught to knit by your mother or grandmother. My darling mother would have rather chopped off her hand than knit (too many years of being forced to knit in her convent education and being slapped on the back of the hand if she got it wrong) and I was taught by YouTube/KnittingHelp videos.

However, this week we have been visiting my aunts and discovered one is a fantastic and hugely talented (oh the lace work) knitter so obviously it seems to run in our blood. She was facinated, and very amused, to discover I had taken up knitting and gave me a quick masterclass.

Do you think knitting is an inherited passion or is it just learned?

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Old 07-24-2009, 07:39 AM   #2
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I vote for learned, but I think a propensity for creativity through handicrafts is inherited. My mother hated handcrafts, probably partially from having to work in a sweatshop in Chinatown as a girl. Her mother also worked in the sweatshop but liked it, as it was her social outlet. My father's mother taught be to crochet, but no one could teach me to knit, although my mother's mother showed me how to do the stitches. It never took until the beginning of this year, though.

I do think we inherit the hand-eye coordination, a tendency towards creativity in crafts and arts, and other things that go into making a good crafter, though. It doesn't mean you'll be a good one unless one chooses to work at it, of course (which is the craft part of the art), and amplify on your creative ability.

ETA: did your aunt show you how to Magic Loop?
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:13 AM   #3
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creativity
I think it is part blood and creativity. I do lots of crafts which my mother didn't teach me. I got knitting and crochet from her. Now I got my 6'3" son to make something for his dad one year for Christmas and my youngest had to do a sewing project in school(he is turning out to be an excellent chef) and my oldest could care less except if he is the recipient of home made items. No creativity for him at all. The sewing project was a coin purse which I use to store my heads phones. He gave it to me and I love it but use it for what I needed.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:15 AM   #4
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Interesting idea which I actually have thought about. I think the general interest in some sort of needlework may be "in the blood" but not necessarily craft specific.

My mother sewed, and went through a 5-6 year latch hook phase...oh the rugs and pillows! I learned to latch hook and also to needlepoint about that time..none of it stuck however. (Thank goodness latch hook didn't stick!)

My grandmother on my mother's side sewed often and beautifully. I still have doll clothes she made for me. She sewed clothes for me as well. When she traveled she brought her embroidery with her... a nice small portable project you see..like a sock.

I learned to knit here on Knitting Help. I can sew some having learned as a child and even taking sewing in high school but I don't consider myself and expert at all. I like the knitting better which I only learned three and a half years ago.
But I love learning about historical needle work of any type...adore Peicework magazine from Interweave...must get a subscription. I think I am interested in the historical bit because we have a few hand made family heirlooms, special quilts, hand tatted lace on napkins and pillows from a few generations back. Hand made doll clothes for old family dolls.

When I learned to knit I checked around in the family and found that on my dad's side he had some aunts that crocheted, but not his mom. I did not know her well maybe she at least sewed some? My mom cannot knit but I found out both her sisters can knit thought neither one has progressed much beyond scarves and blanket squares. One of my aunts is an avid quilter. I also learned that my grandfather on my mothers side knew how to knit, learned as a boy, but it wasn't a life long hobby.

Also some people think of knitting or crochet as being "crafty". I don't consider myself crafty and often am very surprised to find myself in craft stores looking at yarn. Before I knitted I rarely went to the crafts store and then only for a specific something for a kid project or what have you. I don't scrap book, bead, or make things...I don't like those "crafty" activities. (I know many on this board do and many make beautiful and wonderful things) In my mind the knitting falls in the needlework category and isn't crafty...unless I am knitting a toy or something silly that requires embellishments like embroidery and buttons.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:24 AM   #5
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My paternal grandmother knit and my mother could sew well, knit a little and did a little embroidery, but I don't actually remember them doing it. I only have a few results around for proof. My mom taught me to sew, but I taught myself knitting.
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by newamy View Post
Also some people think of knitting or crochet as being "crafty". I don't consider myself crafty and often am very surprised to find myself in craft stores looking at yarn. Before I knitted I rarely went to the crafts store and then only for a specific something for a kid project or what have you. I don't scrap book, bead, or make things...I don't like those "crafty" activities. (I know many on this board do and many make beautiful and wonderful things) In my mind the knitting falls in the needlework category and isn't crafty...unless I am knitting a toy or something silly that requires embellishments like embroidery and buttons.
I acompletely relate to that statement. I didn't even pay attention to Joann's, Hobby Lobby or Michaels unitl I started to knit. I even had to call a friend to find out where these stores where located. LOL Now I know where they are in all the surrounding area. And when I go on road trips I look them up as well as the LYS in the destination city.

My grandmother and aunt did crosstictch and sewed. My mom apparently knew how to knit, but I think she "had" to learn and I was surprised when she picked up my needles to try to show me the purl st. She could remember if she was purling or knitting. She was surprised she even could still work the needles. She said it had been at least 50 years. She is very creative, but not at all crafty. She is an amazing and well recognized interior designer.

...To add to my thoughts cause I was interupted by DH.
When I actually learned to knit. I just knew that this was what I should be doing. I felt total uphoria. I have never stuck with any other hobby as I have this one. I just can't get enough of knitting.
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:46 AM   #7
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Both of my grandmothers did handcrafts. My maternal grandmother did mostly crochet work (we all usually got great slippers at Christmas, which I now appreciate so much more for the work that went into them and am embarrassed that I ever thought or felt "Ugh, not another pair of slippers!" Shame on me and apologies to you, Mim. I know you're crocheting happily in Heaven!). Unfortunately, I never sat at her knee and asked her to teach me. I wasn't interested.

My paternal grandmother did a lot of crewel (spelling correctly?) work and trapunto, I do remember her either knitting or crocheting. The only thing I learned from her was to, as we always called it, "make hangars". You would take 2 wire hangers that matched up as good as you can, tape them together, then wrap and knot yarn around them. It's really easy and makes nice, bulkier hangers.

It was this that I was doing when I decided that I wanted to do something else with yarn and bought a kit and a book and taught myself to knit. With help from this site and loads of trial and error I've found my hobby and my niche with sock-making.

Although my mom never learned to crochet from her mom, she did do a lot of crewel work and she was very good at it. But, she believes I got the knitting bug from Mim and tells me that she would be very impressed with me and having taught myself. That makes me feel really good.

I think my vote is for nature over nurture. You're either born to love yarn or not.
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:49 AM   #8
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Actually, I think it's probably the dexterity that is inherited. All of my maternal or paternal relatives were involved in some form of handiwork....woodwork, needlework, sewing.....just good use of their hands. I have always enjoyed the needlearts, have two sisters that are great detail cooks, a brother that is heavy into rocks and geology. Mother is a crocheter and great cook, Daddy was a dairy farmer who was gifted in animal husbandry.

I can see it in my son, who's terrific at working on motors from electronics/electrical to major components and daughter is a soon-to-be-RN....she is great with all of those tiny medical gadgets...needles/IV's. Hand/brain/eye coordination is a wonderful gift to have and I like to think that their father and I along with all of our relatives passed this onto them.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:12 PM   #9
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i can kind see that, my maternal grandmother crocheted but my mom isn't into needle work at all. she did do a lot of craft projects when i was younger though, she made great wreaths out of mussel shells and stenciled some great furniture.

ETA: My paternal grandmother knits, crochets, did wood work, does embroidory, you name it she can make it.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:17 PM   #10
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I think it's a bit sad that "crafty" has lost its connection with "craftsman" or "craftswoman", actually. "Crafty" these days seems to resound with echoes of knitting your own tofu, which is a shame, given that being a "craftsperson" should be an accolade.
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