the domestic sphere

my dalliances with all things domestic


does knitting run in families?

My interest was piqued by a recent post over at Queer Joe's. He remarked that there seemed to be lots of Jewish women knitting. My husband's family is Jewish. There are a couple of knitters, but it doesn't run as deep as it does in my family. This got me thinking about knitting family trees.

Who taught you to knit? Who taught them to knit? Who in the family knits? Who does not?

My mother must have taught me, but I don't remember it. Probably when I was a preteen.

Mom said that her mother taught her. My Granny was a fabulous handiwoman who crocheted unimaginably beautiful projects and sewed for her whole family and herself, even when I can remember, so she must have been well into her seventies and still making her own clothes. Over her long life I'm sure the sewing was at times necessity, but she was good at it and I think enjoyed it as one enjoys any activity at which one excels. I never knew she knit, but Mom says she knew how well enough, but just never liked it.

Beyond that, I think there were knitters of necessity, but the needlework that the preceeding generation was mainly drawn to was tatting. Now there's a lost art for you!

Coming back forward now, it is almost as interesting to note who didn't partake in these activities. Of four sisters, my Granny was the only one who was really drawn to handwork, according to my mother. Mom has two sisters. One is a fabulous life long knitter. My great inspiration. My mom knits too and has, off and on, her whole life. I don't think the other sister has ever done much needlecraft.

And finally, me. I've knitted and sewed and such (off and on at least) pretty much always. My sister, however, doesn't. Did she not learn? I know that she learned to sew. She was in 4-H! Did she not want to and I did? Did she learn it and forget it?

Anyway, if the conversation gets dull over the holiday table this week, do a little research on your own knitting family tree!

posted by kristi at 4/13/2003 03:20:00 PM
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