Knitty: little purls of wisdom
letter from the editorfeatured articlesKnitty's fabulous pattern selectionarchive of back issuessee what others have made using Knitty patternstell us what you think of KnittyKnitty's favorite linkstake home something Knittyjoin the Knitty notifylistto find out how to support Knitty, click here!

my grandma's knitting needles. click me.the Knitty FAQ

submission guidelines for designers and writers
the obligatory legal statement
the rabbit

© Knitty 2002-2006. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. This means you.


Learn to knit! La bonne tricoteuseDiY knitterTechniques with T
FeltingToesOut of ChaosSweater curse?Fiber festivalsStart early

By Kerrie Rycroft

Knitting used to be my hobby. Any spare minute I had in the day would be spent, needles in hand clicking away. Knitting was the way I relaxed after a hard day at the office. I would sit on the sofa, 2-year-old daughter on the floor in front of me playing with her toys, boyfriend on the sofa next to me watching TV, and knit knit knit for as long as I could before something (or someone) demanded my attention.

Don't get me wrong, I still knit. But now it is a hobby rather than my hobby. A small distinction, but an important.

A few weeks ago, this changed. I looked up from the Point 5 jumper that I was making to see a small pair of eyes focused on me. "I me help mummy knitting" she said. At first she was happy to hold the ball of wool while

I knitted. This lasted for about 5 minutes before she discovered that dropping the wool made it bounce. Suddenly I was knitting with the amazing, bouncing ball of wool. Distracting? Annoying? No, not really. It's amazing what you can ignore when you need to. Still I knitted; still I felt it was my hobby.

After a few nights of bouncing knitting she progressed to wrapping the wool around her hands and feet and pretending that she was being knitted. "Careful, mummy. Don't knitting me." This was slightly more of a distraction as I actually had to stop, unravel the wool, reassure her that I wasn't going to "knitting" her and start again. Still I was able to knit. To some degree, it was still my hobby.

Then she wanted to hold the needles while I knitted.

Fortunately most of my recent projects have involved huge plastic 15mm chunky needles which are slightly safer for a child to play with than tiny 3mm metal needles.

A few evenings were spent with her sitting on my lap, clutching the needles while I knitted. She shouted, "look, daddy, look! I me knitting." Somehow, I was still knitting, albeit at a vastly reduced speed and with my arms at a very strange angle to allow for the small person sitting on my knee. It was beginning to become a shared hobby.

The day that she took the needles out of my hands and began sticking them randomly into the ball of wool declaring, "I me knitting on my own now," I gave up all pretence that I had a hobby that was simply mine to enjoy.

Since then I've accepted the fact that I can no longer knit in her presence without providing her with a ball of wool, a pair of large needles and simultaneously working on my project and ensuring that she doesn't cause too much damage. She is pretty good at not stabbing herself (or anyone else) and only once has she unravelled a whole ball of wool without me noticing. Usually she will "knit" nicely for about 10-15 minutes, pushing the needles into the wool and pulling them back out again, wrapping them all up together until she finally announces "I me finished knitting now. Look what I me made." Well done, darling, it's a tangled-up work of art!

Oh, by the way, my boyfriend's reaction to having two girls knitting in the house is to roll his eyes back in his head and mumble about how he needs a son. Something about football and leaving us to it? I personally can't wait for the day that she is old enough to learn how to actually knit. I love the idea of being able to pass on my knowledge to her.

Kerrie lives in the UK and works full time so that she can afford to keep herself in wool.

She juggles her days so that she can spend the maximum amount of time playing with her daughter and knitting.

© 2002 Kerrie Rycroft. Contact Kerrie.