Tuesday, 18 March 2008

I can't knit, but I know someone who can ...



I've just got back from town where I bought a blanket for little sister's teacher whose baby is due very soon. I found one I liked, soft cotton, natural, organic and undyed. I'm pleased with it but not as pleased as I would have been if I'd made it myself. But there's the rub, I just can't knit! When I was a little girl my friend who lived next door taught me to knit. We were both left handed and somehow between us we managed to produce long woolly scarves which looked okay(ish) but neither of us had a clue how we had produced them. My grandmother tried to teach me, my mum gave up and it's just one of those things that I can't do. Whenever I look at the illustrations in those "How to" books well, it just doesn't look like how my friend Annabel taught me! To make matters worse all you bloggers are the most fantastic knitters, gorgeous blankets have been crocheted and knitted for me to drool over, there seems to be a legion of you out there making the most fabulous fair isle socks and glamorous corsages and I'm here twiddling my thumbs!



I've been having a sort out (that's what happens when you start to decorate, a whole new can of worms is opened) and in amongst a pile of books I found this little gem.



A 1940s knitting book that's crammed full of knitting patterns. It seems a shame to keep hold of it, I love the photos and would love to be able to knit everything in it, but who am I kidding? In the name of honesty and in keeping with the blogging code I'll hold my hand up high and say "I can't knit, I won't knit and for the sake of my spring cleaning, this book has to go!"
So if anyone reading this would like this book, please let me know. Perhaps we could do a little swap (but please no wool, that would just be rubbing my nose in it!).



There's some great vintage ladies jumpers and cardigans that judging by my recent trawl of the shops are very fashionable at the moment. Short cropped cardigans and tops with puffed sleeves and nipped in waists. fair isle gilets and for the more athletic amongst you:



Yes, lovely woolly swimming costumes! Can you imagine stepping out of the pool in that! I wonder would it shrink while you were swimming in it or stretch and sag?! There's also lots of lovely sensible woollen underwear if you're feeling the cold!!!



I love this bedjacket intended for a new mum but I wouldn't mind one now and a lovely shawl.



Socks, tea cosies, hot water bottle covers, balalclava helmets (!), coat hanger covers, crocheted edges for towels, designs for toddlers and a wonderful beret and scarf set, in fact something for the whole family - as the book says "A recipe for happy families" . I'll just have to comfort myself with the thought that another book has left the building...

37 comments:

Heidi said...

Hi Kim! I will swap something with you for this book! It would make a great gift for my mother who is a big knitter.

I love the baby blanket you found. I am sure it will wrap the new baby up safe and sound and warm with love.

I know how decorating leads to decluttering. I am doing the same thing. It is messy to do the decluttering. It gets worse before it gets better. :) It feels great to get rid of your old and unused things though.

Hugs ~
Heidi

Sian said...

I always admire someone who declutters so effectively. Well done! By the way there are knitting websites out there that have very useful info for southpaws.
knitty.com has a particularly good section :)

Cowboys & Custard said...

I too am a frustrated knitter or non-knitter I should say.. I too knitted the endless long scarves in my youth but I can't even remember how to cast on a stitch let alone read a pattern.. Maybe there is an S.O.S for us non-knitters out there..
Simple. Obtainable. Stitches...

Michelexx

Anonymous said...

Another non - knitter here!
Carolyn
http://willowhouse.typepad.com

French Knots said...

I decided to learn this year and the time must be right as I seem to have got the hang of it.
Who would wear a knitted swimming costume I wonder, presumably someone who wasn't going to get wet! Hope the hall painting is going well, mine needs doing but I havn't worked up the enthusiasm yet.

Heidijayhawk said...

i finally just learned how to knit. still in the world of scarves and dishtowels. that is a fabulous book! i would love to swap you for it, but i don't feel quite worthy!

Country Cottage Chic said...

I can knit but not the fancy stuff like fair isle. My mum who is left handed taught me to knit (I'm right handed) so I tend to knit a bit differently to most!

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy said...

You should try the Stitch 'n Bitch book. That is the one I taught myself with and it is ideal for the beginner.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stitch-Bitch-Handbook-Instructions-Generation/dp/0761128182

Keep trying, I am so un-crafty so if I can do it, I am positive you can.

Lisa
Knitty, Vintage and Rosy

Patti said...

Oh what a lovely book.

I love to knit - would knit all day if I could - sadly life, work and family all conspire to prevent me.

I'd be glad to swap for this lovely thing.

PG said...

Ha, I have this book too - and I am lousy at knitting - I just love the pictures too! :)

Thimbleanna said...

Well, I'm ever-so-sorry to hear that you can't knit. I'll bet we could teach you SOMEhow. If not, it would sure be fun just to sit and drink tea and TRY to teach you! I need your decluttering talents at my house -- I just can't let go of stuff I know I'll never use!

LOUISE @ HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS said...

A lovely book Kim, but I can't knit for toffee either. You have one up on me, I can't sew! I am sure you are going to have lots of willing swappers leave a comment. x

Dy said...

Hi Kim,
Thanks for stopping by Flower Childe Cottage. I started out knitting and sort of took up crocheting instead after my sister kept telling me that crocheting was more fun than knitting. When I first started knitting it was confusing though so I totally realte to what you're saying and how you feel. The blanket looks cozy, I'm sure it will be well received.
Have a great day,
Dy

dottycookie said...

A knitted swimming costume?! Fabulous!

mountainear said...

I'm left-handed but somehow learned to knit as a child, progressing through scarves and dishclothes to pretty things for my babies. Loved all the crazy complex stitches....

These days I'm great at starting projects but a lousy finisher. Would really like to knit some cup cakes and embellish them with beads.

Curlew Country said...

What a relief - I'm not on my tod in the "I Can't Knit" room! I wish, wish I could but it's beyond me too!
Lovely book though, I'd definitely make the bed jacket too - if I could actually knit - for the days when Sunday lie-ins might actually be a possibility!
What a sweet present for the teacher's baby. I'm sure she'll be so touched.
Stephx

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Hi Kim,
My Mum somehow persevered in teaching me to knit as a child (All Mums seemed to know how in those days!)even though I'm a left-hander too and very cack-handed....I write upside down if you know what I mean :)
I was an avid knitted for many years, could tackle quite complicated patterns but haven't done it for, ooh, 20 years now. But I am feeling this urge to take up the hobby again, I fancy knitting some socks and luckily I have a cousin who can give me some guidance. I'm sure someone will love your book and you'll receive something lovely in return. I think the ladies in the knitted costurmes weren't meant to get them wet, just pose gracefully on the beach.

meggie said...

I am sure someone will love that book. I have some old ones that were my mother's. I learnt to knit the conventional way, & I am left handed. I taught myself to knit lefthanded, by propping the instruction book in front of a mirror!

meggie said...

That should be 'taught myself to CROCHET lefthanded'.!!

Susan Tuttle said...

What a very pretty blanket you found - what a lovely gift it will make for the new baby!

I love old books from that era - I have a bunch of old crochet magazines, with photos that look just like that. All I can say is - thank goodness I was not a housewife in the 50's!

Susan

periwinkle said...

What a lovely book and although I can knit ( sort of)I don't think I would be able to do it justice. I remember my nanna knitting jumpers like that- she was a wonderful knitter.
Lisa x

Alchamillamolly said...

Well it seems from all the lovely comments that you are not alone. When I was little my Mam and Nanna knitted everything - Mam knitted and Nanna sewed them together for us. I am left handed and my Aunite Gwen was a bus conducteress o nthe Whitby to Middlesborough run which in the 60's must have taken hours! There was a lady on the bus who Auntie Gwen used to watch and she knew her knitting was strange. Anyway she was knitting left handed so Auntie Gwen spent the time in between giving out tickets learning herself, she then taught my Mam and she taught me! I must have been a dissappointment to htem after all the hard work as it wasnt something I took to preferring sewing myself. mind you I remember Nanna drawing a little duck on some fabric and me sitting carefully stitching round it and when I had finished I had sewn it to my trousers!! Now I would find knitting therapeutic but would have to learn all over again and my Mam lives some miles away - plus work gets in the way!!!

Mary said...

I just about remember wollen swimming costumes! They stretch when wet and fall down in not very appropriate places!!! hope your book goes to someone who shows us what they make Have a good Easter

Jennie said...

I'd love it just because it's a 1940's book but I'm hopeless at knitting so someone who can knit should have it!
I keep trying and trying to knit, but I think I would have better look if I stopped looking at knitting books and actually practised ;)

Andylynne said...

What a fun find, and your so kind to share it with The bonified knitters ot there ( not me for sure). I knit after a fashion but nothing to brag about. But I do think you might add that who ever gets the book, HAS to make one of those handy dandy WOOL:) swimming costumes. I'm sure that there are more curious souls who would love to see this :) Just think when you find a loving home for that book there will be room for one more.

Garden girl said...

Ahh, what lovely blankets. And what a sweetie you are for buying it for your daughters teacher-she'll be really touched.Although I can knit, please leave me out of the generous swap and give it to someone far more deserving than I- a scarf is about as adventurous as I get!xx

the homely year said...

Hi, what a super book...I'm sure someone will enjoy all those patterns. I can knit after a fashion but haven't done any for ages. Noreen does a lot more...she's a cardigan nearly finished. I don't think you should beat yourself up about not knitting...what about all the wonderful things you can do!
Margaret and Noreen

Pretty Practicals said...

Hi Kim, I was a prolific knitter when the children were younger, and knitted for all my friends children too but haven't picked up the old knitting needles for years now.
Anyway, I thought you might like to have one more try at learning to knit left handed. There is a book called Left Handed knitting by Regina Hurlburt, I haven't ever seen it, but it may do the trick for you.
Chat soon, Liz

Lynda said...

I can't knit either, Kim, although I've tried and tried to learn. The most I can manage is a very bad imitation of a garter stitch. ~ Lynda xox

weirdbunny said...

I've got four of those old knitting books, and that's how I learn to knit those those, rather than he modern books tha had me totally confused !

Alison Boon said...

Yay another leftie. Way to go Kim. I can knit although it took a lot of effort on th epart of a lot of people and now I do it pretty well, I learnt to crochet a couple of years ago, Jackie will remember me learning. But last week at my social knitting group a lady from Finland taught me to knit continental style. OMG what a difference. It's so easy, I wish someone had taught me a zillion years ago. And I can even go back from the right needle to the left needle thus eliminating purl, but keeping stocking stitch.
Would love the book by the way.

She'sSewPretty said...

Kim. I can't knit either. But, you make the most beautiful tea pot cosies and rag balls and other gorgeous things!

Samantha said...

Hi KIm,
my mother used to have a knitted bathing costume as a child and she hated it! She said it would stretch and get saggy round the backside and sand would get in it.

Not to be recommended!

Clare said...

Hi Kim,

You're very talented in other areas so I wouldn't worry about knitting!!

I can actually knit (but never do - don't have the time I'm afraid!) My mum was a very talented knitter and I recall sitting on her lap as a toddler whilst her needles went clickety-clack, with the soothing crackle of the fire in the background. That was how many winter afternoons were spent and it always conjures up a very fond memory. Oddly enough, despite my mum's attempts at teaching me, I just didn't grasp it! It was my aunt (who never knitted!!) who showed me how to - and I picked it up immediately!

Lovely blog post as ever, Kim!

Have a wonderful Easter with your family.

Clare x

twiggypeasticks said...

Hi there
I'm pretty rubbish at knitting can only do the basic stuff, so I bought a copy of Jean Greenhowes Jiffyknits,(that's where the scarey bunny on my blog came from, the pattern is not scarey, just my version of it - lol) which is good fun. Funnily enough I'm left handed too and my mum who is a fabulous knitter just couldn't teach me how to knit, so my dad did !!!
Your blog looks as lovely as ever, gorgeous blanket
Twiggy x

Raindrops said...

Hi
The book is lovely but like you can't knit and everyone has tried to show you. I can knit BUT I can't for the life of me follow a pattern. I have to make it up as I go along. Tricia

christine said...

I am desperate to source a 1940's knitted swimsuit for reminisence work I am doing with old people who have dementia and the book looks fabulous - years ago I did knitting and made curtians and all sorts I have sort of become de skilled but with this credit crunch I can see all those skills becoming valuable again

they are therapeutic too - relaxing

good luck with the blogs

chris