Knitters, Needlepointers, Cross-Stitchers, Rughookers

There are so many fun needlearts out there, and I was thinking back on all of the things that I have done, this past weekend. It might’ve had something to do with cleaning out basement shelves and coming across a ridiculous amount of cross-stitch materials that I’m fairly sure I’ll never use again. I thought I’d share with you what I used to do, and you can share with me what other needlearts you have done or still do.

I started with knitting. I took a stab at it in junior high and I remember the ugly maroon scarf that grew in width as I worked on it. I also remember the ugly yellow and green sweater that my mom cast on for me. I knitted the body, and she did the arms and finished it up. I don’t ever remember wearing it. Then in high school I was in a production of “To Kill A Mockingbird.” It was a BIG part. I was a member of the jury in the courtroom. I also had a side-part as a wandering towns-person. My line (that’s singular) was, “Yonder are some townfolk.” Like I said, it was a big part. But what does this have to do with knitting? I had to sit and knit in the courtroom. I guess that made me look like a typical town lady doing jury duty. I think I was knitting with that same ugly maroon yarn and I’m pretty sure whatever I made was thrown away after the play. The knitting bug never stuck back then.

DSC00535.JPGIn college I moved on to counted cross-stitch and was a huge fan of that for years and years. Here’s a picture of the quickest thing I could find for a photo today. šŸ™‚ DSC00536.JPGI cross-stitched for enjoyment, and I cross-stitched for pay. For several years, I stitched many cover models for the Cross-Eyed Cricket Collection. Here is a picture of my very first leaflet – I did the stitching on the denim jumper. I think I stitched for 25 or more of these leaflets and I always thought the best part of that was getting the leaflet for free. I would’ve bought it anyway. Very nice gals to work for. I don’t know how they keep coming up with designs, several times a year. It was fun to be at the TNNA Market this summer, and find their booth! We had a good time catching up.

DSC00533.JPGMy next hobby in the needlearts was needlepointing. I liked this a lot, as there were no charts to follow and everything came out so great looking. What I didn’t like was how costly it was to have it finished off. Yikes! I kept thinking how much less I’d be spending if it were cross-stitching, but I was enjoying the needlepointing too much. I think I have two or three belts that are done but not “finished off”. Oh well. I enjoyed doing them. I will probably do more needlepointing someday.

And then of course, came the knitting again. I started back up because a friend was doing it and I thought, “Hey – I used to do that!” I went out and bought the “Teach Yourself How to Knit” book and just couldn’t get the hang of it. Finally I realized the problem. It was teaching me how to knit by throwing the yarn, and I had learned (ooooh so many years ago) by picking the yarn. I made the switch and it was as easy as pie. Isn’t that funny that after all those years, my brain remembered the other way and refused to learn a new method?

I have also tried my hand at quilting (which I enjoyed briefly) and sewing (which I enjoyed a little longer than briefly), but not rughooking. There is a nice rug hooking/knitting store in town, and the rug patterns look very enticing. But I am not adding another thing to my plate. At least not until I have knit up my sock stash. šŸ™‚

So – I’m interested in hearing which different areas you have tried and enjoyed. Is knitting your favorite? Or something else? And have you evolved from one to another, or do you just keep adding more in and keeping the old hobbies, too?

Sheri gladthatIhavesettledonknittingandnotplanningtomoveawayfromthisone!


  1. When my children were small, I smocked for them.
    I have shared the clothes with a few very special children over the years but have them all gathered back home again.

  2. I first learned to knit and then to crochet, when my grandmother was visitng from Germany for 11 months. She and I would crochet together. Then I needlepointed and learned embroidery and crewel. Later I learned to cross stitch. A few years later I picked up crocheting again and made several afghans and baby blankets. Then I tried decoupage (not a needle art, but another craft), which I liked, but which was certainly not protable. About 5 years ago I started knitting again , when a friend wanted to learn. I went to a beginer’s class with her, even though I really wasn’t a beginner. She never even finished the scarf she was trying to learn on, which also got wider and then narrower…with “no” increases or decreases! But I was hooked again. I’ve been knitting like a fiend ever since. It was at a time in my life when there was a tremendous amount of stress and the knitting became my form of meditation. Even when I am working on something that becomes frustrating, it is so much more relaxing than anything else would be. So, there you have my saga.

  3. I am a Stitcher also. I love the craft. I love putting little x’s on a piece of cloth to get a pretty picture. I don’t get to do it much since Ben is so little and it is a little hard to get out and put back quickly. I have quite a stash. I always wish I had more though. I am not sure if I had stitched any Cross-Eyed Cricket but I have seen lots of their patterns. I am a Big Fan of Bent Creek and Lizzie Kate. (She is from my home town.)

  4. my aunt taught me to knit and crochet when i was in my teens. with some helpful friends, i taught myself to sew clothes. i did some cross stitching in my younger adult years. really loved the stoney creek patterns. i had a project that wasn’t finished and when i was in my 40s and found it, i couldn’t see well enough to finish it. even with my glasses, that was a no go. my dear neice finished it for me. so, i’m done with cross stitching. i tried rug hooking and found that very boring. didn’t enjoy needlepoint either. did a bit of crewel embroidery, regular embroidery and loved silk ribbon embroidery. would still do some ribbon embroidery again some day. i still sew occasionally but really got addicted to sock knitting. i think because it is so easy to take about and work on anywhere. there are other crafts i enjoy doing and i’m not looking to learn any more in this life. having time to do the ones i enjoy, is enough of a challenge. happy knitting or other crafting. ( ;

  5. I learned to knit and crochet as a kid, taught by my grandmother. It didn’t stick. One problem was I didn’t like the squeaky yarn!

    I’ve sewed, cross stitched, and embroidered. I’ve done crewel work, macrame, stained glass, mosaics, rug hooking, needlepointing and beading. I still sew a little and do mosaic projects. I took up knitting again some years ago specifically to make socks!

  6. Oh gosh… Let me think… I done the following things:
    – counted cross stitch… quite a few pieces including several large pieces on belgian linen that are lovely. I, too, have many supplies stashed in the closet. Embroidery floss – collect all the colors!! That’s the goal… right?
    – sewing… I used to make all my own clothes, then I stopped due to time and committments with my job, now I’m getting back into it. I’m having to re-learn alot.
    – quilting… goes along with the sewing… used to do it and am now getting back into it. Buying a new sewing machine helped! I just learned how to do paper piecing and it’s really fun!
    – misc… I’ve hooked a rug or two in my time. I’ve crocheted a few scarves over the years. I’ve dabbled in needlepoint.
    Knitting works very well for me right now because it doesn’t take a lot of preparation time or space (other than space for yarn stash!). I can just sit down and knit. I don’t have to set up the ironing board or find room for the cutting table. Even in the presence of a fancy new sewing machine, I choose to sit down and knit.

  7. I first started knitting and crocheting when I was just a young girl. I also learned
    to sew and did that very well. I never took up counted cross stich or needlepoint,
    because I was a instant gratification person. I use to make all my clothes and
    clothes for my children and even made pinch pleat ed drapes for my house. I made
    two coats; one for me and one for my mom. I sewed anything that could be stiched
    together by thread and a sewing machine. When my babies came along, I started
    to knit again and sold some baby sweaters for a while and then stopped knitting
    altogether. I became ill in 1984 and started to knit again for stress reduction.
    Since then for a while, I tried to learn to paint ceramic Santas from Michaels, learned
    to stamp and make cards. Right now my illness is to the point that I can only
    knit. I am so grateful that I can still do that even though it’s a much slower pace
    and nothing very grand. Thank goodness for socks. I love to make socks.
    I love your sock yarn and when I get caught up, I will purchase some more.
    Happy Crafting to everyone.

  8. I am not a crafter..just a knitter. I did do some cross stitch and ribbon embroidery in earlier years but never loved it.

    Learned to knit from a friend in high school after a boyfriend and I broke up…she thought I should learn to knit and my first attempted project was a pink knit bikini:)

    I never wore it!

    I called a LYS about four years ago and asked for a knitting lesson….I learned from a wonderful german lady and have been addicted ever since. I can’t imagaine a time when I won’t knit!

  9. What fun to read! I’ve done a few myself — learned to crochet from the babysitter, mostly granny squares, always very tight! Learned cross stitch and embroidery, mostly stamped; could never master crewel due to tensioning. Learned to knit my freshman year of high school from my mother, who doesn’t knit (?). First thing I did (in the 70s) was a bobble afghan (k1, p1, k1, p1, k1 in next stitch — what??? — then purl 5 stitches together in the next row). I made 1.5 of those — still have the one in progress. Planned to knit a sweater for each of my younger brothers and sisters (5 total) as they got into high school. First 2 went well, then I tried Fair Isle and it came out too small due to tension again. For that 3rd sibling, I then sewed a turtle floor pillow. The remaining 2 got crocheted afghans. Someplace in there I learned to sew quite well, and until several years ago, sewed quite a lot, including square dance outfits. Sewing has stalled lately. In the 80s, I got into Hardangersom, a cutwork embroidery — my very first piece, a small ornament, I was designing (! and smile) because I’d misread the instructions! How cool — I still have ideas for that craft that I want to work. But knitting has taken over, and is my main needlecraft now, and sadly there never seems to be enough time for all I want to do with that!

    Ooh, I forgot the needlepoint in late high school/early college. My family (Mom, Dad, and a couple more of us) did many of the needlepointed kneeling pillows for a large Catholic church — all across the rail — probably 60 feet? Those were beautiful, and we did about half of them.

  10. I learned to knit and crochet when I was 12 and my mom took me to a class. I actually enjoyed crocheting more! After I was married, I painted (short-lived), and began to cross stitch which I did for several years until I discovered smocking. I have smocked many outfits for my daughters and a few things for my sons, but only when they were very little. Now my smocking days are coming to an end, so about 3 years ago I took up knitting again. I am enjoying it so much and a bonus is that two of my daughters knit and we have so much fun knitting together!

    I remember those Cross- Eyed Cricket leaflets! I bought tons of them and just recently gave them away in an effort to make more room for,yep, you guessed it, sock yarn….;-}

  11. My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was about 12 years old, but I didn’t really stick with it. I remember making “a pair” of white mittens – the two mittens were different sizes and definitely didn’t fit me very well…. LOL. I needed a lot of help from my grandmother on those. Anyway, in my teens I moved on to needlepoint and embroidery. Then in my 20’s, I really got hooked on counted cross stitch. I still have every color of DMC embroidery thread. Even though I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to it, I just can’t bear to part with that collection. I also know how to crochet, but I’m not sure where or when I learned it. Then two years ago my 8 year old daughter got a “learn to knit” kit for Christmas. In the process of refreshing my own memory so I could show her what to do, I got totally hooked on knitting. I think it’s a hobby that will keep me busy for many many years.

  12. I was taught to crochet as a young child. My great grandmother and my great uncle were crocheters. My great uncle is still alive and still crochets today. I then learned in 4H in about the 5th grade to knit, sew and cross stitch.

    About 12, I made a crochet afghan out of different squares (it is a pattern that is still sold today). I made all of the squares and never finished the afghan. My mom put the squares together about 10 years later and she still uses the afghan.

    In high school, I sewed alot of my clothes. I also cross stitched and knitted off and on in high school.

    I have continued this tradition on for years. I put down the yarn for the xs and vice versa. I was also a model stitcher. I still go to the cross stitch retreat every year at The Silver Needle in Tulsa, OK. I met some really good friends at the camp.

  13. I used to be an avid cross-stitcher. I started stitching a lot in 2001 and kept going until 2005 when I started to get too sick (with cfs) to hold a needle and fabric with any comfort. I’ve been knitting now and then since then, and knitting has been my main hobby since last year. I’ve recently been getting rid of all my stitching stash because I really didn’t think I was going to go back to that craft. I don’t even really like the things I had stitched any more. My mum was happy with that as it meant I passed on to her my ‘Celtic Christmas’ that she had been coveting since I finished it two years before!

  14. Oh, have I cycled through hobbies! I rememeber doing some pretty horrible embroidered tea towels in Girl Scouts, some goofy (although I thought very stylish) clothes in high school (I sewed all my clothes to have “the latest fashions”–don’t think they were), lots of knitted and crocheted ponchos in college (I went to Berkeley, what did you expect?), some needlepoint pillows also while in college, and cross stitch for many years (loved the Cricket Collection patterns). When we moved to WV, I befriended a woman who was a wonderful quilter, so I made lots of pillows and wall hangings. Then when my daughter decided to go to college in Minnesota, I thought she should have warm mittens, scarves and hats (my first email address was madhatter) so I got absolutely hooked on knitting again. I subjected everyone I came in contact with to a hand knitted hat, which included the women at work! One lady told me I should knit socks, so I took a class and loved it!
    Now I have enough yarn to knit into the next millenium! Oh well, my daughter is now hooked too, so that justifies my stash except her stash is just as large!!
    I love learning new techniques and take classes whenever I can. My husband thinks I’m nuts, but that’s nothing new. He is very supportive and will drive me out of the way to visit a yarn shop on our travels–now that’s real love!

  15. I learned to knit in grade school and made a couple of scarves and then a huge and extremely ugly green sweater in high school. I did some knitting in college but soon after graduation, I started doing needlepoint. I didn’t do too much of anything for a few years then went back to needlepoint and was pretty serious about it. I made pillows, belts, and lots of Christmas ornaments and stand-ups. I had a brief fling with quilting but I don’t like to sew well enough to get to the part where you can acturally quilt. About 15 years ago, I started knitting again and have never looked back–it really took hold this time.

  16. My mom was an art teacher. She quilts, sews, spins, weaves, makes ceramics, paints and knits so I’ve done it all, including the different “crafts” such as lampwork bead making ( I had to give that one up in college, for some reason they don’t want you to have blowtorches in your dorm room). I like knitting best, even though my first project was socks when I was 8.

  17. It’s hard to keep count. I have sewn clothes for my daughter, then I made doll clothes for antique porcelain dolls. Then I tried knitting. Then crocheting for a long time. Then came cross stitch which I did for many years. Cross Eyed Cricket was always one of my favorites. Then I tried watercolor painting, then beading, even some weaving (too mathematical for my pea brain). Then some more crocheting and finally knitting which I have stuck with for years. It is the most relaxing and eas iest on my eyes and brain. It has gotten me through some pretty rough times in the last few years. Very soothing. At least I have finally found something (knitting) that I have stuck too. I better stick to it, I have a room full of beautiful yarn. My husband says I have more than Hobby Lobby, but I doubt it. Well…maybe.

  18. I have to admit I’m relatively new to knitting. I’ve only been knitting for about 2.5 years. I spent a lot of time taking classes on various techniques and am just now starting to settle in to what I really enjoy — for now, its sock knitting, but I do love cables, too. Before knitting, I was into cross-stitch — I still have a large amount of supplies and haven’t given up on finding time to work on the hand towel projects I enjoy so much. And, last but not least, I want to try quilting. My cousin who lives near me is an avid quilter and seeing her work inspires me all the time. I have cut the pieces for a small table runner, so that is going to be my first project. I just wrote an extremely long post on my blog about my original passion and that’s reading. I must either find a way to retire early (and I have a way to go) or figure out how to put more hours in a day…so much I want to do!!

  19. I have always done crafts since I was a little girl. I learned to sew, knit and crochet while I was growing up in rural Wisconsin. The craft that stuck the best at that time was probably crochet. I moved on to doing counted cross stitch (my most difficult project was my first project, still not completed ~20 years later!) and still do some little sampler type things now if I do cross stitch. I also got into leatherworking. I did some really nice Tandy kits. My mom used a wallet I made for her for probably 10 years.

    After college, I met a friend who is now my crafting guru that gets me into all sorts of trouble. She got me back into sewing-I made a lot of clothes for a few years until I started working a lot of hours (even got a serger as a Christmas present). Then she got me into paper crafting (I haven’t bought a greeting card for something like 3 years now) and then last year she got me back into knitting after a 20 year break. (I took to crochet the first time around more than knitting because knitting had so many loops to keep track of and crochet only had one!!) I’m a pack rat so I still have most of my crafting supplies. šŸ™‚

  20. Let’s see… I learned how to sew at about 5 (convent trained grandmother) and sewed little dollies and such. I altered most of my own clothing with sewing and embroidery starting with my teen years and have done this my whole life plus Medieval Costuming. I started Cross Stitch in my early 20’s but by my late 30’s had lost my taste for it as I had to have my glasses, magnifier and just the right light (sucks getting old). I still have about 40 pieces in a box. I noticed the piece you have is a Lizzy Kate. I was into Indigo Rose quite a bit.

    My mother and I started knitting together about 8 months before she died. My first pair of socks were for her. I will probably always knit as it’s so soothing and I just love the color and feel of the materials. Before I ever Knit I did Spinning because of my Medieval and Rennaissance involvement. I used that yarn for weaving. I still have a small loom and my Little Gem spinning wheel is my meditation device.

    I quilt a bit but mostly I enjoy making small objects like bags, totebags, etc. I have been making Jewelry for 25 years or more including beadwork, silversmithing, macrame, etc. at one point professionally.

    Now I’m about to embark on new adventures. For five years I built up the business of my day job and that took huge focus. It didn’t allow for much else. It is stable and successful now and I have time to enjoy other crafts. I just ordered books on Polymer Clay, Lampwork Beads, Art Metal Clay, Altered Couture, and Altered Books.

    I don’t like to scrap book per se, but the supplies are so cool! I love to Journal and I want to make really cool journal covers (Blame Violet). I’m planning on trying Shibori and making Altered Clothing which I intend to be as wild and crazy as I want! I also have access to boatloads of Icelandic Sheep Wool so I plan to do some dyeing there too.

    This is my year to explore Art, Crafts and anything else I want to!

  21. I’ve loved reading everyone’s comments. I too have done most needle work starting with embroidery, crewel, needlepoint, and cross stitch. My two favorite cross stitch pictures are the ones I did of my son at age 9 (he’s now 24) and one of my in-laws. I then moved on to quilting. I’ve been meeting with a group of 7 women for 5 yrs now and our first project was a “Dear Jane” quilt. Each of our quilts turned out so different – same pattern, different colors. We’re now doing a “Santa” series. Then I discovered knitting and all else has been put aside. I’ve been knitting for 1.5 years and am absolutely hooked. Sweaters, scarves, hats, mittens and of course SOCKS! I have quite a bit of yarn, the closet is overflowing. But wait….sock yarn doesn’t count….so maybe I need more yarn šŸ™‚

  22. I love your questions!

    I was taught to crochet at about 7 by a great-aunt and to knit at about ten. I stuck with crochet for many years while also dabbling in cross stitch (I still have three rather large ones in progress) and tatting. I also was taught to sew at an early age and have a long term sampler quilt in progress (it’s been about seven years and I’m not done with the piecing yet). I occasionally sew kids’ costumes and I made myself a holiday dress last year. My hand started bothering me with crochet about three or four years ago and I rediscovered knitting and got completely and totally hooked. I also just had to learn to spin and I love my spindles and wheel. Though I think knitting is definitely one hobby that will be around for a while (how else would I get all those wonderfully warm and beautiful socks!), I do also dabble in other areas – I do a bit with polymer clay, including miniatures; I really enjoy clothing miniature dolls in Victorian era dress. I actually do wish I had more time to devote to that, but knitting is so much more portable and easy to get out without a lot of extra tools.

    In the future I’d like to try bobbin lace and weaving. Too many things, so little time šŸ™‚

  23. My mom first taught me to sew when I was a kid. I made little blankets, pillows and such. My mom still has some of my many little projects. Some time during my preteen days I learned how to crochet. I bounced back and forth between sewing and crocheting until I was in high school and stopped doing both. I didn’t pick back up any type of needle crafts until my hubby was in Korea for a year. I took up sewing and hand quilting to occupy the time. I enjoyed doing both. My oldest has a few blankets I made for her and my youngest is now enjoying them too. I stop working on stuff when he got back, due to lack of time and having to drag the sewing machine out every time I wanted to use it. When he was gone it stayed out on one end of the dinner table….couldn’t do that after he got back because that left no room for him to eat at the table. šŸ™‚
    I started crocheting again about 9 months ago when I was pregnant with my youngest and a few weeks before she was born I learned how to knit, that was a little over 7 months ago. I love all the things I’ve tried over the years but I think I love knitting the most.

  24. Knitting was my first love and has remained so for 40 + (cough-cough) years! Which naturally led to spinning and dyeing during the lean college years. Another early venture was stamped cross-stitch as a young child, embellishing pillowcases for appreciative grandmothers. That morphed much later into a counted-cross stitch passion. I’ll have to haul out my Cricket Collection designs for an autograph if you did any of them! šŸ˜‰ And continued into ethnic embroidery on international folk dance costumes. (cross-stitch, crewel, hardanger) Somewhere in between , many long hours were spent with macrame and Irish crochet!

  25. Wow – another trip down memory lane! Now I mainly do knitting and cross stitch, but at one time or another I have done punchneedle, embroidery, beading, quilting, sewing (purses & bags, etc, but never clothes), macrame, latch hook… And that’s just the *needlearts*! Don’t even ask about other types of crafts. šŸ˜‰

  26. All the comments are so fun to read!

    I learned crocheting long ago, as a 7 yr old…grandma was babysitting, and what better way to keep me quiet? I still have the very first “granny square” I ever made in with my crochet hooks. I tried knitting for a while, but I loved crochet too much to stop!

    The same year I learned crochet, I also went on a field trip to Old World Wisconsin (an outdoor participatory museum) and saw someone spinning. Well, It took almost 20 years, but I never forgot that person spinning, and for my anniversary a few years ago got a spinning wheel. After I started spinning, I realized that knitting took less yarn than crochet, so I started back on the knitting! (Since I was making the yarn I was using for my crafts, I decided to be efficient.) Then I realized that weaving took even less yarn, so I started weaving on a rigid heddle loom, then a triangle and square loom. All the while, I was still crocheting and knitting a bit.

    Then my grandmother passed away, and I inherited all her knitting supplies. I decided to concentrate more on knitting to work through my feelings, and it sort of took over. There was no turning back–I’ve become a knitter. Socks are my favorite, but lace is a close second. I no longer spin all my own yarn–I couldn’t keep up with the demand!–but I still love to make a project from scratch.

    I’ve cross stitched some, and I can do acceptable embroidery. I’ve made several quilts, and I can sew freehand or from a pattern. But crocheting, knitting and spinning are my true loves.

  27. When I was a child, I loved to sew, knit, crochet, and do anything 70’s-crafty. Embroidery, cross-stitch, needlepoint, paint-by-number, and ended up with horses (thanks, Mom!) and even 4-H sheep! To this day my Dad won’t give up his macrame wall-hanging with a macrame owl in it.

    Got really busy in computers in college and professionally, but eventually returned to … gardening, knitting, a touch of crochet. Then I discovered spinning! Wow! spinning, felting (needle and wet), dyeing, fiber processing, nalbinding, weaving, kumihimo, you name it I love it. I try everything! But I keep coming back to fiber processing, spinning, and knitting as my trinity. I’d love to dye and weave more, just there aren’t enough hours in the day for my fibery pursuits.

    I suppose I could “give up” the sourdough starter and its upkeep, but we do love the bread and English Muffins, not to mention the occasional carrot cake it turns out!

    It’s a fine balance, and I’m always interested to see how the next new thing will impact it.

  28. I started out with cross stitch when I was 9 or 10. I did a lot of that for 7 or 8 years and then got out of the mood. I still have all of my cross stitch supplies, but I haven’t quite gotten back in the mood. I’ve got 2 or 3 unfinished projects waiting on me.

    My mom taught me to crochet when I was 12 or 13, but I was never real good at that and I don’t think the yarns were very enticing to me back then either. I could make an afghan with one straight side and one side that kept getting wider and wider. I gave that up. About a year ago, I decided to teach myself to knit so that I could make a gift for my brother’s first child. So, I started out making one afghan, then another and then a baby sweater and on and on. I’ve been hooked every since. I find it very soothing. After I started knitting, I found some of my grandmothers knitting supplies. It’s interesting to see some of the packaging from her knitting needles from the 40’s or 50’s ($1.75 for size 11 circular knitting needles. 59 cents for a pair of straight needles) I’m going to re-try crochet soon to see if maybe I’ll like it better this time around.

    Over the years, I’ve also done some latch hook, sewing (a few pieces of clothing), crewel, gallery glass, glass painting, beading, polymer clay (I made my own beads for bracelets for a while), and stenciling. I like to try out different stuff. I still bead on occasion, but knitting is more fun.

  29. My Mom taught me how to crochet. I did that for a few years and then learned counted cross stitch. I did that for a number of years. I still have a ton of books around the house. I don’t think that I will pick that up with the passion that I used to have. I dabbled in quilting for a bit. I took a class at the local quilt shop it was a block a month except it never got finished because the quilt shop closed. I haven’t touched the quilt blocks since. Then last year, I taught myself how to knit. That kind of got put on the back burner for awhile while I finished school Now that school’s done, I’ve picked up knitting again and have become very passionate about it. Ok, passionate isn’t the word I’m looking for but maybe addicting is more like it. Out of all the needlework hobbies I have tried knitting is the one that I like the best!

  30. I used to sew a great deal when my girls were little-one was tall and thin for her age and one was short and chubby-hard to find ready made clothes to fit them! I also used to cross-stitch,but now my old eyes don’t want to see the charts or those teeny-tiny squares very well anymore. I’m glad I taught myself to knit a few years ago-especially sock knitting! I think I’d go nuts(loopy?) without something to do.

  31. I started as a young child watching my neighbors mother embrodering and I always wanted to do that, but no one in my family did any kind of crafts besides ceramics, which my sis and I and mother all did together, as we took classes, ohh, that was so fun, will always have fond memories of that time.

    So thru out the years I have tried so many things, latch hooked rugs, sewing, wool applique(penny rugs) primitive wood working, primitive doll making, primitive stitching embrodiery, florals, a liitle bit of crochet, and quilting, as I managed a quilt shop for years, talk about a great job, then finially knitting.

    I am completly addicted to knitting and all the beautiful yarns. It goes everywhere with me. I love the fact that it is so portable and so relaxing. I love being able to sit in the same room with my hubby and knit, instead of being in a separate room sewing.

  32. Knitting came first – my aunt taught me when I was six. But since then I have had a go at anything and everything crafty at least once, lol. But the ones that have stuck are knitting, quilting, and digital scrapbooking. I also like to make my own earrings etc occasionally and I have a couple of finished and framed tapestries hanging in the house.

    I started out knitting jerseys etc but I adore sock yarn and made it my goal to learn how to knit socks this year. Now I fear I am hopelessly addicted and am deriving immense pleasure and relaxation from my five sticks and luscious yarns!

  33. Poor DH would always cringe when I decided to teach myself something new, because he knew that I would need all the “tools” that went along with said hobby. I think I’ve run out of things to learn at this point (new ones that interest me), so unless I take up blacksmithing, he’s safe.

    What do I do? Hm… crochet, knit, cross-stitch, embroidery, lace-making, tatting, spinning, weaving, sewing, quilting, tailoring, beadwork, leather work, and probably some more I’ve forgotten. Knitting is my favorite curl-up-in-the-giant-recliner-that-is-the-only-chair-big-enough-to-hold-my-big-ass (as well as being oh so portable – the knitting, that is), and quilting (for when I want to cut out hundreds of tiny pieces and sew them back together, making sure that all my points are perfect) and then hand quilting the finished top. Yeah, I’m extremely anal when it comes to perfectionism.

    When I was taught how to knit and crochet, the mantra was, “If the back doesn’t look as good as the front, rip it out!” I ripped a lot. But it paid off. Now I teach a lot of knitting classes (especially to beginners), and socks are my fave thing to do/teach. So many gorgeous yarns out there (ask Sheri – I have all her gorgeous yarns, I think). I’m also a retired pastry chef – cooking was one of the things I learned along with all the needlework. Now I eat McDonald’s and Sara Lee, much to the chagrin of DH, who would kill if I baked him some bread or made Napoleans.

    Off to start on the cuffs of my latest toe-up pair of socks. I need that big chair right about now.

    Pam in California, where we still need much more rain and aren’t getting it

  34. my fiber arts time line has gone like this: i learned how to crochet when i was little, dabbled in sewing as a teenager, started quilting and doing free form embroidery after i got married at age 23, started knitting when we bought our first house, which was too tiny for quilting, started dyeing yarn a little over a year ago, just learned how to spin a month ago, next up is needle felting and weaving. i’ve pretty much never met a fiber related pass time i didn’t love šŸ™‚

  35. I’m just a knitter. I may have taken a stab or two at counted cross stitch, crochet, and sewing, but I’m just a knitter now. Only so much time in a day. =)

  36. I learned to crochet in 6th grade when I broke my leg and had a full length leg cast. My mom had someone come teach me to crochet to keep me from going crazy šŸ™‚ But once the cast came off, I put down that crochet hook for good! In college I started cross-stitching and LOVED it. Did many many projects. And then I had kids! I barely had time to go to the bathroom some days, let alone cross-stitch!! I did a little sewing for them in the early years…mainly sweatpants and sweatshirts and some cute little ‘onsies’ when they were real little. Seems like forever ago now. Learned to knit just a few years ago and am hooked!! And have Sheri to thank for it! šŸ™‚

  37. You’ve heard of the saying “Jack of all trades master of none” well I consider myself a “Jane of all crafts master of none” There’s nonthing and I mean nothing I haven’t tried when it comes to needle crafts and crafts in general but I’ve had my favorites and the ones I stick with longer if not forever. I love knitting it’s my favorite. When I was in Jr. High I was introducted to Huck Weaving in home ec. class. I had a passion for it for many years and will occasionaly make a table covering for my home or a friends. Cross-Stitch was my passion in highschool. I remember thinking I would create all the wall covering I would need for my home when I get married. (Please no comments I know how pathetic) I also learned to sew in high school and to this day sew many things each year. Lately I have had request after request for American Girl or 18″ doll clothes from my neices. I enjoy machine sewing quilt tops but I don’t enjoy hand quilting at all. I love red work, chicken scratch and embordry. I could go on forever but won’t bore you. The one thing I have never tired and would love an oportunity just to see how it’s done and what it’s like is tatting.


  38. I started crocheting, knitting and sewing garments all when I was around 9 or so. I kept up will all of those off an on over the years and did a little cross stitch too now and then. In college I had a sewing friend who said that quilting was not as hard as I had been thinking it was, so I tried that and loved it too. I’ve been wanting to do some rug hooking and even have a book on it, but our house is too small to put them anywhere so I’m waiting until we move. I used to do something called french flower beading where you put tiny glass beads on wires and sculpt them into flowers. I learned to spin this past year and love that, and now I’m shopping for a used loom to start weaving too. I also enjoy making mosaic tile things as my non fibery art form šŸ™‚

  39. Wow! I don’t know where to start. I think i’ve tried just about everything. Crocheting, cross stitch, needlepoint, rug hooking, yarn flowers on round looms (and many other things which escape my memory) have not stayed with me.

    Those which have stayed with me; sewing, my own clothes since about age 10 and much more (including about eight wedding gowns); knitting, don’t really remember at what age I first learned, it’s been on and off over the years (now on, and will stay on!); tatting, taught myself in high school; spinning, taught myself at age 23; weaving, followed spinning. These are the things I love! I have also fortunate to have many tatting and spinning students.

  40. Hmmm. does one needle art always lead to another?

    I started when I was little. I always watched my mom sewing. She made matching outfits for me and my sister but when my sister outgrew hers I got the hand-me-downs so I wore the same thing for years it seemed like. I remember trying to make pants for my bear and since he was a sitting bear they did not work very well.

    Then my mom taught me to crochet. All i made then was a rectangle that I crocheted from icky white acrylic scrap yarn and ripped and crocheted over and over again. Needless to say I wasn’t impressed.

    I also cross-stiched but I can’t remember one project that I ever finished. I saw my mom make some really beautiful designs and I wanted to do some. When I was in 7th grade my sister was pregnant and I wanted to make my nephew a bib but I never finished.

    Then after I got married and moved 3000 miles away from home we lived with my grandmother-in law. She does everything. She practically poops out afgans regularly. It’s really rather disgusting. She did manage to teach me to knit in between her afgans, and cross-stitching, and ornament making, and crocheting, and everythinhg else. And I added one more unfinished cross-stitch to my collection during my time there.

    Will I ever learn the my and cross-stitch just dont mix? Maybe it is that I dont pay enough attention to my cross-stitch and make mistakes. And I really hate pulling out cross-stitch so it ends up at the back of my closet. But now I am obsessed with knitting and I do finish those projects. šŸ™‚

  41. What fun to read all the comments! I did somehow get a Girl Scout badge in embroidery, and I learned to sew when I was in high school, but I’ve always preferred to mess around with yarn. My grandmother taught me to knit when I was 7 or 8. Knitting was fine. I loved knitting. Then she tried to teach me to purl and I wouldn’t have any part of it! Made lots of garter stitch bags (this was back in the Golden Age of Acrylic, they were ugly but sturdy). Let it all slip when I was in college. At work I got to know a girl who made jewelry, so that had my attention for a while and I still dabble in that now and then. A few years ago a friend opened a shop that sold yarn (among other things) and tired to teach me to crochet. I couldn’t get the hang of that, but I remembered that I had once known how to knit. I found my old needles and it all came back to me, and this time I taught myself to purl! Now I have to sneak my yarn purchases into the house so my family doesn’t roll their eyes and groan, “More yarn?” I love sock knitting, it’s the most relaxing kindof knitting for me, and thanks to Sheri, I have lots (too much?) of lovely yarn for it!

  42. It’s interesting to see all the different paths people have taken! Here’s mine:

    My mom ran a cross-stitch shop in her “spare time” while she raised 5 kids and worked full time as a biotherapeutic researcher. (I don’t know what this means. I was little, then.) I picked it up, and would cross stitch while I hung out at the YMCA after school. Eventually it got to where the project wasn’t portable anymore, so I never finished anything except one flower with a ladybug on it. I had been drawing all my life, so I hit college and got my painting degree. In my junior year I discovered knitting, and knit a few of the projects in my senior show! Now I knit all the time, obviously. The painting (my emphasis) has fallen away, which saddens me a little, but I still draw a lot and use scratchboard, as well as taking photos and some other “arty” stuff!

  43. I learned to sew and knit at the same time (one Grandma owned a fabric shop & my Mum sewed, the other Grandma knit, crocheted and did embroidery work). Sewing stuck the most, it seemed faster, but I always had a scarf or something on needles somewhere. Seamstressing while kiddies were small took the fun out of it and counted cross became and addiction (I could open a shop with what I have stashed) and then two years ago, a knit project here and there became, I can’t leave the house without a bit of knitting – I knit like some people chain-smoke :)! A little quilting, a little needlepoint, making jewellery but knitting is my biggest “thing”.

  44. Anything with color in it… took me 38yrs to realize this. I work part time at a quiltshop. I am a natural at anything with a needle and thread. I have done it all from leathercraft to tatting. Didn’t care much for bobbin lace, or broomstick lace. But pretty much everything else I still HAVE (sigh!) and enjoy. Spinning is my favorite, then knitting, it all depends on my instant gratification level as to what I am working on. Started college in the commercial art dept. and it went from there. Embroidery and crochet have been with me since kindergarten, beadwork since gradeschool, cross-stitch and quilting since high-school, the rest I have learned on the road here. DH still swears photography and writing are my best…..but what does he know? I suppose he thinks he is getting a pair of handknit socks for his birthday too….lol! (gotta love him…he needs some cookies–lol!). Oh look MORE snow…hmm!

  45. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I started weaving when I was about five. It took years for me to make the connection between the loopy dishrag weaving toy with the 36-inch 8-shaft floor loom I currently use, but there it is.

    First I wove. Then I took up: sewing, embroidery, macrame, needlepoint, rug hooking, counted cross-stitch, crocheting, making those knotted friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss, then knitting and finally, proper weaving.

    Of that list, the activities that remain are: sewing, counted cross-stitch, crocheting, knitting and weaving. Add to that surface design (painting on silk/cotton), dyeing yarn and fabric, and spinning and there you have it. I love knitting socks about the best, and weaving is my meditation. Cross-stitch lay dormant for nearly 20 years and I just recently dug it out a week ago and returned to it. This semester, I’m taking classes in weaving and surface design and it’s hard to get me to go HOME. šŸ™‚

  46. Funny, we have travelled in much the same artsy pattern.
    KNITTING in high school – taught myself from a ‘teach yourself’ book with metal Boye needles from Benjamin Franklin dime store. Made some hideous tunic type thing out of pink and maroon acrylic… probably Red Heart as that was all there was back then in the dark ages. Didn’t stick with it needless to say. CROSS STITCH (remember all those ‘country’ blue things and geese all over every flippin pattern?). The usual gamut… tea towels, little ornaments, ONE Christmas placement (beautiful I must say) and still owe mom the other 3 from about 20 years ago. Did one sampler which I did like very much but took approximately 8 years. Have a nice collection of threads to show for it. QUILTING – took a class on hand piecing and embroidery from a good teacher and did very well with that for awhile. Made a little sampler quilt. Developed an equisite fabric collection from ‘real’ quilt shops. My mom has those now. Finally back to KNITTING. I too do not plan on wandering. This is the one thing I have always loved and keep thinking of. I get my quilt satisfaction by helping mom pick project fabrics and contributing to her stash. She makes whatever I want and I knit for her so we are happy. :>)

  47. I learned to knit at the age of 4 which was also the same time that I learned embroidery. My mother is a machine sewer but I never developed a love for the sewing machine. I always preferred hand work. I learned to cross stitch in high school. I had always done embroidery up until that point. I have done counted thread and needlepoint over the years. I prefer counted needlepoint over all of the various fabric stitching that I have done. I am also a quilter but I have to be in the mood to quilt though. But today’s weather is making me think of pulling out a quilt that is about 2/3’s of the way hand quilted. It is nice and warm. That may may what I end up doing for part of the afternoon provided my hands are up to it. (My hands and winter do not get along.)

  48. When I was a child, I did the typical crafts. Rug Hooking, Pot Loops. Eventually I became interested in Cross Stitch and Needlepoint. They faded away as I grew older. I remember my grandmother and my mother both tried to teach me to knit and I had no interest what so ever. Then about a year or so ago, I caught a bug. The Knitting Bug. I don’t know what made me want to learn, but I knew I had to do it. I took to it like a fish in water. I have long surpassed my knitty mentor and we now sit and knit together for hours on end and we teach each other new things now. I don’t think I will ever be without knitting for the rest of my life. It is the most relaxing thing I know to do after a long hard day. šŸ™‚

  49. i’ve been sewing since i was five years old. my mom taught me how, and i learned alongside my childhood best friend who was daughter of my mom’s sewing buddy ( me and her were friends first, and then our mom’s met.) i sewed my own toys from recycled bits of fabric found all over the house.
    when i got older i did some beading for bracelets, went to poly clay, i did some quilting, i have three i am still trying to finish.
    I knit, mostly in the winter because i prefer to stay inside and knitting is warm. in the summer i make jewelry, because i can do that anywhere, and i don’t have pounds of wool on my lap.

  50. i learned to crochet when i was 5. i still do that, and am actually quite fast at it. when michaels was having their speed crochet contest, i won. of course, i crochet loosely, so my swatches were twice the size of the other gals, but that was ok, lol. i learned to knit at 10. obviously, i still do that, too. never stopped. i learned to spin 5 years ago. i adore spinning, and have even started selling my handspun on etsy.
    i can sew (i make the kids halloween costumes every year), and have quilted, but don’t particularly care for it. i’ve also beaded a bit (participated in a beaded stitch marker swap). i’ve even done a bit of decoupage. but knitting & spinning are my big loves.

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