I Selftaught me How to Knit

Sunita Giri 9:07 AM |



Rachana my twelve year old niece asked me last year when I visited my brother during dashain, where did you learn knitting ? When I was in Bal Mandir, was my response. How old were you when you learned this, she was curious, I said I was younger than you. By the time I was your age I was already wearing the sweater I made.

Her question sent me back in my memory lane. I remember learning the art of knitting  when I was too young to remember how old I was. As for the needle, we used to use broomsticks in the beginning. Slowly we started using fence wire and then in later years if we were lucky to get the broken umbrella we used to get the straight wire that came from it. Sharpening the sides of needles was hardest task and if its fence wire then straightening it was equally tougher part of it, yet we did it for a simple reason; because we did not have money to buy a needle.

As for the wool, I remember using all thrown wool which came from the room where they made sweaters from machine. or all the used and old wools. There used to be hundreds of knots in one mufflers and and it was not so good looking mix of wool and its combination. It's really hard to remember where all that wool came from when it comes to learning knitting when we were too young to keep safely even our works. It was then when I was under ten. Although, I can't remember for sure, but by the time I was ten I got my needle and then i was making sweater for me.

One thing I remember very clear when all other around me was busy making mufflers and sweater I was busy self teaching me the complex art of perfecting gloves. I had mastered it but not I don't make much gloves as I hardly use it. Mastering how to make glove is one of the toughest work in needle work.

When I grew up [ I was still not in my teen years then]  more, I saw some foreigners coming and teaching a group of girls about fine starting and finishing with some handy techniques to make socks, caps and sweaters along with some good patterns. That changed our entire belief in how to make a sweater. It was really good because I was still young enough to adopt the new ideas and implement it in my knitting works. The old way of starting and finishing sweater was not that fine as much as we knew before those foreigners [ I can't remember whether they were Koreans, Americans or Japanese] came to teach some young girls.  I was not in that group, but I asked them to teach me what they have learned. Good news was one of my best friend was in that group of girl who was in the learning team. You can call it a very good environment to learn, as it had that kind of environment  where everyone taught a skill to all those who were interested to learn it.

The best part of that time was, there was no television, computer or mobile to distract us  when we were learning it. It was just another way to keep us busy, be creative and use our time wisely. It was open for those who wanted to learn it and closed for those who were not interested in it. No one was going to pressure anyone, if you don't like it. And there was plenty of other works to learn if you were not interested to learn knitting. For me knitting was better than sewing or plucking weeds from vegetables gardens.

As I grew up I was more interested in knitting. One day, I found me in a selected group of knitting group, who were polished more to knit sweaters and gloves what used to keep on sale for royal or other influential people of the society during royal visit. During one of those years, I  remember the white sweater I knitted was the main attraction of the exhibition when there was a royal visit. It was kept in the center of hall and when there was royal figure I was pointed as the maker of this sweater [sadly, I do not never how proud I was at that time]. And in another time the baby pink glove I made was selected as a gift for a queen’s birthday. The house mother Kedar Shrestha, who used to run this knitting class after school did not like me much on a personal level, but she simply could not rule me out for my fine hand when it comes to knitting, not even if she wanted to.

One thing is very hard to remember for me is who taught me to put my first loops on broomstick or who helped me to knit first. What was my age when I started learning knitting.  I can't even remember one single answer of all the above questions. I was way too young to remember all this. In my vague memory, I self taught me watching other people knitting. Everyone used to knit during winter time. So, I did it. It was the perfect way to  pass time when there used to be long winter vacation which lasted almost two months. Long winter vacation in a time where there was no Televison, Internet, computer and Mobile to kill time. I am so thankful there was no distraction when I was trying to  learn something useful  art and creative skill.  

Therefore, I think Rachana at thirteen this year, is bit late when it comes to learning knitting. The right time must be eight or seven; Or may be younger than that to start it. Long before we can remember who taught us.  I not remember being super bright as a knitter when I started but I was not super dull at the same time. With some exception there are very few patterns I can't learn fast. Some I never try to learn as it fails to get my interest on it.

But more I Knit more people know me as super talented knitter. I am not talented I am just the one who loves knitting and find more ways to knit fast as well as beautiful work. Knitting is something we can create in hours or a week and then wear it for more than ten years.


Rachana my twelve year old niece asked me last year when I visited my brother during dashain, where did you learn knitting ? When I was in Bal Mandir, was my response. How old were you when you learned this, she was curious, I said I was younger than you. By the time I was your age I was already wearing the sweater I made.

Her question sent me back in my memory lane. I remember learning the art of knitting  when I was too young to remember how old I was. As for the needle, we used to use broomsticks in the beginning. Slowly we started using fence wire and then in later years if we were lucky to get the broken umbrella we used to get the straight wire that came from it. Sharpening the sides of needles was hardest task and if its fence wire then straightening it was equally tougher part of it, yet we did it for a simple reason; because we did not have money to buy a needle.

As for the wool, I remember using all thrown wool which came from the room where they made sweaters from machine. or all the used and old wools. There used to be hundreds of knots in one mufflers and and it was not so good looking mix of wool and its combination. It's really hard to remember where all that wool came from when it comes to learning knitting when we were too young to keep safely even our works. It was then when I was under ten. Although, I can't remember for sure, but by the time I was ten I got my needle and then i was making sweater for me.

One thing I remember very clear when all other around me was busy making mufflers and sweater I was busy self teaching me the complex art of perfecting gloves. I had mastered it but not I don't make much gloves as I hardly use it. Mastering how to make glove is one of the toughest work in needle work.

When I grew up [ I was still not in my teen years then]  more, I saw some foreigners coming and teaching a group of girls about fine starting and finishing with some handy techniques to make socks, caps and sweaters along with some good patterns. That changed our entire belief in how to make a sweater. It was really good because I was still young enough to adopt the new ideas and implement it in my knitting works. The old way of starting and finishing sweater was not that fine as much as we knew before those foreigners [ I can't remember whether they were Koreans, Americans or Japanese] came to teach some young girls.  I was not in that group, but I asked them to teach me what they have learned. Good news was one of my best friend was in that group of girl who was in the learning team. You can call it a very good environment to learn, as it had that kind of environment  where everyone taught a skill to all those who were interested to learn it.

The best part of that time was, there was no television, computer or mobile to distract us  when we were learning it. It was just another way to keep us busy, be creative and use our time wisely. It was open for those who wanted to learn it and closed for those who were not interested in it. No one was going to pressure anyone, if you don't like it. And there was plenty of other works to learn if you were not interested to learn knitting. For me knitting was better than sewing or plucking weeds from vegetables gardens.

As I grew up I was more interested in knitting. One day, I found me in a selected group of knitting group, who were polished more to knit sweaters and gloves what used to keep on sale for royal or other influential people of the society during royal visit. During one of those years, I  remember the white sweater I knitted was the main attraction of the exhibition when there was a royal visit. It was kept in the center of hall and when there was royal figure I was pointed as the maker of this sweater [sadly, I do not never how proud I was at that time]. And in another time the baby pink glove I made was selected as a gift for a queen’s birthday. The house mother Kedar Shrestha, who used to run this knitting class after school did not like me much on a personal level, but she simply could not rule me out for my fine hand when it comes to knitting, not even if she wanted to.

One thing is very hard to remember for me is who taught me to put my first loops on broomstick or who helped me to knit first. What was my age when I started learning knitting.  I can't even remember one single answer of all the above questions. I was way too young to remember all this. In my vague memory, I self taught me watching other people knitting. Everyone used to knit during winter time. So, I did it. It was the perfect way to  pass time when there used to be long winter vacation which lasted almost two months. Long winter vacation in a time where there was no Television, Internet, computer and Mobile to kill time. I am so thankful there was no distraction when I was trying to  learn something useful  art and creative skill.  

Therefore, I think Rachana at thirteen this year, is bit late when it comes to learning knitting. The right time must be eight or seven; Or may be younger than that to start it. Long before we can remember who taught us.  I not remember being super bright as a knitter when I started but I was not super dull at the same time. With some exception there are very few patterns I can't learn fast. Some I never try to learn as it fails to get my interest on it.

But more I Knit more people know me as super talented knitter. I am not talented I am just the one who loves knitting and find more ways to knit fast as well as beautiful work. Knitting is something we can create in hours or a week and then wear it for more than ten years.

1 comment:

Bhawana said...

No doubt Sunita jee, you are a super talented knitter:-) ;-) Keep smiling many children around the country:-)

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