Where it started
Posted on 16 September 2015
It’s been nearly 10 years ago since I started knitting. This is quite a significant milestone as so much has happened in my life after learning how to make connected loops using pointy sticks.
I started knitting when I became pregnant with my son Thom as I needed something to do to help me from going mad. My gran was delighted by this turn in my crafting hobbies and did all she could to enable me, which meant giving me 7 large boxes of yarn.
I started to work through these boxes, as well as starting to build my own stash and knitted my way through Baby Knits for beginners by Debbie Bliss. This book was great to start out with as the patterns were nice and simple and easy to make. I’ve still got these initial pieces and my son still loves the blanket I made for him.
As I grew more confident with my knitting I started to explore other patterns and magazines. Yarn Forward was one of these magazines in it’s first year of publishing. In one issue was an article about weaving on a rigid heddle loom. It said that weaving was easy and a great way to get through your stash. As my grans stash was still being big in a corner of the house I thought this sounded like a great idea and bought my first rigid heddle loom. After lots of reading on the internet and a few books I got it warped and rather quickly found how fast and fun weaving was.
At the same time I was getting more experimental with my knitting and starting to design my own things and decided to start selling them, with the odd handwoven item too, at local craft fairs. This is where I discovered that making things quickly and charging appropriately is key and that weaving seemed to fill this need more than knitting.
I was also making great friends through going to knit nights and a community of knitters, weavers, and dyers was forming along the Clyde coast.
As my knowledge of weaving grew I knew that I wanted a multi-shaft loom and instead of going the easy route and getting a table loom, I bought a second hand 8 shaft 10 treadle on The Loom Exchange and drove it down from Stonehaven with the sides on top of my car. This loom was scary as it was a huge jump from a rigid heddle. Taking my time, studying books and the internet, I finally got it warped up and when I sat down to weave for the first time it felt like this is what I was always meant to do.
Now 5 years on from getting my table loom I have my own business, studio, a few more looms, and have a fantastic wide circle of yarn friends, colleagues in fellow yarn-related businesses, students, and lovely clients who I would not have met at all if I hadn’t picked up those 2 knitting needles and tried to figure out how to wrap the yarn around them.
It’s great how such simple things can make such big life changes.
If you’ve got any stories about those small moments of inspiration that have now changed your life forever I’d love to hear them.