Knitting needs little introduction. Unlike many of the other crafts I enjoy, knitting has never lost its popularity, and everyone who wants to learn knows someone who can teach. If you fear you can’t do it, I assure you, you can if you want to. I tried to learn from a friend when I was about ten, made a tiny swatch which grew tighter and tighter, and when I could no longer force my needle into it, gave it up and spent the next twelve years saying, “I can’t knit—I’ve tried.”

Then, when I was twenty-two, I worked nights in a bakery for awhile. Bakeries tend to be unevenly paced. Sometimes you’re dashing around working your head off, and sometimes you’re sitting and waiting for one batch to rise and another to come out of the oven, and there’s nothing to do. In a magazine article about 100 things you can make for Christmas, I saw a man’s sweater with a pretty colored pattern across the chest. I said, “I think I’ll make that for my fiancé for Christmas!”

So I got out my ancient “Aunt Lydia’s Learn to Knit” booklet, ca 1950, looked carefully at the pictures to figure out how to hold my needles and which way to make the yarn go . . . and made the sweater. Mostly in between batches of bread at the bakery.

I’m still knitting!


I don’t even know how old I was when my mother taught me to crochet. During the years I believed I couldn’t knit, I crocheted instead. I’ve crocheted all kinds of things, but here’s an interesting factoid.

I’ve never crocheted an afghan!

Can you truly consider yourself a crocheter if you’ve never crocheted an afghan?