Farewell Summer...

For some, the cool mornings, shortened days, and leaves tinged in gold and russet are the death knells of summer. As children, those omens meant a return to structure, cracking the spines of new textbooks and buffing jet-black oxford shoes. For me, there were uniforms to be starched and taken in and knee socks to be purchased. Now, as an adult, they move me to say goodbye to the lightheartedness of summer and prepare myself for the gravitas of the winter season; I'm often eager to see the hot weather and blockbuster movies replaced by "serious films" and woolly sweaters. There is one thing I'm always sad to say goodbye to...

This weekend marked my last of the season at the summer cottage where I learned to knit.

Lake Blaisdell is a tiny lake (158 acres to be exact) in Southern New Hampshire where my boyfriend's family has spent every summer for over 60 years, maybe even 70. It's where his parents met as children summering together (they recently celebrated their 51st anniversary together). The families in the other cabins also summered there as children and the atmosphere is familial to say the least. Andy often calls it "the commune", only half-jokingly because we're all family there--even me, a relative newcomer. Andy's sister taught me to knit at the lake, and my days are often winnowed away on the beach, surrounded by three generations of knitters sharing laughs, gossip, and licorice from the endless candy supply brought along "for the children". Every time I pick up my needles, I'm reminded of the tradition we as crafters keep alive, not only in my family, but in the world at large.

Until next summer, Lake Blaisdell...

Who taught you how to knit? We want to hear your stories!


  1. I taught myself to knit with a handful of "how-to" books my senior year of high school. I intended knitting to be a portable past time on flights from Colorado to school in Boston. It quickly grew into a much bigger part of my life.

    Knitting in my family skipped two generations-- neither my mother nor her mother ever knit. But my great-grandmother was a wonderful knitter, tatter, crocheter and quilter. I'm very proud to inherited all of her supplies.

  2. I learned to crochet as a 4 year old at my father's side - his great-grandmother taught him as a child, while she recounted to him what it was like to have been at the siege of Vicksburg.

    As a grade schooler my left handed maternal grandmother attempted to teach me - she a perfectionist - me, not so much. I drove her nuts so she gave up.

    When I was 19 I got the bug. I HAD to learn how to knit. I asked so many people if they knew how or could teach me how. Couldn't find a single taker. So - back in the day - I pulled out the encyclopedia and lo and behold - how to knit! So, I have Encyclopedia Brittanica to thank for my ability to knit - and the passion for the art that has ensued!

  3. When I was doing my college internship in Flint, MI at a hospital, a young girl in the department I was in was knitting her boyfriend a cardigan. I fell in love with the idea of knitting. That was 1977, in 1990 a girl joined our office crew and was knitting one day and I asked her to teach me, I was sooo happy to finally learn. (thanks Lisa) ;)

  4. My grandmother taught me to knit at that very same lake and it's fun passing along the tradition. She used to say dropping your knitting in the pine needles at the lake made it a better sweater...or pair of mittens...or "imaginary horse reins" (for those few at the lake who pretend not to appreciate the fiber arts ;-)

  5. As a child I was rather sickly...always having Strep throat. Back then the doctor would say "have her lay on the couch for 5 days". So, once when I was sick and about 9 yrs old my Mom bought me a Learn to Knit kit. (She didn't knit). I studied the photos and the script and I did it. I learned to knit. I assumed a style that seemed natural and it wasn't until years later when I was knitting in a group and the other knitters said "what the heck are you doing?" that I realized I was knitting Continental.

  6. My grandma taught me to knit when I was fourteen. The first thing I made was a gold garter stitch scarf with fringe in Red Heart for a friend. For some reason, I didn't learn to purl until years and several garter stitch scarves later...

  7. aww...this is a beautiful get-away, great for knitting retreat! is it open to public ?

    i learn to knit in my teens. whenever i knit while waiting to pick up my daughter from class. I always ended up being ask - why do u knit in such a hot n humid tropical weather like singapore !!!!"

    is there a knit to wear socks here ? do u really need that cardigan ?

    and many many more questions ....

    well......is my HOBBY :)