Friday, 28 December 2012

My Crafty Inspiration

Nature or Nurture?

It's an age old dispute isn't it, but I do wonder, would I be crafty if it weren't for my mum? Did I inherit crafty genes from her? Or was it the way she brought me up and the fact she was always knitting, crocheting and to a lesser extent sewing and embroidering?

My mum (who is sadly no longer with us) taught me to knit at about the age of 6, may be even 5! A year or so later she taught me to crochet. When I was a child one of my most favourite things to do was to go through her knitting patterns, mostly from the 1960s - unfortunately they have long since disappeared, but I would have loved them in my vintage collection now.

Anyway, I had a look through some old photos to see what evidence of crafting I could find.

Here's me and brother I was aged 5 here and you can see my brother's granny square pram blanket - which I later added to when I learnt to crochet a few years later. I do remember my mum teaching me how to make a pompom for my brother's pram when he was born, I was 4 then and it was my first crafty experience.

Our cat relaxing on a granny square cushion cover. 

My lovely red and white granny stripe bobble hat. I usually wore it with a red and white coat from C & A - as you can see from the photo below taken in the mid 1970s at Tintagel in Cornwall.  

My brother relaxing on the obligatory 1970s swivel chair - complete with a hand knit cardie which - if memory serves me correct - was made from yarn unravelled from jumpers bought at a jumble sale - times were 'ard! And we were environmentally friendly with our recycling!

You can just about see my loopy jacket in the bottom left. That's me at a Flintlock concert back in the late 70s. 

Slightly more stylish here - me in a Starsky style cardie - posing by my Ipswich Town wall (I support West Ham now - just for the record).

I still have this fab batwing jumper my mum made me in about 1980 - I've never really worn it but I can't throw it out, even though it's far too small for me now.

One of my early makes - an Ipswich Town scarf that I wore everywhere until I started supporting West Ham - long story! That's me and my cousin in Scotland.

My mum used to make both of us crocheted dresses - you can just make out a lemon one worn by my cousin in the next photo.

Nature or Nurture? Whatever - I would like to thank my mum for inspiring me from a young age:) Cheers mum x


  1. Fantastic photographs and Craft hunt. Your Bro was a spoiled little soul wasn't he...lording it in his jumble sale knit! I can remember crinkly skeins of unraveled being was and hung to dry the crimps out. Maybe that could be the destiny of the unworn batwing? It may like to become a nice wearable waistcoat? I now have the wantsies for a Starsky cool is that! xxx

    1. Oh I had forgotten about crinkly skeins of unravelled yarn:) x

  2. My Mam was a great knitter and invented her own Aran patterns ... Sadly she died when I was 12 and I could never manage to knit ... She was also an upholsteress and i can't sew either! I wish I'd been patient enough to let her teach me both skills, as I'd love to have them now. I have inherited her make do and mend ethos though ... Hence Thriftwood!

    Love your reminiscent post and thanks for sharing!

    Love Claire xxx

    1. Upholstery skills would certainly be useful wouldn't they. Especially in these times of upcycling. x

  3. What a lovely tribute to your mom! x

  4. Your mom obviously put so much love into all her beautiful work. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I definitely think it's in the genes. I started knitting at age 5. My mum had knitted all her skirts, dresses, jumpers and carries in the 40s and 50s. When mass produced clothing became available, she abandoned knitting. She taught me, but we never knitted together. At 87, she prefers a good book to a good knit.

    1. Wow 87 - at her age she has the right to choose:) x


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