My hostess Bobbi asked us to answer a couple of questions:
1) How old were you when you learned how to knit?
2) Who taught you?
Number two is a really easy one, and the answer is the same as that of so many knitters': my granny. She is my father's mother, and has always been the black sheep of the family: radical (that is: went to town and to work in a factory when everybody else stayed in the countryside...), colourful (loves red), positive ("We'll always manage") and got a child outside marriage in the 40s and fought for child support from the father in a court of law in the early 50s. That's my Mamma :) She's also been the center of my life for thirty years.
In 1975 my brother was born, mum stayed at home for couple of months and my granny got run over by a car on her way to work. As a result she had to retire as she couldn't work any longer and she had her leg in a full length cast for... well, I can't remember how long, but it felt like the whole summer. My best friend (I was five) always travelled to her granny's for the whole summer and I was left alone with nothing to do - I didn't even know how to read.... So, because my granny crocheted all the time, she taught me to do it as well. And I loved it. But my mum didn't crochet - she knit - and I wanted to be like her....
I'm not sure when I learnt to knit - I suppose I was six or seven - , but my granny and mum taught me together and I seem to remember that it caused some arguments - they had differences of opinion in some matters... For example, my granny never, if it could be avoided, knit heels. Never. So, granny knit the legs, and my mum took the ready legs to work (she was a nurse and worked night shifts) and knit the heels.
This however is my first knitted "garment". Well, actually it is supposed to be a doll's or barbie's blanket. It has felted a bit during the last 30 odd years.
Every Finnish girl (or boy, if he chooses the "right" field of craft) learns to knit at school. We made mittens at the age of ten - I have no recollection of them. But I do remember hating thumbs for years. The next year we made socks. My first socks have been lost ages ago, but they were green with a couple of red stripes. And those are still my favourite colours :) I knitted my first sweater when I was in junior high (maybe 14-15 years old). It was bright blue and the teacher when knitting that was my step mother (now ex-step mother).
These are the only knitted barbie clothes that I have left. There are also some crocheted ones and some horrific sown ones - I still don't like sewing as much as knitting or crocheting. The sweater on the top is really nicely done, so it must be the newest. The red skirt and poncho are still clear in my memory, because they had been worn only once when my silly little brother poured some juice on them and they had to washed - felted once again. The weird looking lilac-greenish thing is trousers.... They were really hard to dress on the barbies.
I'm forever thankful to the all the ladies in my family - well in the extended families of my mother, father and step mother - they all had and still have craft (knitting, crochet, bobbin lace, weaving - you name it) in their blood! Well, actually the older generation does. The young ones - younger than me - don't knit or anything else so much any longer. But maybe that'll change with age.