A Knitting Inheritance

I have some of my late grandmother’s knitting needles

I’ve been thinking about my late grandmother (Nan) quite a bit recently. I was sorting out my knitting needles the other week (which is a whole new post in itself) and in amongst them are a good many that belonged to her.

I mentioned in my post Another Kind of Yarn that I was busy editing my friend’s book. I came across these lines she’d written in her third book (working title:When All Else Fails)

Even stitches, 

Don’t pull too tight, 

Take pride in what you are doing

One of the characters is stitching and as he works he thinks back and fondly remembers the wise words of the woman who taught him. That got me thinking about Nan, who taught me to knit and crochet. I remember my mother showing me how to knit too, and how to sew, but Nan was the great knitter of the family.

She always had knitting on the go and my brother, my cousins and I had jumpers and cardigans in every colour of the rainbow. With the leftover yarn she’d knit garter stitch squares and make them up into colourful blankets, which were used at my grandparents caravan, by the river at Corbridge.

Nan taught me how to crochet when I was about 8 years old and I picked it up pretty quickly, though she was always telling me that the way I held the hook was all wrong! I’m pretty sure that she taught my cousins too and they still crochet. She also used to make the most exquisite tatted lace, which was used to edge handkerchiefs.

I love that I still have some of her knitting needles (and crochet hooks too). When I use them it’s reminds me of Nan and what she taught me. It’s great to be part of that wonderful tradition of skills being passed down the generations.

Who taught you to knit/crochet/sew? Have you inherited any of their equipment? Please follow the blog and share your stories.



I live in Northumberland, within sight of the sea and spend my time knitting, crocheting, sewing and trying my hand at different crafts. There's usually a story to share about the things I make.

7 thoughts on “A Knitting Inheritance

  1. I have similar needles I got from my grandmothers. I was taught to knit by mother and grandmother when I was 4 or 5. They knit occasionally when I was a child. I remember my father’s mother knitting afghans when I was little. I didn’t know until I was an adult that she learned in her 60’s to knit.
    My mother knit argyle socks during WW2. Unfortunately she kept knitting single socks and never knit a pair. Years later my grandmother was working in a nursing home and a patient complained that his foot was cold. He had lost a leg at some point. My grandmother remembered the mismatched argyle socks and brought them to him. He was thrilled. It’s one of my favorite story of hand knits finding their rightful owne.


  2. Lovely Jackie! I too have some of Nan’s needles and crochet hooks, kept in her old sewing box which I inherited from my parents. Do you remember we all had matching bonnets as kids, knitted by Nan! Also twinsets!! I have a couple of old thimbles which I believe were hers too! Such wonderful memories … those blankets at the caravan 🙂 x


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