How 6 Knitting Designers Learned to Knit

We asked six of your favorite knitwear designers how they first came to learn to knit. Their answers were sometime sweet, sometimes silly, and sometimes extremely inspiring!

Holli Yeoh

 “My mum taught me to knit and crochet when I was five. I remember working on potholders for both sets of my grandparents for Christmas that year. My ’dad’s parents received a crocheted potholder in orange and brown stripes (it was the 1970s!). For my ’mum’s parents, I knit an olive green square in garter stitch and my mum sewed on a piece of flower-printed fabric. I also remember knitting a baby-pink scarf, which might have actually been my first knitting project. I carried it around with me all over the neighborhood as I played with my friends. At the end of each row, if my stitch count was wrong, I ran home to have my mum fix my mistake. I remember that some of the rows were rather grey from knitting with grubby hands.”

learn to knit

The Latest from Holli: Blackcomb Cowl
from Garter Stitch Revival

Bristol Ivy

“I started knitting when I was six. I was homeschooled, and part of our curriculum was my mom reading aloud to us. I would fidget the entire time, so she taught me to knit to make me sit still. The first thing I made was a neon variegated acrylic headband in garter stitch and it was terrible. After a few small projects I completely lost interest. It wasn’t until about ten years later—when I was getting ready to go to college—that I became interested again and it was all kind of downhill from there. I spent my entire adolescence being like, ‘Mom, unless you wanna knit me something, this is really dumb.’ But now she’s like, ‘SEE?!’”

The Latest from Bristol: Hyannis Port Pullover
from Wool Studio 2016: A Winter Pattern Collection

Teresa Gregorio

learn to knit “I started knitting around 2002, when I was in my early 20s. I had always enjoyed making things, and some yarn caught my eye during a trip to Walmart with my mother. I thought it was so beautiful, so I decided that I was going to start trying to knit. It was the color of the yarn that drew me in—I’m like a magpie.”

The Latest from Teresa: Cotswold Capelet
from Love of Knitting Fall 2017

Amy Gunderson

“I started knitting…when my husband and I owned a pizza delivery business in Iowa City, Iowa. For the first couple of years we had employees, but we eventually let them all go and ran the business mom and pop style for the last 5 years. I made all the pizza by hand and my husband delivered. Because it takes more time to physically deliver a pizza to someone’s house than it does to cook one, I was left with some free time. I made a bunch of quilts one year and then got it in my head that I wanted to learn to knit.”

learn to knit

The Latest from Amy: Prairie Wind Cardigan
from Interweave Knits Fall 2017

Jennifer Dassau

“Thirteen years ago, when my son was a baby, I decided I wanted to learn to knit. I had always been a maker and sewist, but I needed a more portable activity that didn’t require having to work in a certain place and use a stationary machine. I picked up a “learn to knit” booklet from the big-box craft store, with straight needles and a wool-blend yarn, and taught myself.”


The Latest from Jennifer: Fleet Cardigan
from knitscene Fall 2017

Irina Anikeeva

“I am descended from a line of lifelong crafters, and as a first child (and first granddaughter) in my family, I was taught various crafts by all my female relatives—my maternal grandma taught me how to cross-stitch and crochet, my paternal grandma showed me cutwork embroidery, and my mom taught me to sew and knit. So I really had a chance to try them all. And boy, it was helpful! The scarcity of decent clothing in late-Soviet era Russia where I grew up made those skills very handy.”
learn to knit

The Latest from Irina: Nelson Pullover
from Interweave Knits Fall 2017

How did you learn to knit? Let us know in the comments!

Yours in Stitches,

Get more from these top designers!


One Comment

  1. Susan S at 10:21 pm August 25, 2017

    I was in 3rd grade in a very small school, where grades 1-3 were in one room. The school work was easy , I had already read all of the books in the room, and was getting into trouble. The teacher for the 4th-6th grade classroom asked if I wanted to learn to knit. She knew that my dad’s mother, who died before I was born, was an excellent knitter. 53 years later I am still knitting!

Post a Comment