I guess everyone has that one person in their life who inspired them to follow their passion. It might be a parent, a friend, a celebrity, or even a fictional character.
My mother taught me to knit when I was four. Having been brought up in England shortly after WWII, she had been knitting her own socks and cardigans from a very early age, so it just seemed natural for her to teach my sister and me when we were children. I picked up the techniques easily and knit myself my first sweater at 8 years old. I remember it well, a short double-breasted cardigan with a very long K2, P2 rib and a shawl collar. I chose a light blue denim acrylic yarn, and thought I was sooo cool whenever I wore it. My sister was another story altogether, tangled wool, dropped stitches and swear words were the results of her knitting journey (she is, however, a very talented cross stitcher and quilter)!
So, my mother was my teacher, but definitely not my inspiration. I continued to knit occasionally but it wasn’t until much later, after graduating from high school, that I really saw the potential of knitting. My mother was working in LewisCraft, a Canadian craft store, that sadly has now disappeared, and they were looking for knitters to create some samples from the new Jean Greenhowe pattern books. I was amazed! Until this point, I had somehow missed the idea that knitting could be 3 dimensional, and the shapes, the characters, the colours!!
I have made many of the patterns in these publications; the Bell Boy, the Bride & Groom, Scarecrows, Clowns, Teddy Bears’ Picnic, and many more, (my personal favourite is the Scarecrow Family). Jean Greenhowe’s designs inspired me to pick up my needles and start knitting in earnest and they still inspire me today.
Since that day, I have continued to explore knitting of all types and have recently started experimenting with creating my own designs and patterns. I wake up at 5am every morning just so I can knit before I have to go to work, I knit on my lunch breaks, and even dream about knitting!
I can’t imagine life without a passion, so thank you Jean Greenhowe for helping me discover mine. I hope everyone has the opportunity to discover their own:)