Last night a friend and her 5-year-old daughter came to my knitting group to learn how to make scarves with a knitting loom. Every time this child has seen me knitting she has been enthralled and asks if she can do it. I was reminded of this and other archival photos of young girls knitting sweaters as intricate as mine.
Throughout the 19th century, girls as young as 3 or 4 were taught to knit and were tasked with putting the necklines and cuffs onto sweaters for sale. They knitted because they had to, but they frequently grew up to learn increasingly complex skills and to pass down their knowledge to their own children.
Learning to knit as an adult can sometimes be challenging, but to learn a traditional skill that has been passed down from woman to girl for centuries is enormously gratifying. You're never too old, or too young, to learn how to knit!
Pam Connolly, owner of Beannaigh Traditional Handknitting, is a hardworking single mom with an old-fashioned cottage industry.