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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : A LIFETIME OF NEEDLEWORK
 

Customer Projects - Get Inspired

Would you like to share a project that you have made from our yarns or our patterns?   Hundreds of thousands of people who care about your favorite craft will see your work.  Any submissions, particularly original ones are welcome, as long as the project was made from Lion Brand Yarn. 

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A LIFETIME OF NEEDLEWORK
Created By: VELMA BRADLEY


WHEN I WAS NINE YEARS OLD, I WAS TAUGHT TO KNIT BY MY GRANDMOTHER. SHE GAVE ME A PAIR OF 15", SIZE 6 NEEDLES AND TAUGHT ME TO DO THE GARTER STITCH. SHE TOLD ME TO KEEP THE NEEDLES AND SHOW HER WHAT I HAD ACCOMPLISHED THE NEXT TIME I VISITED HER. I CONTINUED TO KNIT AND UNRAVEL THE SMALL BALL OF YARN SHE GAVE ME DURING THE FOLLOWING MONTHS. THE NEXT YEAR, I CHECKED OUT A BOOK ON HOW TO CROCHET FROM THE PUBLIC LIBRARY. I FOUND A PATTERN OF A BEDSPREAD, MADE WITH A SIZE 11 STEEL CROCHET HOOK, AND THIN LACE-MAKING THREAD. THE PATTERN CALLED FOR 100 SQUARES OF THE POPCORN STITCH. BY THE 20TH SQUARE, I BECAME IMPATIENT AND SEWED THE SQUARES TOGETHER. I HAD UNDERTAKEN TOO LARGE A PROJECT, AND NEVER FINISHED THE BEDSPREAD, BUT MY PROUD MOTHER USED THE SMALLER VERSION AS A TABLE SCARF. LATER THAT YEAR, A NEIGHBOR’S COUSIN TAUGHT ME TO PURL AND TO MAKE MITTENS. I KNITTED SEVERAL PAIRS OF MITTENS. AT THIS TIME, YARN CAME IN SHANKS WHICH HAD TO BE ROLLED INTO BALLS BEFORE BEGINNING A PROJECT. I LATER LEARNED TO USE A CHAIR BACK WHEN A PARTNER WAS UNAVAILABLE. NEVER BEING ONE TO SIT AND DO NOTHING, I CONTINUED TO KNIT OR CROCHET IN SUMMER PLAYGROUND CRAFT PROGRAMS, IN SCHOOL CRAFT CLASSES, AND IN MY LEISURE TIME.

DURING MY SENIOR YEAR IN COLLEGE, I SAW A SORORITY SISTER, A HOME ECONOMICS MAJOR, KNITTING TO THE SHAPE OF A PATTERN. I PICKED UP “BIG MAMA’S” NEEDLES AGAIN, AND MADE HERRINGBONE SUITS WITH KNITTED JACKET BACKS OR SLEEVES IN THE MAIN COLOR OF THE FABRIC. AFTER COLLEGE, I TACKLED A LEATHER-KNIT COAT. I KNITTED THE BACK FIRST, AND WENT SHOPPING FOR TWO YARDS OF LEATHER…A COLLEGE GRAD, NO LESS, AND DISCOVERED I HAD TO BUY ACTUAL ANIMAL SKINS, A FACT THAT HAD NEVER OCCURRED TO ME. IN THE ENSUING YEARS, I ALSO KNITTED HATS AND SCARVES FOR RELATIVES.

IN THE SIXTIES, I DISCOVERED THE BULKY SIZE 35 NEEDLES, AND BEGAN A SERIES OF QUICK-KNIT GARMENTS. THIS PEAKED THE INTEREST OF MY STUDENTS, SO I TAUGHT MY GIRLS TO KNIT PONCHOS, AND TAUGHT THE MOST SKILLED KNITTERS TO KNIT A SWEATER. COWORKERS ASKED ME TO MAKE GARMENTS FOR THEM, AND MY BUSINESS BEGAN. I HAD ORGANIZED A SCHOOL SAVINGS CLUB TO INSPIRE MY STUDENTS HOW TO SAVE AND EARN INTEREST. TO SHOW THEM HOW TO MULTIPLY AN INVESTMENT, I BOUGHT 300 SKEINS OF YARN AT $1.00 EACH, AND TOLD THEM HOW I PLANNED TO DOUBLE THE AMOUNT BY KNITTING CLOTHES. I ALSO STOCKED LEATHER, AND MADE SWATCHES FOR MY CUSTOMERS’ USE. BY THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR, I HAD EARNED THE PROMISED $600.00. I LATER TAUGHT BOYS AND GIRLS TO KNIT AND CROCHET HATS AND MATCHING BACKPACKS USING YARN AND FAUX LEATHER, WHICH, INCIDENTALLY, I COULD PURCHASE BY-THE-YARD. THROUGH MY YEARS OF TEACHING, AND AS A SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR, SEVERAL OF MY STUDENTS RETURNED AS ADULTS AND WERE STILL KNITTING.

MY INTEREST TO UNDERTAKE BIGGER TASKS LEAD ME TO KNIT AFGHANS, WHICH I MADE FOR WEDDING GIFTS. I HAD ALWAYS USED CROCHET STITCHES TO FINISH MY BULKY KNIT GARMENTS; THEN SOMEONE GAVE ME A CROCHETED AFGHAN PATTERN WHICH REIGNITED MY CROCHET PERIOD. I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE NAVAJO PATTERN WHICH I ADAPTED TO COLORS OTHER THAN THE TRADITIONAL NATIVE-AMERICAN SCHEMES. ON DISCOVERING NEW AND IMPROVED OMBRE YARNS, AND AFTER RETIRING, I DESIGNED MY COLOR SCHEMES FROM THE DIFFERENT COLORS OF THE OMBRES AND MADE THEM INTO KING AND QUEEN-SIZED BLANKETS. I ENTERED SOME OF THEM IN OUR STATE FAIR COMPETITIONS, AND WON FIRST AND THIRD-CLASS RIBBONS.

IN 2005, MARTHA STEWART WORE HER INFAMOUS “COMING HOME PONCHO” ON THE NEWS. I WAS JUST DEVISING A PATTERN FROM HER TV PHOTOS, WHEN I HEARD THE PONCHO PATTERN USED LION BRAND HOMESPUN AND BOTH WERE AVAILABLE FROM THE LION BRAND WEBSITE. I HAVE SINCE MADE 20+ OF THE PONCHOS, MORE AFGHANS, AND HAVE EXPERIMENTED WITH OTHER LION BRAND YARNS.

THIS IS WHAT I CAN RECALL OF 60-YEARS-AND-COUNTING OF NEEDLEWORK. IT'S BEEN GREAT!


 
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