A Childhood Love

If there’s one item I recall from my childhood that I absolutely LOVED (so much so that I broke one after so much usage only to plead for and receive another), it was my knitting machine. 

My mom taught me how to crochet and knit, but before that, this thing was my dream come true for making stuff.

Like what, you ask?

Oh, like knitted tubes upon tubes and little circular knitted discs that I gleefully fashioned into beret-style hats for the family cats to wear (yes, they were mortified and ever so patient with me. I’m sure we have photographic evidence of this; if I find those photos, I’ll post ‘em). I mean really, what cat doesn’t like a jaunty chapeau made of acrylic ombre, I ask you? No self-respecting cat I know doesn’t. But anywho…

After my two original knitting machines had long bitten the dust (I had a brown and creme one first and then an orange and yellow one like this vintage Knit Magic bad boy above), I got a wild hair and thanks to the glory of eBay, hunted down some of my childhood happiness. I couldn’t stop at just one, since they do have an eventual breaking point and who knows when that would be, so I got the kit you see above (in its original box, no less!!) along with a brown/creme version, which I think was a different make but almost identical.

I had forgotten about my glorious time capsule treasures until one rainy day when I spotted them lurking at the top of a closet. Ta-daa, perfect time to try something new with the kids.

The Bub really got into it. Aside from him loving the machine’s colors (orange and yellow are favorites), he was determined to use every color yarn I had showed him. He was unstoppable. Who wouldn’t be, I ask you? If one of those beret-wearing cats could have gripped the crank handle well enough, I promise you, they’d have been making leg warmers for themselves and their litter mates. 

The results of this rainy day knitting machine extravaganza yielded not only a dashing pair of socks, but also festive leg warmers for T.C. Who’s lookin’ good now, people? I sense your jealousy. And so does T.C.

We’re certainly going to be using this contraption again and again…’til it breaks into tiny pieces, I do declare!

I also want to teach The Bub and Mister Baby Pants how to spool knit, because that’s another really fun way to watch one continuous thread of yarn transform while it goes around and around in circles. When my mom taught me, we used a wooden spool with four tiny nails hammered into one end and a bobby pin to knit with. Good stuff.

Did you learn how to spool knit? Did you also have a knitting machine? Or was there another art/craft toy you hold dear? I know there are newer versions of many of these toys, but I do have serious fondness for the ones I grew up with. Don’t get me started on how awesome my spirograph was or how I never had enough pieces of black construction paper to make more pictures with my lite brite.