my mom has not knit in years. she started making doll clothes when she was 12 or 13 (1956 or so) – sweaters, booties, and hats for tiny dolls. my mom, true to form, learned how to knit from a book (like me!). it was a little book with just the basics in it – green with a drawn illustration of a 1950s girl and some knitting needles on the cover. she still has it. i will try to get a photo for you all to see. (in contrast, i learned out of knitting and crocheting for dummies).
she tried to make herself a pink sweater and thought blocking would make it fit, but to no avail. it was way too short. it was the 1950’s, acrylic was all the rage and, of course, with no one to help her, she didn’t really know about gauge (or that blocking only works with wool). and she still doesn’t, but i’ll teach her :)
she gave up for a year or two, returning to knitting to try to make a young man she liked a sweater. think green and black stripes in soft yarn – probably with some angora in it (it was all the rage then). it took her forever and turned out small, but with loooong arms. luckily she had grown sick of that young man by that time anyway.
from that point, she took a hiatus from knitting and went the art route of working with her hands. she loved making pottery and sculpting and painting human figures. she went to school for 3 years to work towards a B.S. in education, and after that took a year break to study art, taking classes and going to museums in the bay area.
[then came the rest of university, beginning teaching, meeting my dad, him going to university, having children etc. all the while, spending much creative and artistic energy in the classroom]
fast forward to now. i am sitting next to my mom, while she knits a deep purple heathered alpaca scarf. she has retired and has time to do all sorts of new and exciting things. which appears to include knitting with her daughter. and i must say, this is actually an old thing, that she remembers how to do quite well.