I learned how to knit when I was 9 years old - in 4th grade. My teacher required the whole class to learn how to knit. Everyone had to knit one hat and after that it was up to you if you wanted to keep knitting or not. Every day after lunch there was a corner of the class room where everyone would sit while she read to us and this was also a time to knit. I was hooked from the beginning. I started with something that was supposed to be square but I remember that it kept getting wider and wider as I was bringing the yarn to the back and making the first stitch of every row into two stitches. Once I knew how to make the stitches I moved on to my hat. I don't remember what color it was or if I even still have it somewhere but I loved knitting. I do remember that I hadn't yet learned how to purl so the hat was worked in the round entirely in stockinette stitch. This made the brim curl up along the bottom of the hat. I learned the hard way to make sure all your stitches face the same direction otherwise you get a big twist in the fabric. Instead of having me rip it back out she helped make the twist an element of the hat instead. I believe that it was in 4th grade that I also made my first socks from a pattern that she helped me with - it's one that I still have. I remember that they were huge floppy socks, probably made out of worsted weight acrylic but they were socks and I was so excited when they were done! I think that they are still in my parents house somewhere, but not sure where.
In 5th grade I had a different teacher but I still remember stopping by my old 4th grade classroom after school to ask for knitting help, or just to show what I was working on.
In 6th grade I was lucky enough to have the same teacher I had in 4th grade. This was the year that I moved on to the ultimate knitting project a sweater. She helped me measure myself, measure how many stitches per inch I was knitting and do all the calculations to make a custom sweater. (There is a picture of this sweater on the top of this post: http://blog.crystal-crafts.net/2012/02/12/sweater/) I'm so glad to have had such an awesome teacher who taught more than just the required curriculum.
Recently I was able to find and contact my teacher through e-mail. I was pretty excited, and I couldn't believe that after 15 years she still had pictures from some of my first projects that she sent to me. (I hope she doesn't mind that I am about to post them here).
My first socks:
Working on my first sweater: