Being at the mercy of anything isn’t a good feeling, and yet everyday I watch on as we become more and more dependent on the market around us. First it started out as marketing services for the time poor, yet gradually the insidious creep of helplessness is engulfing a generation.

It may sound dramatic, but I’m constantly amazed that many of the skills I take for granted have become the realm of specialist or obsessives only. What am I talking about? The simple ability to do things for ourselves.

We’re well aware of the huge resurgence in DIY culture, yet there seems to be some things we see as too technical or scary to do ourselves. Maybe we’ve forgotten how to read instructions, or maybe there’s never been anyone in our close circle to help teach us, but whatever it is I’ll be blowed if I’ll give up learning new things just because buying them is “easier”.

As someone who has a thirst for knowledge and a ridiculously positive outlook on learning, it may come as a surprise that there are some things that still completely mystify me and scare me out of attempting. Like math, arc welding and anything they cook on Master Chef. But knitting, knitting shouldn’t be one.

The number of times I’ve poured over vintage catalogues and wished I could Buy It Now, or purchased beautiful knitting patterns to drool over are too many to count. I have made several failed attempts at knitting in the past, ending up with rather (let’s just say) organic looking pieces rather than what I had in mind. When I consider all the things I’ve taught myself to do, drafting patterns from vintage clothing, web design and even learning Chinese, why oh why does knitting scare me so much? Frankly it is madness and I’m tired of being at the mercy of my wallet when it comes to satisfying this wardrobe want.

So I have started knitting again.

So far so good. It is all on the needles and all the stitches are there. I’ve joined up on Ravelry and a few Facebook interest groups. I’ve bought a stash of needles from Savers and I may even make a bag for it all this week. (Every new hobby must have all the applicable accessories around here, it’s like a family rule.)

I am determined to master this skill, I just have to stick to it and not completely crack it each time something fails. And if I keep going like this adding to my extremely diverse set of life skills, I may yet be ready in time for the Zombie Apocalypse.

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Specialty Vintage Stylist, Blogger, and Presenter; Candice DeVille has been writing Vintage Current since early 2008. Based in Melbourne, Australia, she's always in search of the next glamorous adventure. Bringing you vintage style, glamour and inspiration for the 21st Century.


  1. Welcome to the knitting club! I’m glad you’re giving it another go, I find such enjoyment in it. If you’re ever stuck, there are always groups around that will be more than willing to help, or there is always Google hangouts.

    Good luck, and I look forward to seeing your progress!

  2. Yes – I’m not the only one who thinks the ability to knit and sew will be vital, come the zombie apocalypse! I love the power of being able to do things for myself; I’ve been knitting and crocheting for a while and I’ve just started to sew again… and it’s all brilliant.

    Good luck with your knitting adventures! A little organic knitting is fine to start with it – the lacy look is definitely where it’s at. It is so amazing to make something from old patterns and realise you’re wearing something that’s come straight out of the past. I love it!

  3. Ooh! Welcome to the world of wooly wonders! I do love knitting and crochet…and sometimes a leetle bit of sewing too 😉 Who are you on Ravelry? I’d love to follow you 🙂 I’m currently working on a cotton rainbow granny square blanket and I want to try an elise shawl soon!

  4. If you really want to knit vintage pieces, I highly recommend looking at some of Susan Crawford’s knitting books. They are full of vintage patterns that have been tweeked for fit and “translated” into modern knitting terms. I have A Stitch in Time Vol 1 & Vol 2 and they are great! (Her website is here:

  5. I can ‘sort of’ knit! I started making a vest a few years ago & then work, study & family stuff got in the way & it just sat there … but I am in the process of moving & I have decided that I am going to finish the vest, even if it’s not going to be ready to wear this winter! Good Luck with learning how to knit, I think I shall just stick to the simple patterns, as I don’t think I will ever have the patience for the lacey ones!

  6. I’ve wanted to learn to knit forever– I made a scarf once but that’s as far as I got lol. Those sweaters look so cute! Can’t wait to see your projects 🙂


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