Meet Cathy Serafinowicz!
When I was about 11 years old,my mum took me shopping in our local town centre, Liverpool, England.I saw a demo in one of the department stores for a knitting machine. It was a Brother 8 button semi automatic single bed machine. I was smitten right away,I couldn't stop thinking about it.
Mum had taught me to knit with needles,but this machine seemed like a miracle to me. I went on and on about it to my parents,but as I was the eldest of five kids,and money was tight,they couldn't afford the hefty price. In the end they said they would pay the deposit for me,but I would have to knit garments and sell them to pay the instalments. I said I would,and that's how I got my first knitting machine.
I used to knit school pullovers for a shop,and they paid me a shilling an ounce.They provided the wool,and I had to knit,12 jumpers in bottle green,12,in navy,12 in grey.When they were finished,they would pay me.I did get fed up at times,it was boring to say the least,but I had to do it,to keep the machine. It was paid for in two years,and then I could knit things I wanted to do.Jumpers etc for friends and family. Of course in those days,machine knitters used hand knitting techniques,which was all wrong.It took years for the craft to develop.When I was older I went to night school to learn more,and loved every minute of it.
I stopped knitting for a few years when I got married and had babies,but it wasn't long before I got the urge again. My husband bought me the latest punchcard machine,and I was in heaven.The kids always had great jumpers,in colourful patterns,and I experimented as much as I could. I started once again to go to night school,and had the most wonderful teacher,Olwen Pleasance,she taught me all she knew from her time at The London School of Art and Textiles. She took me under her wing,and when she retired,she recommended me for her job.She sadly passed away a few years ago,and I still miss her. I ended up teaching at various schools in adult education,all over Liverpool.I also devised and wrote accredited machine knitting courses,for Merseyside Open College.
When we moved to London in 1999,I knitted for pleasure then,and enjoyed the freedom of that, but when I was asked to do some knitting for TV,I jumped at the chance. The TV company would just send me a sketch,and give me measurements of what they wanted,and then only about three days to complete it! I loved working to a deadline,and more time saving ideas came out of that experience too! We have retired to Norfolk now,and I have more time to devote to my knitting.
I still get a buzz from sharing my knowledge,and would be thrilled to continue to spread the word about the joys of machine knitting and keep the craft going.
Knit it Now is pleased to introduce our newest contributor, Cathy Serafinowicz! Watch as she knits an unusually shaped baby hat.
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