Learning the Frames
Duration 1 minute 40 seconds
Q: What was the most... well, how did you find learning to knit? Was it easy or difficult, or...
A: Difficult but fascinating. And now, er, of course we only do plain knitting, I do a little bit of transfer, pattern work sort of thing, but these machines, did most of the - frames! - shouldn't call them machines, did most of the pattern work, because they've got built in things to do the pattern work sort of thing, but that gets rather technical.
Q: You got your hands and your feet going, what was the most difficult thing to learn to master on the frames?
A: Well, er, I can't remember 'cos I've been doing it for quite a while now, but I'm training a young lady, she's fifteen and a half - the youngest person we've got interested in anything. She finds the most difficult thing, the most difficult thing is wondering where your feet are; I always tell them, look at the needles - this is where you earn your money. If you're dropping stitches you've got to pay somebody to mend it. Menders were another big section in this job you see. But it's difficult. If you could play the organ I think you could work one of these frames, sort of thing, 'cos it's both hands, both eyes, and both feet. I think the hardest part is using your feet - the left pedal on the down motion, but it's like everything else, with practise it becomes easy. I mean, I describe it as like driving a car, if you drive your own car you know the pressure to put on the pedals, get into somebody else's car and it's entirely different. Same applies to a frame - if I jump from one frame to another the pressures are entirely different, depending on the amount of needles and what not, sort of thing. But this young lady, she's quite good.
Source: East Midlands Oral History Archive (Accession Number 0900 Collection Number EM/028)