The first craft I learned was knitting. In primary school, of course. My tea-cosy, pom-pom hat and scarf would be thought awful these days, but I still remember each of them with some fondness. At the age of 7, I knitted my first jumper - and couldn't get my head through the opening. My somewhat strict, and perfectionist, mother insisted that I take it out and re-do it. A fine first lesson in patience for the years to come.
Despite asking her numerous times throughout her lifetime, my mother, a professional dressmaker, insisted that she lacked the confidence to teach me how to machine sew. Sad. When I had my own family, I knitted for them, of course, taught myself to crochet and managed to hand-sew dresses for my young daughters.
As years went by and most of my time was taken up by raising 4 children and working, I dabbled, intermittently in various kinds of embroidery, but nothing really intricate. Yet I always retained an interest.
The big change happened when I became single - some 20 years ago. I started the odyssey, as so many of us do, with cross-stitch. Since then, I've moved from challenge to challenge, to the point where I guess I've tried most techniques, sticking with the ones which have appealed to me most. While much of this has been self-taught, I've also attended quite a few local classes, when I've needed to learn more in-depth and/or wanted to try something new and haven't known where to start.
I now find myself at that point in life when I'm wishing for many, many more hours in the days to use, and expand upon, all the techniques I love. That's not to say that there aren't new ones out there which I'm itching to try.
Of course, it's wonderful to create things with our hands, but I get at least as much satisfaction from the opportunity to pass on the knowledge and skills that I've collected along the way.