Book Club > Author Interviews > Sally Melville & Caddy Melville Ledbetter: Mother-Daughter Knitters

Sally Melville & Caddy Melville Ledbetter: Mother-Daughter Knitters

Added March 3
Sally Melville & Caddy Melville Ledbetter: Mother-Daughter Knitters

Knitting superstar Sally Melville joined forces with daughter Caddy Melville Ledbetter to create and share patterns with the rest of the knitting community through their crafty titles Mother-Daughter Knits and Warm Knits, Cool Gifts. We caught up with the duo to discuss how they first learnt and what it was like working together. Here’s their story…

Q Who taught you how to knit?

Sally says…

When I was younger, I was a member of the Brownies and one of the leaders showed me the ropes. I was about seven and knew straight away that this is what my hands were meant to do.

Caddy says…

Mum tried to teach me many times during my childhood, but nothing seemed to stick. If I’m honest, I wasn’t that interested back then and I didn’t think I was very good at it, so I gave up. Then one day in my early 20s, I caught her teaching my boyfriend. I took hold of the needles to see if I could remember anything and I’ve had them in my hands ever since! I remembered and was actually good at it, so whatever mum had taught me all those years back had worked, and now I’m officially hooked.

Q What inspired you to team up and write your books?

Sally says…

I was in the process of speaking with a publisher about releasing a project book of my own, when I happened to mention that my daughter was also a keen knitter. My publisher jumped out of her seat and said that it had always been her dream to create a two-generation knitting book. I was so excited to make the phone call to Caddy!

Caddy says…

Mum came to me one day and asked if I would consider writing a knitting book with her. I didn’t give it a second thought – my answer was immediately yes! I’ve sat in many of mum’s classes over the years, and always learn and feel so inspired by her creativity and knowledge of crafting. Creating a publication with her meant I could learn even more.

Q Would you say that sharing this skill has brought you closer together?

Sally says…

Absolutely! When designing the projects for our titles, our respect for each other grew. Friends would marvel at us working together. It was such fun to collaborate, admire each others ideas and work, and most importantly, go yarn shopping together!

Caddy says…

We’ve always been really close, but the process of making a book together was such an amazing (and sometimes tough) experience that we can share and treasure forever. I feel very lucky.

Q What makes a mother-daughter relationship so special?

Sally says…

It’s difficult to emphasise how essential this bond is. If you never had it, you might go through life knowing something is missing. If you have it, you’re truly blessed.

Caddy says…

I am now a mother too, so I think about the mother and daughter bond a lot. My girls are young, so right now they simply need me to take care of them. As I’ve got older, I’ve realised that a mother-daughter relationship can morph into a really beautiful friendship.

Q What tips do you have for a knitter wanting to teach their daughter?

Sally says…

My mistake was to say ‘Here you have 40 stitches, this is how you knit, just count the stitches and stay close to 40’. When Caddy did not have 40 after every row, she would give up. Simply show her how to cast on and explain the basics, then let her discover which method works best for her. Comfort and confidence come before niceties.

Caddy says…

I’ve been teaching as long as I’ve been designing, and if I had my way, the whole world would knit! I’ll definitely be showing my girls how to knit. I’ll probably end up running the crafty clubs at school, and hosting ‘learn to knit’ birthday parties. My advice is to let kids find their own style, and don’t rush them.

Q What are your plans for the future?

Sally says…

I can’t wait to watch my grandchildren grow, and pass on my passion for knitting onto them!

Caddy says…

I’d like to continue designing and sharing patterns with the knitters of the world. I love teaching, so I definitely want to carry on doing this, and maybe try experimenting with some more abstract ideas and discover where knitting can take you – I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve!


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