Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Who did it? Who was that person way back when who first looked at a sheep and said, "Sweater!" Yeah, let's shave that, clean the fleece, brush it out, stretch and spin it into this stuff called yarn, get two sticks, and create a series of complex knots that will become a sweater. Sure. That makes perfect sense. Kind of like the first person who saw a coffee bean and somehow got the idea of roasting the middle, grinding it up, pouring hot steaming water through it, and then drinking it. Or the first hungry dude who looked at a spiny lobster and decided it could be dinner. It's a huge leap.

There is just nothing intuitive about knitting. Sewing pieces of cloth together, yeah I get that. But using sticks to make rows and rows of knots seems to me like the slowest way to get a piece of clothing imaginable. I know, I know, slow is good. Slow food. Slow down. Deep breaths. Whatever. At the rate I am going I may have one sock by the time I am too arthritic to make the matching sock.
I figured out how to cast on. And thanks to my friend K who just seemed to have the right way of explaining it one day at the park, I started the actual knitting. I am moving along at a pace that would make a snail laugh. I bring my little bundle of yarn with me everywhere.

Check me out, I am so damn trendy you can smell the wool and kombucha from a mile a way. Here I am with my basket, knitting away. Only if you look close enough you'll notice two things. One, I look like I am wrestling with the yarn rather than gently crafting it into a woolen magnum opus. My hands are clenched around the needles like they might leap out of my hands if I loosen my grip, and my fingers are snarled in a way that makes one think I might need the services of an exorcist. Nothing soft and lovely will come from this.

Two, I am not making anything. I just decided to cast on a random number of stitches one day and go. I am dropping and adding rows and stitches all over the place like a toddler in a toy store. I am just knitting. Period.

So here I am. I am not making anything. My hands hurt. My fingers have little dents in them the same diameter as my bamboo needles. My yarn is a tangled mess. And I truly can't imagine ever doing this at a pace that would one day result in a wearable item for anyone larger than a garden gnome. I doff my cap and bow down to you folks who manage to whip up Christmas sweaters and matchy hats and socks for the whole family. I am just happy to mindlessly make knots, and ponder the sheep, and thank my lucky stars that at the end of this wad of yarn I will be able to step back, look at my patch of rainbow chaos, and then get online and buy my whole family winter sweaters at a store.

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