So, I’m learning to knit. If you’d like, you can re-read that sentence as, “So, I’m turning into a butterfly and fluttering down to
some-quaint-little-shop-somewhere," am learning to knit.
This is what happens when you move to
Your plans were to find a writing group or to explore some math classes at the local college or maybe to take horseback riding lessons. You were not planning on joining a knitting circle; the thought never even crossed your mind. You know you tried to knit years ago with the help of a very patient and loving friend and that it went nowhere, that Bob still teases you about those knitting needles and that yarn he got you for your birthday that seem to have disappeared so mysteriously. However, your friend promises she has no idea how to knit either, that she’s sure she’ll be as bad at it as you are (just like your fourteen-year-old friend promised you she knew the secret way out of the school attic). Other friends who know how to knit and crochet are encouraging you, telling you they can help, that they want to teach you how. Then you arrive for your first evening at the knitting circle. By the end of it, your friend’s practically got a whole shawl knit, and you’ve done your very first row (just like your friend who raced out of the secret exit from the attic, leaving you stuck to get caught by those fast-approaching, obviously adult, footsteps). You should have known. Why on earth would you believe a woman who has the skills to do her own beautiful woodcarvings wouldn’t have the skills to take up knitting just like that? She’s now saying, “You know you REALLY don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to.” Oh, and, “Friends don’t let friends knit, you know.”
It’s more than mere peer pressure, though. It’s also called “Emily’s runaway imagination at work again.” Have you ever gone to a craft shop and looked at all that beautiful yarn in all those beautiful colors? Have you ever seen the pictures of cool sweaters and shawls and hats on the paper that wraps the yarn, enticing you to buy it with promises of patterns on the inside that will enable you to create your own versions of these articles of clothing? I know I can’t yet tell the difference between knitting and purling. I know I can’t figure out how to hold the damn knitting needles without looking like an American tourist holding chopsticks for the first time. I know my stitches are about as even as Godzilla’s teeth. Realistically, there’s no way in hell I’m ever going to be able to do anything more than cast on (in other words, create that first row of stitches). Even so, I’m envisioning myself knitting sweaters, hats, and socks for all my friends, made, of course, with all that lovely yarn in all those lovely colors. Did you know you can even buy organic yarn? I will finally have something to do with my hands, which have needed something to do since I gave up smoking fourteen years ago. I’ll be one of those women who has a big knitting bag that goes everywhere with her, and people will oooh and ahhh over my unique handiwork. People will come to the knitting circle and ask for my expert advice, and I will patiently explain it all to them, remembering a time when I was a mere beginner. It’s all going to be so much fun.
Oh, quick, go turn on your TV. See that beautiful and graceful little butterfly on the nature channel? She’s the one wearing that multicolored, beautifully-knitted beret, and she’s just crossed over the border into