I Knit

Friday, May 22, 2009

This is so not what I look like when I knit.  

I don't even think that's safe.  I want to reach into that picture and tell that girl to sit down.  And get dressed. 

I recently heard a story on ABC Radio (NPR equivelant, for those of you in the States) about a woman who tripped on the stairs on her way to knitting class only to discover, when she sat down and started fishing around in her bag, that she'd punctured her chest with her knitting needle.  The whole point of the story (forgive the pun) is that she survived because while the entire class shared the impulse to "PULL IT OUT!", she followed her instinct to leave that job to the doctors, and this saved her life.

I now live in mortal fear of death by knitting needle, moving through the house with all the abandon of a senior citizen on ice whenever I am carrying my own.  But even this very real paranoia is not enough to dampen my enthusiasm.  

I will continue to live on the edge.  

I will risk death to knit.

On Fridays, I spend one of the most satisfying hours of my week at The Needle Nook, with Maureen, my 80 year old knitting teacher.  For the princely sum of $8, she looks on with barely disguised amusement, correcting at diplomatic intervals, as I hunch over my needles and ball of yarn with a brow so deeply furrowed that I expect an offer of pro-bono botox any day.  

After many weeks of struggle, things are starting to come a little easier.  My samples look less like swiss cheese.  You would almost guess that I was holding the needles in my fingers and not my teeth.   

At the end of my last lesson, Maureen gamely declared that she thought I was ready to make something.  That night, I excitedly shared the news with CB, eliciting a "Great!", full of mock enthusiasm.  

I reminded him that he would be the one wearing whatever I produced.  

Smirk gone.

I now understand the saying "Never knit your man a sweater before you have the ring."  Apparently, so does he.  It's too late to run now, and he accepts his contractual obligation to wear whatever I make for him with the resignation of a man headed for gallows.  But I plan to spare him and begin with a blanket.  He will be expected to use it, but only from the safety of our sofa, far from public view and ridicule.

All this activity was inspired by a virtual visit to Purl, a groovy little shop in Soho for all things needle (knitting, embroidery, sewing, quilting, needlepoint).  Go look.  Their yarns are so sumptuous, their colors so delectable, you will want to eat them with a spoon.  

The The Purl Bee, an extension of the shop, is a collection of online craft journals.  It's motto is  'Create Your World', and once you visit, you'll want to.  Ladies are doing all kinds of incredible things out there.  But I know my limitations, so I veer towards the projects marked "Easy" or "Beginner."  Even better are those whose titles actually contain the word "Mistake".  Here are few, from the Purl Bee and beyond, that got my juices going.  

This Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf, from The Purl Bee.

Katie Did's scarfs in chunky, forgiving knits.  Gorgeous scarves, gorgeous girl.

And Whitney's '70s Ski Hat, also from The Purl Bee.  This is the one that worries my husband.

This, on the other hand, worries me.

Unless these are cashmere, I don't even want to think about the itch factor.  

And now, off to Maureen, who could probably whip herself up a pair of woolen knickers in the time it would take me to make a cup a tea.  If she's shifting in her chair, I'll be wondering....


  1. I think one of those hat's would be quote fetching on Chris!! I haven't knitted since I was about 10 - you've inspired me - but not much call for woolen items in Brunei - I need a different fabric!
    Tamsin X

  2. I meant QUITE fetching....!


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