How did this happen?
I mean, I know how it happened. Breastfeeding hormones + getting up nights to feed and soothe meant that I had no brainpower to make it through a book, or even watch a good, new-to-me series when Ronan was
napping on my lap peacefully napping in his crib. No train of thought could get me hooked on “Treme.” There were no thought trains, really. And there’s something about watching TV during the day that has always depressed me. The quality of the light? The commercials? It wasn’t much relief to me that I clearly wasn’t going to make a lifestyle out of this. I was bored.
The Internet is the Devil’s Playground, especially if you’re hormonal. Figured that one out pretty quickly. My child has leukemia if his head gets sweaty? Really? ”Doctor…!?”
Thank goodness for my neighborhood. I’d scuff out the door in something one notch above pajamas, and head to the coffee shop, the bakery, the hardware store, the vintage shops. If I headed in the other direction there was a calming nursery.
One day I stumbled into my local yarn shop, 2 blocks from my front door. Is it ok for me to peek inside? No commitment, right? What is this? Oooh, pretty things to touch. Soft. Pretty colors. Smells good. Baby is sleeping. Mmmmm….
I bought a book. Oh dear. And some yarn. And smooth bamboo needles. And embarked.
(Truth be told, I had knitted before. But the only thing I’d finished was a glasses case out of scrap, circa kindergarten. Whoever taught me mentioned that I needed to loosen up. Apparently.)
It was fun teaching myself a new skill, just by figuring out the techniques you need to 1.) start and to 2.) continue. It was exciting. I was taking a length of yarn and making it into fabric via two sticks. And one thing lead to another…
The ergonomics of the situation were not ideal, but I cranked out some hats, some leg warmers for my brother’s girlfriend, gauntlets, a cowl, a mystery pattern hat…each necessitating a trip to the store, some conversation with adults with hopes and fears and, most importantly, enthusiasms. Stuff got more complicated, more puzzle-like. A lot of handmade gifts were given that year, and I think some of them have even been worn out in public.
I had sneered at Stitch N’ Bitch when it came out. And knitting bees!! I laughed at the tables of “knitting mysteries” in Barnes and Noble. But did I secretly crave a commute somewhere on public transportation just so I could listen to books on tape and knit? And now, here I am, deep into my third adult human-sized sweater. And daily planning my future conquests on that superior, so-much-more-than-social networking site for knitters, Ravelry.
Yet I am in denial. I’m not a knitter, right? I don’t feel like a knitter. I’m not that person, one of those knitty ladies.
There is no shame. It’s meditative. It’s one of the great homemaking arts. I’m not embarrassed by my enthusiasm for cooking or even sewing, and what’s different here? I’m not even terribly concerned that projects for myself are dubbed “selfish knitting” by the (slightly self-hating?) knitting community. I’m not embarrassed that I just cited the knitting community.
Apparently we don’t always pick our