Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Spontaneous Knitting Lesson:

One perk of the current knitting frenzy is the sighting of handknitted items walking about in the community. Granted, most of them are bright, eyelash yarn scarves which are better for displaying current fashion color trends than for exhibiting knitting expertise. Still there is the occassional more seriously knit or crochet item that begs a closer look, like the uniquely fashioned Aran style hat noted while waiting in the library checkout line yesterday. And the librarian was wearing a beautiful intarsia patterned sweater. If I have to be in cold, snowy, grey Michigan in January the spotting of handknit items will serve as my tropical flowers.

Today I joined the parade and donned my Aran Cardy, handknit Koigu gloves, and handknit print yarn socks to head out and meet Nan for lunch at Bahama Breeze. Note the irony of the destination considering I had to shovel out of 6" of snow to get there!! Anyway...after lunch we headed our separate ways: she to grocery shop and me to pick up catfood and kitty litter.

Petsmart just happens to be in the same strip mall as Barnes & Noble, so after loading the kitty items in the van, I wandered in for some cozy browsing. I picked up the current issues of Piecework and Cloth Paper Scissors. Piecework has a felted backpack and a knitted shawl by Evelyn Clark that I wanted to look at more closely. Cloth Paper Scissors is purely eye candy and inspiration.

Finished in the periodicals, I headed over to the craft book section to see what might catch my eye. Sitting on the floor in front of the knitting books was a middle aged Asian woman, poring over heel turning instructions in the XRX Socks, Socks, Socks book. I didn't really notice her at first because Barnes and Noble is always full of browsers (most with cell phones to their ear) and the goal is to not trip over them. However, when she looked up, I must have looked like a billboard for knitting information in my handknit sweater, gloves, and socks, standing in front of the knitting books. She tapped on my leg and said excitedly, "You knit socks?!" Uhhhmmm....yes.... "Can you teach me to do this?" as she stabbed her finger at illustrations which totally skipped a graphic for the short row turning of the heel after the flap is finished.

First I suggested the local yarn shop...and she replied, "no, no, no,...I try that. Too busy, can't concentrate." Okay...fair enough, she's probably right. So I sat down on the floor and patiently tried to explain the operation that was frustrating her. It wasn't long before I found myself sitting on the floor, among the stacks in Barnes & Noble, with my naked right foot hanging out as we passed my handknit sock back and forth, examining the heel turning details.

This was particularly entertaining for my "student" as she laughed, "You teach me...I come to your home." Well...if you live in the Detroit area, one of the things you're not inclined to do is drag complete strangers home with you. Fortunately, knitting guild meets tomorrow night. So I invited her to the guild meeting. She wrote down the information, picked out one of the little Vogue sock knitting books, and hurried off, saying that she had to get home to knit a sock to the heel turning point so she could get help tomorrow night.

It wasn't so long ago when I was taunted and teased about my handknit I'm simply mainstream Everyone knits...or wants to learn.


  1. LOL! Wouldn't that make a wild episode of Law & Order - a serial killer who chose her victims by their willingness to share sock knitting tips?

  2. Anonymous9:55 PM

    Wendy cracks me up! She does have a point.I can see you sitting on the floor with her. Hope she catches on fast.
    I'm knitting myself a pair of pink & gray felted clogs, finally. This is about the ninth pair I've made.


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