Sometime this week I am going to pry myself loose from the couch and take the first small step toward finding an endeavor to occupy those idle hands of mine. And so with visions of voluminous scarfs and fuzzy Christmas sweaters dancing in my head, I have joined a knitting club. Colloquially referred to, I’m reliably informed, as “Stitch and Bitch.” While I am an undisputed mistress of bitch, the stitch might take a bit of practice. It’s entirely probable that this whole exercise will end with me spending large amounts of Kroner on lovely balls of yarn and jousting length needles that sit unused in plastic tub under my bed. But I am game. And determined. If it’s good enough hobby for Julia Roberts, who am I to argue?
A small bit of background: In high school, I was strongly encouraged by my well meaning mother to enroll in a ‘home economics’ class. The result of this class was an ill fitting yellow corduroy skirt and a final mark that permanently lowered my grade point average to a level that essentially ensured I would not be reading the valedictory speech at my high school commencement. Needless to say, needlecraft has never been a strong point. I can sometimes fake it with pillow covers (hello straight seams) or the occasional Halloween costume, but to date, I haven’t attempted the fine art of wool work. Until this week.
Knitting has always seemed, to me, a grand way to use one’s hands. Hands that are not only kept busy, but kept busy creating. Think tantric, meditative clicking of needles while a beautiful scarf in delicious autumnal hues magically appears at the end of your fingertips…what’s not to like? To sit in contemplative silence with a basket at your feet and a warm fire in your hearth…. Alas, I have no hearth, and more importantly, not a whole lot of patience when it comes to learning a new skill.
A bit more background: When learning to ski as an adult, my well meaning (read: pushy) ski instructor obviously had more confidence in my burgeoning skill than I did. After taking us to a picturesque point in the Colorado Rockies, surrounded by lush greenery and wide blue sky, he pointed at a run and said “Go”. In hindsight I am very glad that the ski pole I hurled at him, worthy of a javelin throw, did not actually hit him. But while I stood at the top of that mountain (okay, it was a hill, but still…), palms sweating and heart beating, I wished that it had pierced him through a lung.
My better half will tell you that I do not take instruction well. I can’t, in good faith, disagree. And knitters seem like very calm people to me, which is probably one of the reasons I am attracted to the craft and those that practice it. But there remains a niggling and persistent worry that I may, in frustration, stab a knitting needle into something a bit more fleshy than a skein of cashmere wool.
Obviously I hope to overcome this distaste at being told how to do something. I would love to be able to create something that someone might actually wear (even if I have to bribe them to do so). More importantly than the end result though, this excursion is a litmus test of sorts. I am pushing myself to learn a new skill, exactly what I’ve been blathering on about.
And if I end up with a pair of leg warmers in the bargain, all the better. You need them in Denmark.
Now, if only I still had that yellow corduroy skirt, they would have gone so well together.