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April 04, 2008

knit a little, talk a little, cheep cheep cheep!


What is it about knitting? I finally broke down and bought The Friday Night Knitting Club to take on vacation—and have to admit, the skeins on the cover are probably the most compelling (I’m not slamming the book—I haven’t read it yet!) book jacket I’ve seen in a while. Dogs and yarn. Note to self: next book should have dogs and yarn on the jacket (instead of whistful women--though I have loved my book jackets, too (thought Luft und Liebe's hilarious).

Anyway, I started knitting back in the ‘80s as part of a winter term project at Oberlin College. My other projects that winter included a Swingle Singers residency and learning microtonal music. My brain was still growing back then. I learned to knit a basic fair aisle sweater, and made about a dozen, designing

my own within the basic pattern. I had two pairs of needles. Then after college, my boss (I worked on nursing textbooks) adopted a baby, and I started knitting sweaters for babies, designing my own and branching out into all types of yarn.

But now, now it’s a revolution! I started up again after having bone graft surgery, and I can’t stop. There’s so much locally and online (oo, click me! or me!) and the yarns are glorious, and knitters are ubiquitous. I have friends who hide their stashes (an interesting choice of jargon to begin with) so no one in their family knows how much they spend on yarn. It’s cheaper, in my friend Cindy’s words, than crack.

The other day my friend Kim called to tell me about a knitting event at her local library; my friend Linda left a message about a knit-in at Barnes and Noble, but the strange thing is, I really like knitting alone. Maybe it’s partly that I still can’t get the kind of all-out exercise I used to before the ankle surgery (it’ll take up to a year), but knitting calms me, helps me focus. It’s kind of like the reverie of writing, though not the same kind of almost physical mental effort—more like meditating, perhaps. Anyway, I’m glad it’s this new public festival, I’m glad it’s IN, I’m glad I can lust after glorious yarns  and click on handmade skeins and notice a hand-knit a mile away. I don’t know how long it’ll last. Maybe until I can start taking the other kind of spinning class again. Or maybe my whole house will be covered in lace, knit and purl. Making something out of raw materials, straw into gold, we like making things, whether it’s babies or blogs or books or blankets, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Original New Jersey Moms Blog post.


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