Where my stitches at?

I’ve been keeping a secret from you guys.

Wanna guess?  You won’t.  Let me tell you what it’s not.

1.  First and foremost, I am not pregnant so don’t let this sashay into sobriety lead you down that road.  That’s all I need in my house…one more thing that shits.

2.  Contrary to popular belief I was NOT born a man.  This one has perplexed folks over the years but it’s time I come clean.  I’m a real girl, albeit a foul-mouthed manly one.

3.  As much as I wanted to, I did not get a full color tattoo of Kid Rock covering the entire length/width of my back.

It’s much more disturbing and shameful than any of the above.  Are you ready?  DON’T JUDGE ME, I’M SOBER and HAVE A LOT OF TIME ON MY HANDS.

I’ve started knitting.

There it is in black and white.  Wow, that was freeing.

Yessir.  Knitting.  And I gotta tell ya, I’m totally hooked which would make a terrific pun if I was telling you about crocheting right now.  See?  I’m even making nerdy jokes.   I come from a long line of knitters.  My Grandmother was taught by the Red Cross in WWI and has been knitting ever since.  My Mom has knitted more sporadically over the years but has picked it back up in the last few and has really sharpened her skills to include complicated patterns while also making fun and crazy scarves for me and the girls.  It was watching her this fall that gave me the idea.  We were sitting in her living room sipping wine and shooting the shit when she pulled out her knitting bag and just started clicking away with her needles as we were chatting.  Immediately I was taken with all the colors and textures of yarn in her bag.  Knitting isn’t old skool and frumpy anymore – it’s colorful and lumpy and funky and fun!

I told her that there was a yarn shop right up the street where I live and I’d always wanted to peek inside.  She encouraged me to go for it* and the next week I found myself signing up for lessons.  Well, that was in October and here I am, four months in and completely obsessed   taken with this age-old pastime.  The women at this yarn shop have quickly become my BFF’s and confidantes.  There are two well-worn couches centered in the middle of this yarn oasis and every single day women of all ages and background gather there for ten minutes to an entire afternoon for knitting, camaraderie, and story telling.  It’s become my new watering hole, in a manner of speaking.

I feel like Norm from Cheers as I open the door and shut the cold wind behind me.  Everyone yells a greeting and immediately they begin to shift positions and materials to make room for the newest arrival.  We knit and commiserate and celebrate and laugh and sympathize.  It’s a sisterhood really and I feel so fortunate to be welcomed into their circle.  They are so encouraging and patient.  I’ve graduated from simple scarves to a patterned cowl to what is becoming a tri-color baby blanket in less than four months.   There’s something very Zen about it.  I find it calms my surly self.  I’m not sure if it’s the repetition or the satisfaction of creating something with your hands, or maybe just the old-timey kitschy factor that appeals to me.  It matters not.

What matters is that I’ve found a challenging creative outlet in which to express myself that doesn’t involve a hangover.  The yarn shop and the bar are very similar, really.  I go in and hang out with friends and strangers alike.  We swap stories and share advice.  We sometimes stay too long and almost always end up spending too much money.

I really dig it though and find myself kniting and racing the clock at night before bedtime.  It’s good for my nervous nature and it’s calming to my OCD – adhering to a mathematical pattern makes sense to me.  Here’s the thing;  you can get as crazy as you want with the colors and the textures and the different weaves but you still have to adhere to a structured logical pattern to create something worthwhile and sustainable.  That’s totally what blows my skirt up.  I’m an enigma comprised of free will, spontaneity and wild abandon but this girl also needs strict order and an occasional syllabus.  Sometimes it’s not easy being me.

So off I go on this new chapter in my 45th year, with knitting bag in tow.  I can hardly wait to see what’s next on this path.  Unfortunately though I’ve just learned that you’re no longer allowed to take your knitting aboard an aircraft.

They’re afraid you’ll knit an AFGHAN.

See?!?  Knitting is HILARIOUS!

knitting_illustration

* one thing i’ll say about my mom is that she is encouraging.  whatever it is I want or think I can do she’s the first one to tell me to go for it.  my earliest memory of this was when I announced at seven years old (upon watching the ultra cool movie “Convoy”) that I wanted to be a truck driver when I grew up.  she thought it was a fantastic idea.  no matter what it is, piano lessons, international travel, learning a new language, painting a room, whatever – in my opinion my mom always thought it best to regret something you had done rather than something you hadn’t.  thanks mom!

2 thoughts on “Where my stitches at?

  1. I love knitting! I learned a couple years ago when my sister was expecting and I realized my grandmother was no longer going to be making the new babies in our family their blankets. So I took lessons determined not to let this tradition go. I love that I can now be productive while watching TV.

  2. Another fantastic post!! So glad you’ve found something fun to do!! And um, er, I’d love a scarf…just in case you run out of happy recipients…!!!

    Love you Jen!
    Nancy

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