Sunday, January 20, 2008

Poke, Wrap, Wheeeee!

OK, it's time that I came out of the closet.

No, not that closet. Christ, I've been out of that closet so long I think the hanger-prints are finally starting to fade from the back of my skull.

No, I'm referring to the knitting closet.

I am a knitter.

Strangely, it wasn't a lot less disconcerting to say that publicly than it was the first time I had to say out loud, "yes, I'm gay." And at least the gay thing, people mostly get. They may not like it, but they get it. But knitting? WTF?

It goes way back. My paternal grandmother crocheted and tatted. I mean doilies. I mean big, complicated, holy fuck kinda doilies. Meanwhile, my maternal grandmother was multi-craftual. My grandfather died shortly before I was born, leaving a 45 year-old woman with 5 children ranging in age from 25 to 15. She wasn't going to be taking care of little kids... so what she did was start to craft. Anything. I mean anything. Decorated egg-crate Christmas trees. Decorated goose eggs. Knitting. Crochet. Embroidery. Sewing. You name it, my Nana tried it, and had a back shed full of craft supplies to prove it. As a little gay kid, my Nana's back shed was a real wonderland... jars and jars full of the most amazing buttons a 5 year old has ever seen... construction paper in every color of the rainbow... magic markers, crayons, cool old postcards to decoupage... you get the basic idea.

My first knitting project was on a Spoolie made for me by my Nana. Spoolies, for the uninformed, are wooden thread spools with nails driven into the top... a kind of home-made version of knitting looms that they sell in craft stores now. I sat on her livingroom carpet for hours, watching Abbott & Costello movies on Channel 29 and making miles and miles of spoolie (OK, so it was I-cord. Happy now?)

I don't think anything ever came of the product of my Spoolie... maybe a potholder or something, but the memory eludes me. True to form, even then I was not a "product" knitter, I was a "process" knitter. The joy of wrapping the yarn, pulling loops over the tops of the nails and watching the knitted cord come out the bottom of the spool was all that I needed - actually getting a usable item out of the thing was just gravy, dude.

Fast forward about 30 years. . Ok, maybe 35.

I've made a few hats, scarves, fingerless mitts. I even attempted and completed a French Market Bag. Woo-hoo! I'm right now in the process of trying my first, honest-to-god, turn-the-heel and full-on-gusseted sock. Can't touch this!

Who invented size 1 dpns? Were they out of their fucking minds? Do you have any idea how many stitches it takes to make an inch of fabric?

I don't care. If I actually get a pair of socks out of this... you guessed it. Gravy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sweet pea, I too once tickled the needles. My initial project was an argyle leg warmer. Only one. Wasn't that enough? So wonderful to have discovered you!! I promise to stalk silently. Trudy.