Two weeks ago, I discovered my mom’s tiny little town had a local quilting and needleworks shop. Now, there wasn’t much in the way of cross stitch there (only every DMC floss color known to man), mostly it was knitting and quilting stuff. But having only just discovered the place, I gamely looked around and found amidst the fabrics and yarns and books and beads, whole displays of the items that were created there in the classes this shop offers.
Now, an important thing to know about me, I have Late Luck. Meaning, I usually arrive too late to get in on the good stuff, and this was certainly no exception. They had just completed a class for making beaded scarves, which look just stunning, but they won’t be offering that same class for at least another year. I did not care. The glittering multicolored beauty of that scarf temporarily blinded me to the fact that 1.) I’ve never worn a scarf in all my life, 2.) that I don’t know how to knit, and 3.) that a professional diver could tie that puppy on and not only look fashionable for the fishes but sink straight to the ocean floor in record time.
I still did not care. I supported that little quilting shop by buying the fancy yarn and beads required for the scarf, and then some practice yarn and a pair of beginner knitting needles. Then I went back to Mom’s, sat down on her computer and pulled up a ‘So you want to learn how to knit?’ webpage.
The first one I found had simple written directions. After struggling through Step 1 for several long minutes, I found another site. This one with pictures, numbered diagrams and the fabulous title: Knitting for Beginners: What Every Idiot Needs To Know. Believe me, I belonged there. I was still trying to figure out how to make the initial knot when Mom walked into the room.
“What are you doing?” she asked, peering over my shoulder.
“I am trying to learn how to knit, but it’s not going well,” I answered. Then I held up the mess I was making and asked, “Can you see what I’m doing wrong?”
“Of course,” chirped my mother looking at the webpage. “You’re not going to learn anything this way. They want to teach you how to throw, but we are Norwegians; we dig!”
At which point, she sat me down to learn the proper Norwegian method of knitting. Mom has waited thirty years for this moment. I think I’ve already mentioned that my sisters and I all grew late into our stitching genes. I was 22 before I ever picked up a needle. As kids, we were more interested in climbing trees and building backyard forts than in cross stitch or sewing. While my mother was knitting whole wardrobes and sewing pot holders for the Vulcan Sweatshop (Yes, we’re nerds, too.), we were digging 10-foot clubhouses in the backyard with pickaxe and shovels. No kidding. When the old septic tank failed, my folks repossessed our clubhouse for lacking the proper construction permits and saved a mint on backhoe costs.
Anyway, last week I learned how to knit. This week I am learning to purl. Next week, I’ll graduate from big needles to little ones and start knitting and purling on yarn the same thickness as my soon-to-be scarf’s. Today is Lazy Stitching Sunday, and I intend to spend it situated comfortably on the couch, watching bad horror movies and, like a good little Norwegian, digging purls.