Monday, April 26, 2010
KNIT ONE, PURL ONE
Several years ago I developed a plan! Each January of each new year I would challenge myself and learn something new. (The most memorable new skill was roller skating, but that was years ago and a distant very bad memory.) A couple of January's ago Oklahoma experienced a particular cold and dreary winter, so I decided to take up knitting!
I signed up for classes and the teacher and my new best friend patiently showed me the "ropes". That's my slang for yarn! After purchasing the classes, books, needles, needle carriers, stitch counters, special scissors, row counters, cable knit holders, more needles, more patterns and a darling little bag to carry all this, I was officially a knitter. I did not know until much later that usually beginners started out with something a little easier than socks! But...I was hooked. All that beautifully colored yarn added to knitting needles the size of toothpicks plus a few hundred hours of actually knitting, produced fun, comfortable and conversation stopping socks. My sock drawer was full! My family thought I'd gone off the deep end this time. Our youngest son remarked, "Mom, do you know that you can BUY socks at Walmart for $2.49?" I paid no attention to that rationale! I began to carry yarn, needles, patterns and various knitting paraphernalia with me everywhere. Car trips, long waits at Dr's. offices, boring movies and particularly airports were now opportunities to knit a few, purl a few. One particular day we were waiting for a flight at some distant airport and I was furiously knitting away with the most recent had-to-have sock yarn. (YES, grandmothers are allowed onto airplanes with knitting needles even if they ARE metal and the size of pole vaulting poles! Go figure!) I was concentrating on my self-striping sock when a gentleman approached me. He said, "My wife and I were watching you and we're wondering what you're making." I proudly held up my tiny sock..."socks, aren't they great?" "Unbelievable!" He was impressed. "Your husband must be very happy with you to be able to do that and save so much money on socks for your family!" I nearly choked but just smiled and nodded my head. He returned to his spot on the other side of the room. That's when Honeybuns who was sitting next to me reading a magazine first started calculating the expense of my latest hobby. Finally he croaked out his thoughts, "Should I tell that man that according to my calculations we spend about $600.00 per sock?" "Nah, let's let him think I'm thrifty."
Now we have a specific line item in the household budget. Honeybuns has titled it "Hobbies", I call it therapy! Sometimes the goal is not the end product or the cost but the joy of the journey! I continue to knit and Honeybuns just smiles and each winter proudly dons his stocking hat hand-made just for him. It was one of my first projects and source of much laughter. We call it his stocking hat slash sleeping bag! He's ready for a walk on a snowy day or a summertime camp-out in the woods. It's a reminder to me of the importance of "gauge"...that's knit-talk for SIZE. I learned about that at another special class.