At first it wasn’t about the needles. I wanted to be productive while sitting with my daughter as she did her homework. She didn’t really need me there but my presence was wanted for moral support so how could I say no? The difficulty is that I am a fidgeter. I find it impossible to sit still and moral support no matter how vociferously provided is an inactive, passive role. My legs would twitch, my toes tap, my butt shift in the chair and I would exude irritability with every movement. I needed something to do in between the regular dishing up of “You’re doing great, kiddo!”
So I learned to knit. I didn’t give a stitch about the tools and thus the first needles I chose were cheap, ugly, cheap, grey plastic. Did I mention cheap? I was trying to be frugal. It seemed fitting that the frugality was embodied in utilitarian, grey, straight needles. They were slippery, long, unwieldy beasts, too. The Ford-150 of needles. They caught under my arms, my elbows pointed straight to the side like I was about to start the “chicken dance” and my shoulders bunched up. I couldn’t sit close to my daughter because I took up too much space. The real kicker though was the yarn would slide off the needles too easily and as a beginning knitter I was frequently dropping stitches, causing me to cuss under my breath. But that’s another story.
The knitting intelligentsia at my local wool store suggested circular needles. These are petite versions of their gawky straight cousins, joined by a cable so you never lose one and have to buy a new set. Next I discovered bamboo needles. I was working on a shrug using soft, chunky, pure wool in a luscious deep maroon; it stuck to the wooden implement like sap to a tree trunk. I had to shove the work so forcefully along that the joint in my pointer finger became sore. It was my first knitting repetitive strain injury.
I made a sweet discovery on my last project. Standing in front of the vast array of needles in my local wool dealer I turned to the left and there on a smaller wall was a display of exquisite, highly polished, delicate wooden sticks. These were circulars with class, the Donatella Versace of knitting implements. Style, elegance, pizzaz formed into glossy, elegant accessories. The stitches float along these beauties and I am hypnotized by the sensuous flash of polished wood winking underneath the slowly growing garment almost longing for decreasing stitches so that more of the dainty wood is exposed. My hands softly finger the tool feeling the slip and glide that urges me forward in the project. The sweater seems to assemble itself using these delights. The only problem now is I need to find a yarn worthy of the tool. I yearn for the right yarn.
As for my daughter and her homework, well, she has moved on and become independent and responsible in tackling her school work. And I? I have a new obsession – needles.
*This is a Sue Redo from 2012. It was Freshly Pressed on a previous blog of mine for some bizarre reason. Maybe a WordPress wizard who was a closet-crafter was on duty that day. In any case, the acknowledgement gave me a big boost when I was a fledgling blogger. In celebration of a new milestone – Knit Simple magazine published a meditation on knitting that I submitted in their 2015 Holiday edition (thank you Leslie Barber) – I thought I’d re-post this old thing.