Needles*

FirstPub
The blogger gets published

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.

KnitSimple
The discerning magazine which published the blogger’s essay

*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. 

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13 thoughts on “Needles*

  1. dawnkinster October 9, 2015 / 4:59 pm

    Very cool! To get freshly pressed is cool, and to be published in a magazine is cool too! Sounds like you’ve become an expert knitter as well.

    Like

    • Susanne October 9, 2015 / 5:05 pm

      OMG, Dawn. I’m so NOT an expert knitter. It is a constant test of wills between knitter and yarn; knitter and pattern; knitter and jumping off a bridge. But I persist because, well, it’s a long story and it’s in the magazine essay. I’ll write to the editor in a month or so to find out when I can reprint it here.

      Like

  2. cheergerm October 9, 2015 / 5:45 pm

    Totally discerning, nice work indeed. (I can’t knit a stitch but admire those who do.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. exiledprospero October 9, 2015 / 5:54 pm

    Naturally I don’t know a blessed thing about knitting, but my mom, AKA “the knitting expert,” is always working on some project or other. You’ve heard the expression “born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth,” well, my mom was born with a pair of knitting needles in her hands. Right now she is making cute as a bug’s ear dolls with very colorful wool.

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    • Susanne October 10, 2015 / 7:34 am

      I have a shawl that I’ve been working on since last November. I am redefining “slow”. I’m not a natural knitter but I like the meditative aspect of it when I get in a rhythm, kind of like the runner’s high people sometimes talk about, although I seldom achieve it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • exiledprospero October 10, 2015 / 9:38 am

        Ah, nirvana is within reach then.

        Like

  4. Cynthia Jobin October 9, 2015 / 6:38 pm

    It is indeed a milestone, Susanne, to be published in an actual magazine. Congratulations, and I look forward to reading the article!

    Like

    • Susanne October 10, 2015 / 7:34 am

      I am amazed, Bruce. I’m all twisted into knots of excitement.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Luanne October 9, 2015 / 10:58 pm

    Congratulations!!!! on your amazing essay being noticed by a magazine with good taste!! You made me really think about the needles and since I did knit when I was a kid I can get what you mean about these new cool needles and how much they help. I never tried the circular type. I always liked big fat plastic ones, kind of short ;).

    Like

    • Susanne October 10, 2015 / 7:36 am

      Needles are entirely a matter of taste and the most important thing is you like using them. As for Knit Simple magazine, I think the editor heard my whoop! of excitement all the way to New York. Definitely exciting and excited!

      Like

  6. J.B. Whitmore October 10, 2015 / 10:24 am

    Yay!. So fun to have an older post come up again. Words don’t die just because you wrote them yesterday. Happy knitting.

    Like

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