Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why knitting is like dating

I was sitting knitting at Maudslay State Park the other day while The Mister was flying his kite and I starting thinking about how knitting can be a little like dating. But in a good way (Personally I'd rather stick hot pins in my eyes than date, but that's just me. Your mileage may vary.) I mean, you walk into the yarn store, which is a little like a night club for knitters. Or maybe more like speed dating, depending on your shopping habits. All those potential mates hanging on the wall, just waiting. And then one catches your eye. Maybe it's that certain shade of teal, or the way the light hits the silk content and makes it glow. It's different every time, but something about that particular skein calls to you. You approach and see if the effect is the same up close. You take the yarn down and feel it's softness and rub it against your cheek. Hell, give it a good sniff - you might as well, you're already in too deep to back out. Eventually you decide which one(s) have possibility, and the two (or 3, or 7) of you leave together.

Now is my favorite part - hand winding into a center pull ball.

I know lots of people prefer to use a fast, mechanical ball winder, but this is the time when I can really get to know my yarn. I can feel it through my fingers, watch how the colors blend and change through the skein, see just how knotty it is (a quality, by the way, which I cherish in dates; in yarn, not so much. But I digress...). This is usually the time when the yarn lets me know what it wants to be. Sometimes sock yarn doesn't want to be socks. Maybe it wants to be a baby sweater, or a pretty little shawl. Sometimes yarn I've intended for years to be a sweater for myself decides that, no, it's true calling is to be a sweater for another. Cheeky little skeins! But the yarn almost always gets it's way, and more often than not, it knows better than I.

The actual knitting of the item is sort of the relationship part of the process. There are good moments and bad; days you want to throw the project across the room in frustration, and other days that all you want is to sit on the couch working on it all day long. Sometimes you'll knit monogamously for long periods, or you might be tempted by a little quickie side project, just to spice things up. It depends on your style. Personally I am more of a polyamorous knitter - I usually have several things on the needle at once, but they all get fairly equal time. ;-)

In the end, you may end up with a hot little number that you wear one summer and never again, or you may get a beloved sweater that you wear constantly until it finally falls apart.

Just like dating...


Happy Anniversay, Mister Tim. You're my comfy sweater.... of pure cashmere.

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