Our library had a “learn to knit” program last week, and Henry got it into his head that he wanted to go. Though it is possible that I made it sound extra enticing. It’s been years since I’ve knit, and it used to be a daily occurrence (I even made up a pattern once and got to be in a book). Why did I stop? Kids and life encroach on time, I suppose. Anyway, so we went to the library program, which was packed with people (hurray!), which meant we were pretty much on our own while the knitting teachers ran from person to person, instructing. The boys each picked out yarn and got a pair of needles (which they got to keep!), and then I helped them cast on, and started them knitting. They didn’t get it right away (and Eli, being only 3, didn’t really get it at all, though I think he’s close, honestly). Henry will get it with practice. What did happen, though, is that, as I was showing them how to knit, my body kicked into some sense memory meditation thing, and it was like eating a cookie my grandmother made or something. It became difficult for me to give Henry his knitting back.
One thing I did immediately realize is that another reason I stopped knitting is that, when children aren’t acting like dogs, they’re acting like cats. Zuzu kept batting at the yarn and trying to remove the needles from the knitting. I threw her a ball with a bell in it so I could keep knitting (kidding).
We got two knitting books out of the library that day: Kids Learn to Knit and Knitting New Scarves. At home, I started standing in the corner when I was supposed to be cleaning, leafing through Knitting New Scarves (like it was Twilight or something! Sheesh!) and fantasizing about what I was going to make. I decided on one with holes that you then knit in a contrasting color, and took myself out to the shed, where all my knitting things were waiting, to see what size double-pointed needles I had (knowing full well I’ve got most every size). In the shed I found an unfinished sweater, two started scarves, an almost-done pair of socks, and the beginnings of a dishcloth. And so I have forbidden myself to buy any new yarn until I finish those projects. I packed one of the scarves and the sweater into my beautiful Knitter’s Review tote (thanks, Clara!), and brought them into the house, where they are being worked on post-kid-bedtime.
One thing I love about knitting is that it offers tangible results in this world I live in, this parenting world where I may not be able to measure success for ten or twenty years. It’s nice to be back to it.