There really is room in the world for many different kinds of knitters. You know that. I know that. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to understand another knitter’s position.
We had office drinks today, to celebrate or ackowledge yet another move. Yes, I’ve now moved workspaces four times in the last twelve months. I’m tired of it. Does this mean I’ve got less crap to take from one desk to another? No. Just the same crap packed up again and again. I approached the move today with all the care you might imagine after this many moves. Stuff tossed into boxes in a state of hurried abandon, just so I could get the hell out and have the afternoon at home I’m now enjoying, at the Government’s expense. Thank you very much.
We gathered in the conference room with hastily gathered snack food and an assortment of wine. Wine at midday! On a Friday! How novel. It was worth hanging around. I decided to knit.
I’ve moved into a new team recently and lots of these people don’t know that I knit and most didn’t even notice, which as I’ve said before is just how I like it. I don’t knit amongst non-knitters for the attention. I do it because, in this instance, I’ve got acres of stocking stitch ahead of me and sitting in a sunny conference room with a drink and some chips and a bit of idle workplace chatter seems as good a time as any to knock over an inch or two while I chat.
I got a couple of comments along the lines of ‘oh look she can knit without looking’ like I was performing some kind of alchemical feat. Those are the sorts of comments that are both ok and common. I explained that it was plain knitting so no need to look and then changed the subject, handing the girl next to me the bottle of chardonnay so we could move on.
The comment that stuck with me, the kind that always causes me to stop and think about it, was this one. A woman who I don’t know because I’m new to the team, told her own knitting story. Everyone was listening.
“I don’t do your sort of knitting,” she said. “I like the kind where you can’t see the knitting.”
Can you tell what’s coming next? I bet you can.
“I love that feathers stuff,” she said and I tried to imagine myself saying “I love that cashmere stuff” in the same way. I couldn’t.
“I like the kind of knitting where you knit with two strands of feathers at the same time.”
Oh God. As if one strand at a time wasn’t bad enough?
“The knitting goes really fast when you’re knitting a scarf with feathers. You can drop stitches. You can make all sorts of mistakes and it doesn’t matter. In the end end you’ve got a great looking scarf and it doesn’t matter where you screwed up.”
Look, I appreciate that people love wearing a feathers scarf. I don’t. But many do. I like pure fibers next to my skin but many people think they look great. That’s fine. But as a knitter, what, I ask you, is the point of a fast knit full of mistakes that you have covered up because the material is so abominably bulky and awful? I don’t understand it. I could only conclude from that description that she doesn’t really like knitting. And honestly, the only thing to do in that situation is smile, take a sip of your drink and keep knitting.
I looked down at the cardigan sleeve on my lap and thought of how I love stitch definition, and how that can’t be taught. Hopefully, she’ll figure that out herself one day.