Monday, March 28, 2005


We're having a good weather day here in Chicago. The temperature is tropical (low 40s and rising), the sun is out, and there's no wind to speak of. You'd have to have lived through our winter, and know that it's liable to be 22 and snowing again tomorrow, to understand how that feels.

At the end of last week I cast on for the scarf to match the London beanie, and decided that if it's going to be finished on time for Amsterdam, I'd have to start working on it during my commute.

It's extremely simple - just garter stitch - but I'm changing colors to work in stripes to match the hat. The old British military messenger bag I use to hold the yarn while I knit is working so perfectly that I've found I can even stroll up and down the platform stitching away. So far, so good.

It got even better. I was on the Red Line, chugging north to Evanston, when suddenly every last element fell into place. As stitches began to fly off the needle in time with the rocking of the train, Miss Peggy Lee rotated onto my iPod, crooning "Deed I Do," the sun poured in through the window in great bucketfuls, and the passengers around me for once did not smell like a compost heap.

Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

I hear and read all the time about the power of knitting to calm nerves and to help time otherwise idle time pass, but this was my first experience of it turning a banal and often unpleasant experience into a stolen moment of bliss.

Not a bad way to start the week.


Anonymous said...

Strolling while knitting, Elizabeth Zimmerman would be so proud!

I meant to post last week my complete confidence in your ability to complete the scarf before your trip. I'm glad to hear you are plunging ahead.

Speaking of your trip, I've also been meaning to ask if we are indeed going to be deprived of your wit and observations for the duration of said trip? If so, I say it is a pity. If not, I hope you'll be able to toss off a few photos to us here and there.

And since I also haven't said it yet -- the Beanie is fabulous :)

Anonymous said...

Have you heard of Waldorf Schools? They are really lovely in many ways which would take too long to explain here, but I wanted to mention that they begin kids knitting in first grade. Actually, they begin them making their first pair of knitting needles (sz 10, made of hardwood dowels, points sanded by hand, polished with beeswax till smooth and topped with FIMO knobs. I still use the first set my oldest daughter made). It was explained to me that knitting, in addition to being a useful way to teach some math without the kids even realizing it, was also extremely grounding and calming for kids who had a tendency to bounce off walls.
I cried when I saw my youngest daughter sit calmly for over an hour, knitting away on her little ewe (lambs followed quickly) and jumped up and down when she was given the title of Best Knitter in the Class, and was called on to help other struggling knitters. this is my ADHD kid, who has never been able to sit long enough to finish a story. Knitting can be miraculous for kids.
I'm going to be saying the little rhyme all day now..."In through the front door, round about the back. Peek through the window, and off jumps Jack!"

Anonymous said...

one wonders why this post is showing up as new in google reader..hmmmm

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