Monday, August 27, 2007

Lace, Learning, and Love

First: I love knitting lace. The whole experience thus far has been incredibly rewarding and pleasant.


I am what could be described as a haughty, sometimes, overconfident knitter. I was eager to cast on the Lily of the Valley shawl (from Lace Style), and in my haste, ignored the directions to do a crocheted cast on.

"Eh, who needs a crocheted cast on!" I said. "I'll just pick up the stitches at the end."

I neglected to read the directions all the way through to the end. Where you knit across the live stitches and increase on the same round that you pick up a bazillion stitches on each long side.

I spent TWO HOURS unpicking my cast on edge and picking up the stitches. A hundred little, tiny, petulant stitches. At the end of this exercise of atonement for my knitting bravado, I may have vowed to never knit again, and to remove my burning, exhausted eyes.

But that would be melodramatic.

What I have learned:

Designers usually have a reason for telling you to do something. Usually. In lace, do the provisional/invisible/crocheted/whatever cast on.

What I love:

We've had a conference going on at work, which meant a lot of sitting and listening. I vacillated between knitting, or not for a few minutes- because the idea of sitting for more than two hours without knitting guarantees a number of things, including:

Thinking of blog topics. Writing the script for the commercial I'm going to put up on the blog. Ideas for a theoretical Podcast. Wishing I was knitting. The list goes on.

My better judgment told me to take my knitting in a bag, just in case. So, here I am, laptop, notebook, pen, and knitting, and I see everyone in the room doing things like chatting on Messenger, or reading e-mail, or surfing the web. All stuff that I can't do and listen at the same time. I whip out my knitting (which was Lily of the Valley, not really the best lecture knitting, but not the worst, either), and put on three or four repeats of the lace before the afternoon is done.

Everyone wins, I actually focus and listen, and I get a little more done on my stole. I also have the bulletproof defense of my knitting by pointing out that the laptops are MUCH more distracting than my knitting, which was politely hidden by my laptop.

Anyhow, I love my job. I've been here over four months, and being a knitter makes me neither stupid nor quaint in the eyes of my peers. It's always "cool" and my co-workers ask intelligent questions about it. It's the antithesis of C.H.O.K.E.(Cultural Humiliation Of Knitters Everywhere) as defined by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

So, in short, I love my job, lace, and (to a certain extent) the continued learning curve that is knitting.

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