The sock and I spent the day yesterday at what we fondly call the “family beach.” It’s actually on the opposite side of the pond from where Dale’s Boy Scout troop goes to summer camp and I have spent many, many happy hours there over the years.
In the summer of 1999 it’s where I learned to knit. At that time I was between library jobs and working part-time at a local fabric/yarn store and was completely obsessed with learning to knit. I kept fondling all this lovely wool and really wanted to make Hannah a sweater. My friend Lois, who can do absolutely anything, told me she’d teach me to knit. Now, I love Lois like a sister and one of the reasons I do is because she is THE eternal optimist. Here are some excerpts from actual conversations we have had:
Carole: Lois, can we start and finish a quilt in a weekend?
Lois:Sure, we can!
Carole: Lois, can we make Hannah a Halloween costume in an afternoon?
Lois: Sure we can!
Carole: Lois, can we make a Civil War reproduction ball gown in a week?
Lois: Sure we can!
Carole: Lois, can you teach me to knit?
Lois: Sure I can!
You get the idea, right? The word “can’t” does not come out of this woman’s mouth.
So, when Dale and I set off on a two-week camping trip at the “family beach” Lois and I decided she would come visit for a couple of days and teach me to knit while she was there. Now, me being the totally obsessed, anal-retentive person that I am, I didn’t want to learn to knit by making a scarf – I thought I would be bored. Lois assured me that starting with a sweater would be fine. And, while it’s great to have a friend that’s optimistic about her own abilities – perhaps she was a little overly optimistic about mine. Nevertheless, I picked out a pattern for a cabled pullover sweater (Carole: Lois, can I learn to knit with this pattern? Lois: Sure, you can!) and bought all the necessary supplies before we went camping. Lois came and we hung out on the beach and she taught me to knit. It wasn’t pretty. There was throwing of yarn. There was gnashing of teeth. There was swearing. And that was just while I learned to cast on. Just as I started to maybe get the hang of things, Lois had to go home. Without Lois there to
do it for me show me the way, I was completely lost. The sweater got shoved in a closet in the camper and that was the end of that.
I might have been in over my head with that pattern, but I was bitten by the knitting bug that week. It was another year before I tried again and this time I made myself knit a scarf first. I went from that scarf to my first pair of socks and I haven’t looked back. As for the cabled pullover sweater? I never did finish it. Too many bad memories.
Yesterday, though, on that beach? It was all about good memories and happy knitting and butterflies!