Sunday, 31 January 2010

Knitting Lesson On A Bus

Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours at our local Mall. No, not shopping! Shopping malls and shopping are seriously two of my least favourite pastimes. I was there volunteering my time on behalf of a local Rotary Club to fundraise for this project ... a very worthwhile cause. I understand Rotarians were able to deliver the first batch of these boxes on the third day following the big disaster in Haiti. We had an actual box, tent and contents set up for everyone to see ... and for the public to imagine sharing with 9 other people ... and local residents were very generous. I'm aware of at least one individual who "purchased" one complete ShelterBox for Haiti on her own!

While waiting for the bus on my way home from the Mall, I did some knitting. I very seldom go anywhere without some kind of easy knitting project in my bag. Twenty minutes to half hour on the bus going and another half hour or so of returning approximately equals an hour of knitting, and it's quite amazing how quickly small projects can be completed. The current "in the bag" project is a baby garment. No, no shocking news to share ... this is for a local friend's first grandchild.

Anyway, while I waited and knitted, a young man came to stand beside me and stared quite intently at what I was doing.

"What do you call that what you're doing?" he asked.

"Knitting," I explained. I'm quite used to people asking about my public knitting.

Then the bus came and we both got on. The young man sat in the seat behind me and continued to watch very closely.

"Why did you change metal sticks just now?" he asked.I explained the "metal sticks" are called knitting needles, and I had just changed from a 3.75 mm (left in picture above) to a slightly larger 4.0 mm (right in picture above). I was knitting the bottom of a little garment leg, and I wanted the leg cuff to be slightly snugger than the rest of the leg ... sort of like the knitted cuff on the sleeve of his hoodie ... and the smaller the needle, the smaller or tighter the resulting stitches.

"That makes sense!" he grinned, and then I REALLY had his attention. He leaned in even closer to watch more intently. After a few moments, he asked "how come you keep holding THAT needle the same, but you point the OTHER needle in a different direction each time you switch ?"

I explained that the two different directions of "pointing the other needle" are what makes two different stitches possible. When I aim my right-hand needle DOWN like so ...
... I am making a KNIT STITCH, and when I aim my right hand needle UP like so ...
... I am making a PURL STITCH. Then I showed him how alternating rows of knit and purl result in a right side with "vees" (first picture), and a wrong side with "bumps" (second picture). He really got excited when I explained that ALL knitting is basically these two simple stitches manipulated and arranged in different sequences and wanted to know where he could buy the materials to try it himself! We even talked briefly about MALE knitters and designers (of which there are lots). I think I might have made a convert. It's moments like these that keep me happily knitting on the bus!

Aside from the knitting lesson, this past week has been very trying for a couple of reasons. First, someone very close to me lost a 16-year old daughter this past week. I understand only too well that grief manifests itself in many forms ... "why me", "why her", "why God", "if only" ... but I'm having a tough time figuring out how to respond well. I want to explain what I personally believe, that everything is for a greater reason even if that reason is clearly not apparent at the moment, but that's not what needs to be heard just now. I also want to rage that 16 year olds should grow up to be 17 year olds and then 37 year olds and eventually 87 year olds! It's just not right/natural/fair for any parent to outlive their children! Hmm. My son Robert had been on my mind frequently in the past while. Almost makes me wonder if he wasn't trying to tell me to have a look at my OWN grief ... almost like he knew what was coming. Double hmm.

Second, I learned this past week that a hometown acquaintance is now living with dementia, and has been in a care facility for the past couple of years. This person is only a decade or so older than I am. In my mind, forgetting how to feed oneself happens to REALLY OLD people, not people only a decade or so older than I am! For some reason, I just can't wrap my head around this one ... and I keep hearing Dylan Thomas's words in my mind ... "do not go gentle into that good night ... rage, rage against the dying of the light".

In closing today, here are some weather photos. I looked outside early one morning this past week and was astonished at this incredible sunrise.

I thought about the old saying "Red sky at night, sailor's delight; red sky in the morning, sailor's warning" but the rest of the day was quite boring weather-wise. Perhaps because we're mid-province here and not up to any sailing? Coming home late another evening this past week, I was captivated by this almost full moon viewed through barren tree branches.

Today, it's back to seasonally-appropriate snow.
There was a Mama moose nibbling along this fenceline again this past week, but she managed to disappear while I went to fetch my camera. I've been trying to catch her for a picture for two months now and still no success!

Have a great week y'all!


sheri said...

LOL..I don't think I could get the hang of knitting..too funny about the guy being so interested. Nice to see that it could bring about some social interaction. That seems to be a lost art these days:)
Good luck getting a picture of your moose..can't wait to see a picture. I know I will never have one in my
Hugs, Sheri

Black Jack's Carol said...

Great post! I enjoyed the knitting instructions (sort of a review for me and rather inspirational) and the incredible sunrise photos, and hope one day to see that moose. Your responses to a child's death, and an acquaintance's dementia touched a chord, as did the Dylan Thomas quote and the "sailor's warning".

Anonymous said...

So sorry. im sure you responded just right. your very caring. I think there is more snow here right now. {o)