When I told my good friend and resident knitter, Sam, that I wanted her to teach me how to knit, her eyes lit up. She had just taken on a knitting mission to make all of her closest friends scarves (a mission that, while very sweet and admirable, will probably take her forever due to her perfectionism… but that’s Sam for ya.) This meant she was knitting a lot – in the class we had together, in the lounge, while watching TV, when procrastinating from homework… basically, she was knitting everywhere, a lot of the time.
And it also meant that she was knitting a lot around me… and I was, for the first time, fully convinced of its value as hobby therapy.
So, excited to teach me what she knew, she and another friend of ours hopped into my car one weekend and drove off to JoAnn Fabrics.
The first task of the day was to help me find needles. We stopped in front of the section full of needles of all colors, materials, and sizes. My eyes were drawn to a particular pair immediately – they were metal, fairly large and thick, and – best of all – bright magenta. Like, I’m talking Libby Lu purple, here. I had to have them.
I immediately picked them up. “What about these?” I said, hoping there was something vaguely beginner-friendly about them.
Sam inspected them. “Actually, those would work perfectly. They’re a good size.”
Victorious, I took my needles and followed Sam to the yarn. She swore to me that she wasn’t going to buy any, as she had plenty and needed to save her money, but she quickly located a ball of yarn just perfect for her current project, and when I found a huge ball of nice, light yellow yarn for a great price, she bought herself a ball of it too.
Anyway, we both walked out with two balls of yarn, and I got my pretty needles, and everything was wonderful. Sam taught me to knit on the floor of her dorm room while we watched Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was actually not the first time I had learned, as a few years before my good friend Marie taught me as well.
But, for whatever reason (probably because I now had my own materials and a lot of pent-up anxiety to release) this time it stuck. I definitely wasn’t an expert right off the bat, and since the first yarn I used particularly wanted to fray, my stitches weren’t always the most even, but I grew to really like the task.
I’m not the first to try (and probably fail) to explain what exactly is it about knitting that makes it so calming, but I think it has something to do with the rhythm of it. Once you learn how to do it, it isn’t particularly hard and doesn’t require your full attention, but it’s also a nice, rhythmic movement that simultaneously brings about a product that looks neat and pretty and soft.
Anyway, I’m very into knitting now. It’s one of the things I like to turn to at the end of the day, when my homework is finished and I just want to watch some TV and keep my hands busy. But now… well…
You see, by the time this is posted, I’ll be almost ready to hop on a plane bound for Florida with my scholarship group. There, we’re gonna learn all about journalism and also maybe sometimes do some other stuff. I was looking forward to the calming, completely wifi-less activity of knitting to accompany me through the two flights we’ll be taking there but then I thought… wait, are they gonna be cool with me bringing two notably dagger-sized metal needles onto a plane?
A few google searches later and… uh, yeah. They’re generally not cool with that. They’re usually okay with wooden or plastic needles, but metal? Yeah, the TSA doesn’t go for that. So my pretty, Libby Lu magenta needles that make such a nice clicking sound when I knit… cannot come with me to Florida. Tragedy. Now what am I going to do with my free time when I’m there?? Interact with others?? Preposterous.
More on this horrible situation next week. (Maybe.)