I knew it. After trying to knit for the first time in oh, 35 years or so, I’m convinced that not only is this not really for me, unless I want to make simple knitted scarves forever, but that the art of knitting itself is nothing less than Alien technology. Who invented this art of twisting and looping and something called “knit in the front and back of the stitch” and purling(why purling) with two sticks? Let’s not even mention increasing and decreasing. After researching the history of knitting on the internet, it turns out, nobody knows where, when or how this thing called knitting got started. Aha! I knew it. Alien technology for sure.
It all started innocently enough. My daughter-in-law Francesca has been knitting beautiful scarves for months now. On Thanksgiving, she brought her current project – a lacy thing that involved looping two and dropping two stitches. The scarf was worked with large needles and a very soft, fuzzy yarn. She said I could do this. Since I have no television, and evenings are spent writing, reading, or crafting, I thought, why not give it a try? I love yarns and fibers. My family owned a huge fabric/needlework store from 1950 t0 1992, so I grew up with knitting, crocheting, and sewing. My mother could knit in her sleep. I learned to crochet – but never to knit. Now I know why.
Well, to make a long story bearable, I swiftly procured two balls of soft yarn and the big needles. I had no aspirations of looping two and dropping two – I’d settle for plain knitting. After 10 or so tries and things just not going right, my 89 year old mother came to visit and knew I was casting on wrong just by looking at the needle. Start over. Leave a long tail on the yarn and cast on with that. Gee, that does look better. I’m left with about 20 inches of tail, that she says we will weave in later or add to the fringe. OK.
Knitting commences. I should add here that there is no way I can hold knitting needles in my hands and manipulate yarn (Aliens must have three or four hands, at least). I knit (term used loosely) the way my mother knits – with right needle secured under my arm, so I only need to hold one needle.
So, I’m knitting away, painfully slow but carefully. To my utter amazement, it’s working. My mother nods approval. And then I realize I’ve knitted using the tail instead of the yarn on the ball and have no where to go. When my mother stops laughing, I give her the knitting project and pick up my finger weaving. Now THAT I can do.
I think my mother must be an alien.