Knit one, girl nil

01Apr10

On Sunday I picked my way through Broadway market, squeezing through packs of roaming, apolitical scenesters temporarily removed from their media nodes and flicking Meow Meow off my shoes towards the lovely Fabrications. After I’d rekindled my soul (they have a way of sucking it out of you, Dementor-style) I sat down for a few hours of tea, cake and knitting. It’s all the rage isn’t it, that crafty stuff? Everyone’s at it – feminists, Mormons, stay at home mums, Florence and the Machine. I wanted to see what all the fuss is about.

Sadly I was shit. I couldn’t get the hang of it at all. I remembered I am a stupid, incompetent person trapped in the body of an averagely intelligent one and in my shame was even less able to learn. I remembered it had taken me about 50 hours to learn to drive. When I do presentations at work I can’t get the laptop or the internet connection or the Powerpoint to work and blush and laugh and have to let someone else do it. I put milk in the bin and rubbish in the fridge and don’t notice. I get nervous during the telling of jokes and fail to understand the punchline. I come last at bowling and racket sports. I don’t remember anyone’s name or any detail at all really. I leave the gas on, and the hair curlers too. As I sat and watched the other girls knit neat rows of knits and purls, I wondered if anyone would notice if I slipped out. Or cried.

On Monday I watch YouTube videos of knitting and get a bit better, the slow movement of needle and yarn etching its way into my mind. It’s addictive. No wonder we didn’t make a bloody fuss about not being allowed out of the kitchen – this is what distracts us for the best part of two centuries. On Tuesday Franny teaches me to purl, patient, clear and kind like all the best teachers. It feels rhythmic and mellow. Flowing. Like the emptiness after a long run. I consider myself a fast learner who is good at loads of stuff. I don’t think about much else when I’m doing it. I go to bed and dream of patterns and shapes.

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