Knit Me a River
My child is convinced he needs to knit his great-grandmother a hat. Why? It’s her birthday. And? Because she crocheted him one. And? To keep her head warm. (He can go on forever. Try him.) While these are all valid reasons, the problem with his proposal is that he doesn’t know how to knit. Oh yeah, and he’s FOUR.
So, for three days I skirted the question: “Mommy, can I make Gigi a hat for her birthday?” All my reasons for not doing it were expertly matched, point by point. Finally, I wondered why I was spending all this time saying no, when I could just say yes and let him learn for himself exactly what is involved.
We trotted off to the craft store today (check my Facebook page for a nifty craft store tip). It was a real campaign, but I managed to sell the idea of a scarf instead of a hat, which seemed much simpler. We parted with a basic scarf knitting kit for young children, complete with yarn, blunt needles, and enumerated instructions. It was even in Gigi’s favorite colors, purple and pink!
At this point in my account, things look fairly hopeful. I feel this is an appropriate time to pause and give you a bit of insight into my knitting knowledge. In my son’s playgroup, the parents were forced invited to sit around and knit something while the kids played. The theory is that the kids would see us working (i.e., not hovering) close by and feel secure enough to engage with one another. It also gave us something to do with our hands as we sat around the kiddie table with a bunch of strangers. I actually like that idea except I came into the group late, and while everyone else was halfway to an adorable chicken, I was still sanding my knitting needles. So, I did a lot of sitting there with idle hands while everyone else clicked their needles and clucked away.
By the end of the term, I had a scrap of mis-knitted yarn that was so pathetic the teacher gently took it during the last class and knit it partially closed for me. She very optimistically handed me a wad of wool and advised me to stuff it. I’m not sure how to take that. In any case, here it sits – a half-closed, unstuffed, headless piece of tangled yarn. (In my defense, there were three sets of hands on that thing – depending on who took my son to playgroup – and one of them was left-handed. I’m not sure I ever had a shot at poultry greatness).
So, we brought the scarf kit home and opened it up. Inside, it neatly contained four sumptuously colored balls of yarn, inviting us to put them together in pleasing ways. With guarded enthusiasm, we dove in.
I still don’t know much about knitting, but one thing I can tell you from today’s little kit experience is this: You can not effectively prop instructive diagrams up against the light and see the mirror image of what’s printed on the other side. The only reason you would try this, of course, is if it were your set of hands that happened to be left-handed while the entire discriminatory knitting world was right (handed, that is)!
This is what we intended to make:
This is what we made.
Happy Birthday, Gigi. You always wanted a cat scratching post and a puzzle of the solar system encased in yarn, didn’t you??