Posted on September 15, 2004 at 3:20 pm

Img_1607 First off: here’s Birch, about a third of the way done. I’m really loving it, and I haven’t had any problem with the kidsilk haze nor with the lace pattern. The KSH is certainly not a worsted but a fuzzy fairy floss, so it does take some getting used to, but as far as fuzzy fairy flosses go, I can’t imagine a better expression of the species. It’s glossy and soft and I love the colour. The Birch pattern is logical from row to row, so when I lose track of where I am in the pattern, I just read the row below, and continue on. It’s a challenge because of the fineness of the yarn I suppose, but for a knitter looking for a minor challenge, this is a very satisfying one.

So here’s the real reason for my post today: At the Knit-Out on Sunday, a television crew filming a promotional reel to pitch a knitting documentary to PBS approached the group of us bloggers knitting under a tree–we were a picturesque group, it’s true. The talking member of the pair explained their mission, and wondered if they could ask us some questions. After an awkward moment of silence when I assume everyone, like me, considered the state of their hair and the unflattering lighting, Johanna piped up to admit that she wasn’t comfortable on camera. I admired her at that moment, her self-awareness and candor, her resistance to making an indelible fool of herself on film, albeit a film that was only going to be shown to a few mucky mucks. And right after I finished admiring Johanna in all of her wisdom, I promptly volunteered to answer their quesions, feeling at once sorry for the television crew and the missed picturesque opportunity that we must have seemed to them (especially after Johanna’s dog lunged at the talking member and bit her on the thigh), and that as a teacher and general pompous know-it-all that I could handle a little old camera crew. PBS is so sweet and innocent a network, right? I mean, it’s the home of Sesame Street and Sagwa.

Oh yeah, and Frontline.

So she asks me without letting me collect my thoughts, “Why do you knit?” This is the moment that I remebered the Frontline connection; clearly our talking member is a veteran of that school of searing confrontational journalism. I blinked in the klieg lights, and I said “I dunno.” See what a witty existentialist I am? I think I fumbled around for a minute trying to say something that they could use, I tried “Because I’m six feet tall and I can’t buy anything I like to wear in the stores,” I tried, “Because it’s creative and individual” and I tried ” It’s fun and social” and gestured to the collection of bloggers about me, but nothing that came out of my mouth felt correct, nor intelligent or wise. Seeing that I was singularly lacking in anything that would help them persuade PBS to fund their documentary, they turned to the Divine Miss C. and asked her about how old she was and who taught her and does she knit in school, and the Johanna found courage and added a few things, and then, mercifully, they turned the camera off. And then the talking member of the pair asked me to show her how to yarn over.

So now that I’ve had a chance to mull it over for several 2 a.m. sessions of self-doubt and shoulda-couldas, I continue to wonder what would have been the right answer. Should I have taken a page out of Rilke: “Because I must!” or should I have been evasive like Mr Bush: “Why do you make films?”
I still am not sure exactly why I knit, but I do know that it sure is something I want to do.

What would you have said?