Posted on October 28, 2004 at 10:33 pm
Were I to post a photo today, it would be of a simple skein of black yarn: Rowan Magpie, in fact. I knit a sweater about fifteen years ago out of black Rowan Magpie and a palette of kid mohair colours, and it has been the best friend of a sweater that I ever made. I have a picture of me wearing it one early morning after a Tanglewood picnic with my dearest cousin, Kippy, standing on her woodpile. There’s a picture of me wearing it over a wet swimsuit after crossing the finishline underwater in the Fool Rules Regatta. It’s been to the tops of mountains and to the bottom of my closet; it’s travelled across this country several times, and once it went to California without me when a friend needed a “warm sweater for Tahoe”. But last year, the wear on the cuffs finally got to me, and I pulled the stitches apart to reknit the bottom edges in what I remembered to be the last skein of that same yarn nestled in the bottom of a Rubbermaid Time Capsule in the stash. But when I located the ball, it was something else entirely, and a DK weight. I was sunk. So I began the search in shops around, and discovered that black Magpie is an unusual bird these days. I didn’t even care about the dye lot; any Magpie would serve my purpose.
So I put out a call on one of the knitting boards I read, and a friendly knitter named Kim who lives on the other side of the continent–not even a reader of this blog mind you–answered my request. I had done nothing to endear myself to her or to earn such generosity but to ask the universe to bring me a skein of black Magpie to mend my beloved sweater.
I used to play tennis, you know. Tough league tennis. And when I played tennis, my friends at the club were all about the same level as I was. We were friendly with tennis players who were better than we were–we worshipped them–and we were friendly with tennis players who were not as good as we were–noblesse oblige, dahlink. But we pretty much obeyed an unwritten hierarchy that mandated that we lunched with whom we played.
Now that I don’t play tennis because I messed up my foot, the hobby that I have friends through is my knitting. Here, in my knitting world, there is no gate around people according to their ability, if they knit cables or lace or fancy intarsia work. I give credit where credit is due. But if they knit and either they make me laugh, or they laugh at my lame jokes, they’re one of my knitting friends. There’s no social heirarchy in my knitting world, although I do get the occasional hit on my blog from someone over at LiveJournal who thinks that my scarf knitting post from a couple of months back constituted a declaration of War on novelty yarn (knitters I like; illiterate knitters I can find a problem with). There seems no limit in my knitting world on cool people. I have made some knitting friends who I only know through this blog, but hope to meet someday. And now to have someone just send me a skein of yarn for a mending job just because I ask for it? I can’t get over it.
Knitters should run the world. We’d all be warm and at peace for it.
I love you guys.