Thursday, December 15, 2005

A moment of fame

Dude. I completely forgot about this, but I have knitted before an audience of hundreds (actually 3 or 4 audiences of hundreds).

My babysitter taught me to knit when I was 6 or 7, but I didn't really connect with it until I was 20. I would occasionally knit a couple inches of rectangle (I use that term loosely), but never worked on an actual project. The one exception was this:

In 1994, I played the role of Beth in Little Women with the Ghostlight Theater Company in North Tonawanda, New York (just outside of Buffalo). I spent an entire scene knitting. I don't remember if it was in the script, or if I thought my character wasn't the type to just sit around doing nothing.

I knit the front of a kid's sweater in a variegated dusty rose acrylic, with black intarsia bunnies on it.

Yes, you read that correctly: my first actual project was INTARSIA!!!

It was a pattern from The Beatrix Potter Knitting Book by Pat Menchini, a collection of very traditional (and in some cases stodgy) English designs.

Some were inspired by Beatrix Potter's books, and some depicted their characters. This was a simple pull-over with the Flopsy Bunnies on it.

And, no, I didn't think that dusty rose acrylic and black bunnies went together. They were what I had on hand, and I wanted to knit. I had only one pair of needles, and the gauge was completely inappropriate. I had also relaxed quite a bit as a knitter. Between the two, the fabric was so loose it was almost see-through, and a toddler-sized sweater would have fit an eight-year-old. That is, it would have fit if I had made the back and sleeves and found an eight-year-old willing to wear a dusty pink acrylic sweater with black intarsia bunnies on it.

As hideous as it turned out, it was an important experience because:
- I was a process knitter even then. I knew from the beginning that what I was making would never be a wearable garment, and I didn't care. I just wanted to knit.
- I learned a tricky technique before I knew enough to be afraid of it. And if I'm not a completely fearless knitter, I am a pretty low-fear one.
- I knitted before hundreds of people, AND I CAN PROVE IT (I have it on tape somewhere; probably at my mom's house)

And while I'm at it:
You are interchangeable.
Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every
eventuality covered and every opportunity just
has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and
every day is a new beginning. You are good at
so many things, it's amazing, but you can
easily lose your place and forget to show up.
They have row counters for people like you!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
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