I was a knitter long ago in olden times. I even knit some garments from wool spun from sheep known to me personally and by name. I knit back in the day when your mother or aunt or grandmother was your teacher and I was fascinated that an Irish Fishermen’s Knit could be created by the manipulation of two sticks and a very long string. The daughter of “biff threatening” fame who started this blog idea has re-introduced me to the sport. Trust me on this, folks~what used to be a pastime is now indeed a sport. . . a kingdom. . . a realm.
Try Googling anything about knitting and the avalanche begins. There is an interesting podcast called Cast On and a blogger named Franklin in Chicago who has an imaginary sheep friend named Dolores who showed up one day instead of the wool he ordered. She’s a boozy Auntie Mame type and her antics are laugh out loud funny even if the closest you’ve come to knitting is buying a sweater at Marshall’s. Pictures of Franklin’s projects at The Panopticon inspire awe as do most of the bazillian other blog postings on the subject.
There is a new (to me) lexicon that has grown out of this community. LYS is local yarn store. To “un-knit” (sort of like the old tape re-wind) is to “tink” which is knit spelled backwards. To “frog” a sweater is to rip it out~so named because you need to “rip it, rip it, rip it” to return to the afore-mentioned single string. There are more kinds of yarns with more color permutations than all the past collective grandmothers, aunts and mothers could have imagined. To add to the sense of community, the LYS is a gathering place for like minded souls. A delightful shop in Maryland is called WoolWinders: A Knitting Salon, taking its name from the definition of salon that is a “social gathering of intellectuals: a regular gathering of prominent people from the worlds of literature, art, music, or politics, especially one held at the home of a wealthy woman.” I don’t know about the wealthy woman part, but the rest holds true.
Yesterday afternoon, I was visiting my LYS, WoolPack in Littleton, MA. Having finished a sweater, my hands were badly in need of another project. It was a grey afternoon with a threatening sky and the threat of an ice storm to come. This shop which stands alone with no malls or other stores nearby was inexplicably bustling with activity. The staff commented with a sigh, “It’s always like this before a storm.” Apparently, in this realm/kingdom/sport, it is as important to stock up on knitting supplies as milk and bread. It’s a new world, indeed.