Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What we learn while knitting.....

Tuesday night was Knit Night at my local yarn shop (LYS.) We had a pretty good crowd. There are four new participants (which has almost doubled our membership.) LOTS of admiration of projects, yarn envy, and the persistent whispers of things in the shop begging us to take them home. (The proprietor of the LYS is teaching them to sing...we are all afraid.)

There was also a LOT of conversation -- most around non-knit related subjects. What was fascinating was watching the way the conversation evolved. Here are the top ten things I learned last night:

10. Nobody likes going to the dentist. This may seem like a given, but some of the stories were sort of scary (see #9.) I have never been so thankful for good genes, strong teeth, and a mother that never let me go to bed without asking "Did you brush your teeth?" (Thanks Mom.)

9. Different societies view pain differently. Again, maybe this is a given, but the point really hit home last night. One of our ladies grew up in England and talked about visiting the dentist as a child. If she had to have a filling, the dentist would drill out the cavity WITHOUT ANESTHETIC. (!!!!!)

8. Folk music is enjoyed on some level by just about everybody. The LYS had a customizable web radio station on the speakers last night. Most of the stuff coming out was pretty laid back. James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel, Peter Paul & Mary, and Grateful Dead just to name a few. At some point during the evening, everyone was singing or humming with whatever was playing. It was a very mellow vibe. No one asked to flip the station either.

7. If you make it, they will brag. We had "show & tell" last night also. It was all very positive. We ogled lace, passed around hats, petted some hand-spun skeins, and tested the structure of a crochet sock. It was all good. Everyone recieved some kind of complement on what they made. My personal favorite was a little cat knitted by one of the newer members. I loved its big ears and button nose because it reminded me of my brother's Havana Brown kitties.

6. Somebody will knit something you never thought could be knit. Case in point: the gossamer shawl one of the ladies was working on in size impossibly small needles. Yes, it was a pattern. No, she wasn't looking at it because it was memorized (apparently.) I was afraid that it would disappear any moment because it was so fragile and beautiful. Even better -- it was all from one skein.

5. Somebody will knit something that you never thought would be practical as a knitted item. Case in point: soakers. Soakers are little knitted covers for babies worn over cloth diapers. I was sort of disbelieving at first. Although they are a more green alternative, cloth diapers have a major drawback in not being water/leakproof. Adding a knitted layer on top of it just makes another layer of wet stuff, so what gives? Then, we all got a lesson in these little marvels. Soakers have to be made of wool or bamboo because these fibers are naturally anti-microbial and will hold an unbelievable amount of moisture. Plus, they have to be washed in lanolin to improve this quality. The acidity of urine saponifies the lanolin on contact. So--when they get dirty, they make their own soap!!!! Crazy-science! All at Knit-Night!

4. There are a lot of brilliant people that knit. (See above.) Who expected a science lesson in the knitting circle? We also learned that MANY plant fibers naturally inhibit the growth of bacteria and microbes. You can get that benefit without soaps or chemicals. Good news if you are looking for greener alternatives.

3. Cool guys knit. I have another post on guy knitters here with more on this subject, but it bears repeating. As of this Tuesday, we have a guy that has crossed over into the 'regulars' group. Woohoo!!!

2. Eclectic hobbies attract like magnets. We don't JUST knit. Everyone has other interests as well. There was an impromptu juggling demonstration (and promise of another one at our next meeting.) A few people were discussing a short-lived (but really good) sci-fi series. Some were talking about BBC-America. And then we talked a little about the upcoming Renaissance Festival. (One of our members is a longtime festival actress.)

But the number one thing is:
1. Don't sweat it if it doesn't turn out the way you planned. Enjoy it for what it IS. The flaw in this hat may be the thing somebody else likes best about it. That's ok. Maybe if we learn to let go of the "should've's", we can look for the best in the "is." Pobody's nerfect.

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