Monday, December 10, 2007

This Magic Moment...

I think we've all been there.  In fact, we most definitely have been there in that it was once us who said, "Golly, I surely do think I'd like to learn to knit..."   I remember it well.  I'm sure you do, too.

 But, I'm really talking about that moment where we witness the beginning of the conversion.  That instant where it becomes clear that we are in the presence of Creation.  It is a deeply profound sort of thing and one that calls for a certain amount of reverence.  It is that moment when another announces their intent to take up the needles.

Sometimes you can predict who is going to go through The Change.  There are those who just give off a Fiber Vibe.  You can spot 'em a mile away.  They show great interest in mittens and are often heard to rhapsodize over how wonderful life would be if only they could knit a sweater.  This is usually followed by a fiscal statement regarding how cost efficient it would be to create fine knitwear.  Why, one could have a closet-full of sweaters at a fraction of the cost of the department stores.  Then they mention how they would knit for every holiday and special occasion, thereby saving enough money to eventually purchase a small island for vacationing.

We try not to laugh.  We may let a little smirk slip through.  But we don't really discourage them...it's one of those things people sort of have to figure out for themselves, after all.  I've been knitting for years and I don't have a closet filled with fine sweaters nor is there an Isle Of Sheep on any map at this point.  We let it go because they are the Knitters To Be.  It is inevitable.  

Then there are those who surprise you.  You just don't see it coming.  You have been knitting away in their presence for nigh on a year with nary an inkling.  You prance about, flaunting your handknit socks and get little in the way of a reaction.  Even when you stick your foot right in their faces and demand fawning compliments they demonstrate minimal emotion.  (aside from the obvious distaste for having feet stuck in their faces)  They just don't seem to want to walk in the way of the wool.  It's all right.  It takes all kinds to make the world go 'round, after all.  We don't need everyone to be knitters.  That might impact the yarn supply and we don't need that right before the holidays, now do we?

And yet, you just never know.  All those wool fumes we've been giving off may just be having more of an effect than we thought.  There are those out there with deep, dark desires and who aspire to wield the needles.  They hide it well.  But, eventually, their passion will burn through their cool facades and the words will be spoken:

You know, I think I'd really like to learn how to knit...

And, if you happen to be there for those most sacred of words, it is an experience akin to seeing the moment a flower blooms or a wee, little babe takes his first steps.  You almost expect to hear a chorus of angels.  There usually isn't one.  I'm assuming that the heavenly choirs are a little busy right now what with all the seasonal stuff going on so it isn't all that surprising.  But a little of the harmonic humming wouldn't be out of place.

I was present for those fateful words on Friday.  And they came from one of those unlikely sources, one for whom I would not have predicted a future with the yarn.  Following the uttering of those magical words, my Cheerful Teaching Assistant, a girl who has never once shown a single bit of interest in my knitting obsession, left me for her weekend.  And during that weekend, the leap was made.  She arrived this morning fairly beaming with pride and produced that item we all know will be made public soon after the declaration is made.

The bulky weight scarf on size 11 needles.  

It is tightly knit.  It always is, after all.  The edges pull oddly, giving it something of a zig-zag effect.  The beginning is in stockinette stitch.  But it has somehow magically transformed into garter stitch along the way.  The needles from which it hangs are metal because they make that neat "clicking" sound like knitting is supposed to do.  It has been knit upon all weekend.  Sleep was lost.  The hands that created it are aching from the effort, but knitting does not cease.  

It has begun.  And yes, there are plans to finish five scarves in time for Christmas.  I'm not going to be the one to tell her.  It would just be cruel.  She is so very happy right now.  She is transformed from my Cheerful Teaching Assistant to my Extremely Cheerful Teaching Assistant With Blisters.  Or are they really, "bliss-ters?"

I'm a little weepy.  It's just so darned beautiful...

SA 

22 comments:

Teri S. said...

That brings tears to my eyes and sends a shiver up my spine. I thought it would have been Future S-I-L Sheep, not the Cheerful Teaching Assistant. Hopefully the Christmas knitting deadlines won't put her off the needles forever. That would be such a shame.

Cursing Mama said...

I'm nearly beaming with pride over your find. Its been a long while since I've crossed paths with someone newly infected.

Lorraine said...

Ah, you've converted your first fiber heathen to a new proselyte. (la-laaaaa)

Okay, not such a great impression of a heavenly choir but . . .

Julie said...

There's nothing quite like the optimism of a new knitter - 5 scarves indeed! :-)

Mouse said...

hooray for new knitters!

kmkat said...

I hope you haven't already knit her something for Christmas. What she really needs is some lovely yarn and pretty needles. Knit Picks Harmony needles, the ones that are made from color laminated wood, are beautiful and pleasant to use, hint hint.

Bells said...

Oh I've witnessed it, especially the conversion that takes place in someone who used to almost sneer at my work. The change! It's amazing. You are handling the not telling her how it is part very, very well!

Yarnhog said...

I'm grinning away right along with you. I'd love to welcome her to the fold.

Today, I did an assembly about spinning and knitting for the whole second grade at my kids' school. When it was over, a little boy who has been to my house once to play with my son came up to me, eyes shining, big smile. "The next time I come to your house," he said, "I wanna do THAT!"

Beth @ Felt Like Knitting said...

Did she say when she'll be starting her blog? :)

Leigh said...

I'm enjoying getting caught up reading your blog. I think this post is wonderful! Just think, you've been a positive influence all this time and didn't even know it.

Rabbitch said...

Excellent.

I believe this will weigh well with Santa, which is good considering how close to the "naughty" side of the list you've been teetering for quite some time.

livnletlrn said...

Awesome. I was thinking the new knitter might be the world's greatest stylist, but a cheerful AND knit-obsessed colleague is a very good thing! As if your students didn't already think you two were whacky enough. ;-)

trek said...

Don't point out to the Extremely Cheerful Teaching Assistant that there are now only two weekends left before Christmas. It could just ruin the whole rest of her first knitting Advent and it just wouldn't be kind.

::snickering::

Denise said...

Can spinning be far behind?
:-D

Miss T said...

Yay! We got another one!

Susan Pandorf said...

Ding, ding, ding!We have a winner!

HUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

Lazuli said...

That's wonderful! How very exciting for both of you!

Although, for a minute there, I thought it was going to be the gruff guy surrounded by knitters at meetings!

Mia said...

And then there are those that started off that way, became knitters and after frogging a million miles of yarn, went back to the comfort that is crochet ::laughing::

Carrie K said...

Oh lovely! I feel the Force getting stronger. Five scarves by Christmas? Good luck. And saving money? Oh, they're so cute when they're new.......

PICAdrienne said...

I have a young apprentice of my own. He is 10. It started with the ball winder, what young man can resist being at the controls of a ball winder, as I act as the swift. He has advanced to dyeing yarn, and really likes the look of handpainted yarn. This last weekend, we were at our favorite lys, and they had sample swatches to try the handpainted yarns. He picked up needles with some of Claudia's handpainted sock yarn, no he did not knit, he purled. He has decided he will not become a knitter, but he will purl. The ladies of the shop admired. He was rewarded with permission to wind a lady's new skein of yarn from the swift using the ball winder.

He is experiencing a great deal of frustration with the Addi Turbos (he wanted to try them) but more patience with the sticks of bamboo.

Yes, things are progressing according to plan.

Anonymous said...

It's so nice to see another join the flock!
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

Ronni said...

While I am happy for the Cheerful Teaching Assistant, I will confess to a twinge of disappointment. I was rather hoping it would turn out to be the Friday afternoon appointment gentleman.