A little bit of writing, a little bit of knitting...

Thursday, March 24, 2005


I was struck by a comment that I read somewhere this morning, and it's had me thinking about radar. Women seem to be born with built-in radar functions. For instance, women always know exactly where to find a bathroom -- even if they're in an unfamiliar mall in a strange part of the country. All we need to do is stop and let our radar kick in, and we're on our way.

The same is true for knitters. Knitters have a built-in yarn radar. It doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing -- if there's a yarn store nearby, you'll pick it up on the radar.

It happened to me on vacation. I had just flown into Phoenix, where Paul, who had been there all week for work, picked me up at the airport. I dumped my stuff off at the hotel, and we headed out for dinner. As Paul drove, I scouted. Sure, I was actually supposed to be looking for a Mexican restaurant. What I found was a yarn store.

"Oooh look, Honey! A yarn store!"

A couple of days later, we were driving through gorgeous Sedona, admiring the majestic rock formations that surrounded the city, when my radar went off again.

"Wow! Look at that one! Look at the colors!"


"Isn't that beautiful?"


"Oooh look, Honey! A yarn store!"

I can't help it. They call to me. I realize that non-knitters don't understand (on our vacation, my husband asked, "Do you really think they have different yarn here than they do back home?"), but I can't help it. I'm a knitter. I'm drawn to yarn -- to the people who are every bit as obsessed with it as I am. I'm drawn to the colors and the textures. And I'm especially drawn to the sale bins -- you never know what you'll find. It might be just the thing I need for that shrug I've been wanting to make...

I've also noticed that since I learned to knit, I've been especially sensitive to hand-knit items. I can't see a woman wearing a knit scarf without wondering if she made it -- without wanting to walk up to her and share patterns and tips and become knitting friends forever. And I can figure out the yarn she used from 50 feet away. It reminds me of another experience during our vacation. Paul and I went to a show one night. I dressed in black with a bright scarf in shades of red and my new sparkly felted purse. A woman in the row in front of us was wearing a fuzzy colorful shawl. "I wonder if she made that," I said to Paul, pointing to the shawl. "Looks like Cha-Cha." During the show, I often found my eyes wandering back to the shawl, wondering if it was something I should make for myself. I eventually decided against it, but I think it looked great on her. And if I were going back to Vegas, I might just make one.

Perhaps it's just obsession. Perhaps knitting brings enlightenment that just heightens the awareness of those who take part. But whatever the case, ever since I learned to knit, I see things that I never saw before...


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