Being the physically uncoordinated person that I am, and also being an avid knitter and voracious reader, I have always attempted but mostly failed in my efforts to knit and read simultaneously. If the stitch pattern was an easy one (stockinette, knitting on one side and purling on the other, or garter, knitting each and every row), the yarn a non-slippery wool or alpaca, and the reading material simple (weekly junk rag “People”) I could manage somewhat. Mostly, though, I sucked. At the least, I did both things exponentially slower than they could be done separately, and at the worst, I ended up screwing up my knitting, dropping stitches like Pamela Anderson drops husbands, and missing half the book by skipping important plot points tantamount to understanding the premise of the manuscript.
Still, I persevered and wonder upon wonders, I actually finished a book, in fact a very good book, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, while knitting various items that demanded more than the more rudimentary stitch patterns. There is hope for me yet, though I don’t think this means I’ll be juggling fire lit torches on star search anytime soon.
“Vogue Knitting,” one of the twenty thousand knitting magazines to which I subscribe, recently had an article on the many books that either feature or mention knitting in them. Most famous of all was A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens complete with the ruthless and infamous Madame DeFarge. Less so were two by Debbie Macomber, The Shop on Blossom Street and A Good Yarn, both about the lives of women revolving around a knitting shop. Although there were more, these appealed to me the most and, perhaps foreseeing my newfound ability, I went to Amazon, which is in no small part responsible for the fact that my children’s college funds are paltry at best, and ordered them. Bubbling over with newfound confidence, I am ready to tackle them now, maybe even while doing intarsia (hieroglyphic knitting involving charts and symbols.) I hope it wasn’t a one time thing; I really need to finish the Christmas gifts and I am in desperate need of mental stimulation after watching one too many kid shows.
Don’t worry, gentle readers, I am not getting overly confident. In fact, I have asked for an IPOD for Christmas in order to listen to audio books and knit at the same time. Until then and longer if I do not receive one, I hope my newfound coordination holds out. If not, I am really sorry everyone; you’ll get your gifts sometime in April.