Saturday, January 12, 2008


I am too clumsy for pilates (and I have no idea what my "core muscles" are, or if I even have any), and I just don't have the attention span for yoga (that part of my brain is stuck on "two-year-old who had a whole box of frosted flakes for breakfast" mode). So, how to relax? Trickery. Occupy my mean Left Brain and let Righty run wild; that's the best I can do. I am one of those weirdos that finds ironing and vacuuming relaxing... anything that requires concentration but not thought.
But my favorite "relaxing hobby" is knitting. I am not great at it. Well, I am good enough to almost never make a mistake (because I don't have the patience to learn how to fix knitting mishaps) as long as I do the same stitch, and there can be no counting whatsoever. I've gotten to the point that I can do it in the dark, which was really good last Spring when I got the majority of this scarf underway. I was given the incredible, only seen in movies, would have wished for it the rest of my life opportunity to fly from Brooklyn to CA so I could sit up all night every night at my dear grandmother's hospital bedside during one of her last weeks of her amazing life. We listened to opera, laughed, cried, and she told me lots of stories I had heard a thousand times before. (the last time you hear it is the best, I promise)
My favorite was about the one time she took up knitting, to do "her part" for the soldiers during WWII. (as if taking a boat to Germany to protest against Hitler hadn't been enough). There was a
USO campaign to get the ladies at home to knit up scarves to keep the service men warm, and they were handing out balls of yarn. Being the over-achiever that she was, she loaded up as many as they'd give her, and knitted her heart out... the only thing she didn't know how to do was cast off. "No problem... one of those women down there can figure out how to divide them up, right?" So, when she told her mother (who was a domestic goddess) what she had delivered to the USO ladies, they ended up laughing until they cried... some guy ended up with a scarf that was about 12 feet long.
Someday I'd love to meet the family with the story... "when grandpa was in the war he got the longest, worst knitted scarf in all the world..."
So, my project may take years to finish (look at those tiny stitches!), and I lost the ball of brown yarn (on an airplane, I think) so the design has become a little wonky. But those stitches will tell their own story, and this will forever be one of my most treasured possessions.

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