From the age of three, I have wanted to knit and crochet. When I was very young, the Maternal Parental was friends with a woman who put the “fun” in dysfunctional. In that friendship, came friendship with her three sisters and brother. One was just slightly dysfunctional while the other two were, for all intents and purposes, seemingly normal as was the brother. Slightly Dysfunctional Sister had three daughters, two of which were dysfunctional and one who was quiet and seemingly normal as well. It’s from her that I first witnessed the crafts of Knitting and Crocheting.
One day, while avoiding being bullied by the other two daughters, I came across Sane Daughter in her room doing something with a hook. Not understanding what she was doing, I quietly observed her as she used her metal stick and jabbed it into an ever growing piece of fabric. As it turned out, she was crocheting a blanket using what must have been a G hook but I didn’t know this at three years old. Seeing this happen was like magic to me and I watched her until I was called by the Maternal Parental so we could go home. From that moment on, I wanted to learn what Sane Daughter was doing.
Another time, I came across her using two metal sticks connected to a wire (this was the early 1980s) to make what looked to be a little sweater. Again, I was transfixed by what I saw and, for her part, Sane Daughter wasn’t annoyed with my presence. So, she let me watch her create this tiny article of clothing until it was, again, time for me to leave for home. I liked Sane Daughter.
Time went on and the Maternal Parental eventually fell out with Super Dysfunctional Sister over the financing of a television. After that, we lost contact with the whole family. I wasn’t too broken up over that because Super Dysfunctional Sister and Slightly Dysfunctional Sister had a majority of my early childhood tormentors as children. I was only really friendly with Super Awesome Lesbian Sister’s and Super Awesome Quiet Brother’s kids. The rest, saving Sane Daughter, would tease and pick on me.
Lost with the friendship though was my only connection to someone who knew how to Knit and Crochet. I didn’t, nor did I want to, know anyone in my neighborhood who might be able to teach me. No one in my family, that I knew of, knew these strange crafts. I also had no resources on where and how I could learn these two things. It would be a mystery to me for almost a decade but it would be omnipresent in the back of my mind.
One day, while in the high school auditorium, I watched as a frenemy turned friend of mine focused all her attention on two metal sticks connected by a wire while creating material out of pink yarn. She was making a little toy and I was, again, transfixed by what I saw. I asked her what she was doing and she explained that she was knitting. The puzzled look on my face caused her to follow her question up with another asking whether I had ever seen someone knit before. Not wanting to get into the entire history of Dysfunctional Family, I only nodded and watched as she continued knitting her toy.
By then, I had a name for one of the tasks I wanted to learn. Knitting was on my mind from that moment onward. I couldn’t learn it from school because they had rules against us having sharp objects without adult supervision. So, I kept it in the back of my mind until such time as I was able to follow through on my goal of learning how to do it. It would take me nine years before I first had a chance to hold knitting needles. By this point, I was twenty-five years old and in mortal terror of making the attempt at learning to knit. Thus began my fear of knitting but also my conquering of that fear.
Tune in tomorrow for Part Two!