My knitting saga thus far has been rather colorful and peppered with the kind of shocking language and rabid perseverance that I’m sure you have all come to expect from my exploits. As such, I will be dividing the story of my knitting adventures thus far into a couple of posts.
It all started when I ordered yarn and needles online and sat down to wait patiently for their arrival. Approximately fifteen seconds later, I hopped in the car and went looking for the nearest store from which I might procure at least an approximation of yarn and a couple of pointy sticks with which I might tie complicated knots. (I am nothing if not the epitome of patience and grace.) Because I live in the hickiest hick town in these here United States there was no way I was going to be able to find anything actually nice so I decided that while I waited for the soft and downy something or other and alpaca yarn of my dreams to arrive in the mail, I would happily settle for the two dollar and fifty cent mega roll of acrylic from Wal-Mart as long as it meant that I would get to start click-clicking away right NOW.
This, of course, was a mistake. Not that I didn’t procure perfectly acceptable (albeit cheap and oddly shiny) yarn and electric purple knitting needles. The problem is, in doing so I had to interact with Wal-Mart people, by which I mean, employees. “Helpful” employees who think that being a helpful employee involves “helping” you by forcibly having their way with you and your purchases because when they asked you what you were making, you had the audacity to tell them you were just learning.
“Stupid woman, even I – a lowly Wal-Mart cashier – know how to knit. I will show you. First you just hold up the line like this while people behind you get very, VERY mad. (And, um, did I mention trigger-happy what with their boxes of Wal-mart brand deer shot and all.) Then you dump out the contents of this here bag and remove all the assorted knitting paraphernalia from it’s packaging. Surely, you were going to do the same when you get home, so there’s no point in not doing it now. Then you just start yanking on whatever dangly bits of yarn you can find along the skein. Nevermind that there are very specific instructions to follow if you want to pull yarn from the center in a way that is wonderfully continuous and helpful. Once you’ve pulled out the wrong end of the yarn and frayed it ever so lightly with your sweaty hands because, after all, this is the GARDEN CENTER where you thought you could just slip in and out real fast like and not experience the soul crushing suffocation of ninety percent humidity on an already stiflingly hot Florida summer day, then you just wrap it around…um, I mean, you um tie a knot in it here…and then you…do you use the other needle…I think it’s something like this…sort of tied over…well, you sort of loop it onto this needle somehow…you know my grandma taught me to knit when I was little, but I can’t seem to remember how it goes right now. I think you’re supposed to twist this…hmm…maybe this other person knows. Hey, other Wal-mart employee lurking in the background not doing anything in particular and certainly not opening up another lane for the eighty bazillion people who are still waiting in line all menacing like with their elephant bullets while I show this lady how I actually haven’t got the faintest knowledge of the mysterious inner workings of knitting other than to know that it involves sticks and strings, do you know how to knit?”
“Oh, me? No, I don’t know anything about knitting. (THANK GOD!) I’m more of a crocheter. Have you tried crochet? Blah blah blah….”
Do you have any idea how hard it is to be gracious and kind when there are eleven billion people waiting to maul you with cheap plastic yard décor and you’re overheating because did I mention we were not only essentially outside in the heat and humidity, but that I was wearing a sweatshirt because I had just left the luscious coolness of work and was headed for the luscious coolness of home and wasn’t expecting to be outside and was now steaming like an goddamned asparagus in my clothes? It’s very difficult to say nice things like “thank you” and “oh, I don’t want to keep you” when in your head there’s a constraint stream of expletives screaming past a quiet and pathetic inner monologue about how you’re about to be killed and it’s not your fault and all you ever wanted was to tie knots in string and was that so much to ask?
Tomorrow, the knitting begins.