Through the Back Loop

Adventures in knitting, fiber arts, and family.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

You Mean that is ALL one String?

Last weekend's union meetings were wonderful. I really enjoyed the process, the discussions, the topics that were raised, and learning how this annual meeting functions. I'm an odd duck, no doubt.

Luckily, I sat next to a man who has attended these things for a long time, AND he was kind enough to answer all of my questions patiently, and without frustration. Well, at least he faked it well if I was bugging the crap out of him. For him, I provided hours of entertainment during the meeting by knitting a sock.

I remember when I first met my husband and he saw me knit. He would stare and stare and stare for what seemed like eternity. Of course, I thought he was captivated by me, but NO. It was the knitting. After awhile he would say, "You mean that is all one string?" This never ceased to amaze him. For years he would watch me work and you could see him struggle with the idea that the fabric I was creating came from the one string. No matter how many times he had asked me and how many times I had answered him, he always asked. Now, 15 or 16 years later, that fascination is gone for him. But it wasn't for the man who sat next to me at the RA Conference.

He watched, and watched. Shifted position and tilted his head. I knew what was coming, but I wondered how long before he would ask me. We went through the typical knitting discussion dance.

After about 20 minutes he asked me, "What are you making?"
"A sock," I told him. This, of course, was an apparent request for me to take out the completed sock and show him what the final product would look like.
"Wow! That's neat."

Yes, we are old when we find other people who also use the word "neat"!

After about another 20 or 30 minutes he asked the question I was waiting for. "You mean that is all made from one string?"

BINGO! I showed him the self-patterning yarn, and although he was disappointed that I hadn't been working intricate color changes on my own, he was still impressed by the idea of one string curling up and around and through itself to make.... a sock! He was also truly impressed with my use of five double pointed needles. To him, it looked liked some kind of medieval torture device, even after I explained that I really only worked with two needles at a time. For his entertainment, I turned the heel.

He was in awe.

Later, when a women came by distributing papers and asked me what I was making, he excitedly said, "Show her the finished sock! Show her!" And then to the woman he said, "You have got to see this!"

During the lunch break, he went for a walk and when he sat down at the table, told me that there was a knitting shop nearby. He gave me the directions, remembered the name of the street it had been on, and even REMEMBERED THE NAME! If I didn't already have a wonderful knitting husband, this guy could have made me weak in the knees.

This got me to thinking. I wonder, on average, if men are more likely to be awed by the "one string" idea of knitting, or if women (non-knitters) are. Or is it pretty much equal between all male and female non-knitters? I'm also starting to wonder, just how long will somebody watch you knit before they ask you if you did that with "one string". I'm guessing about 30 - 45 minutes.

If you have stories that can contribute to this research... please post them!

Unfortunately, when I got the knitting shop (Follow Your Heart) later Saturday evening, it was closed. The meetings finished a day early, so I didn't have a chance to get there on Sunday - they opened at noon.

As for the statistics of the weekend....

  • 900 teacher union members met for a two-day meeting in LaCrosse, Wisconsin
  • Two days of meetings were completed in one.
  • One hotel room to myself for two nights.
  • 2 - 3 inches completed on the second sock. I didn't quite finish it, but if the meetings had continued on Sunday, I would have. I had finished the gussets and was running for the toe decreases.
  • I counted nine other knitters and two crocheters. I only saw half of the room, though. People were working on afghans, dishcloths, and scarves. I spoke with three of them and we exchanged projects and talked knitterly for awhile during breaks.


  • At 6:29 PM , Blogger Eva said...

    Most excellent story!

    So how old was that guy, and do you think he'd want to move to Arizona? Hahaha! Just kidding... sort of. :)


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