The Curious Hands that Knit

There are twice as many knitters as golfers in North America. Still, if you walk into any airport in North America, you can find a golf magazine but not a knitting magazine, even though you can’t golf on a plane.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

This is pretty funny if it’s true, but I couldn’t verify. I found numbers on golfers, somewhere in the 28.6 million range, but nothing for knitters. I’m sure there are quite a few knitters, because I see them all over, but you never know.

This past summer I was making a trip to Atlanta, Georgia to visit some friends, and I made sure to read through the airline’s dos and don’ts to see if I could bring my knitting or not. I found I could, but I chose not to because I was traveling with another friend and figured we’d spend more time chatting than not.

It was nice to know the airlines had deemed knitting safe again, which is all to the good, though I’ve often considered using beautiful, wooden knitting needles as murder weapons in one of my stories—somewhat cliche I know, but still very worthy.

Knitting is calming for me. Knitting gives me space between writing and banjo plucking and reading, and it gives me quiet when my children are busy and loud, running all around me. Plus, I love witnessing the creation between my hands, the way a sock will materialize before my eyes—one row at a time.

I was on the sidelines of one my boy’s soccer practices the other day, and this little girl, maybe eight years old, kept staring at me while I knitted. I smiled at her, inviting her to talk if she wanted. She asked me what I was doing.

“I’m knitting a sock,” I said, and then I pointed out the heel and cuff that were already done and asked her to imagine the rest. She was fascinated and kept asking her mom if she could learn to knit too. It was very cute.

My youngest boy has learned to knit and enjoys snuggling on the couch with me, our hot tea on the coffee table, while we knit together. Of course, he doesn’t sit as long as I do, because the call of the wild pulls at him, a deep need to romp about outside with his friends.

I cherish the few moments I do get, for I am enchanted with watching his curious hands finger yarn and needles, as he creates something out of very little.

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