Wednesday, August 02, 2006


The Anti-Missionary Knitter

A couple nights ago, I had an experience right out of the Yarn Harlot's speech last week, in which, I (the knitting enthusiast) tried to explain my passion to my coworkers (the normal people). I always take my knitting to work with me, on the off chance that we'll actually be staffed well (damn nursing shortage!) and I'll be able to take a break and get in some knitting time. This particular night, my patients were doing well, my charting was done, and I got in two hours of work on the Scarf That Must Not Be Named.

One of the other nurses hung out with me in the nurses' station while I knitted. She asked me how I learned to knit, and then inquired as to how I could stand to sit still so long--I neglected to point out that she'd just been sitting with me for an hour and hadn't accomplished a single thing while I was actually making something. At one point, I pulled my new Yarn Harlot book out of my knitting bag so I could reach my scissors. The nurse grabbed it and asked, "Is this a pattern book?"

"Not really. There are some patterns in it but mostly it's about knitting. I actually got to meet the author last week at a book-signing, and she signed it for me."

She flipped to the front of the book. "It says 'To the Prairie Knitter'"?

Me (blushing): "Yeah. That's my blog name. I have a knitting blog."


While I continued knitting, my co-worker flipped through the book. Suddenly she asked me, "So...straight or circular?"

I had to laugh, because in the book, Stephanie suggests asking this question in a yarn shop to watch some heated debates between knitters. I quickly launched into a speech about the pros and cons of both circular and straight needles. The nurse's eyes glazed over as she realized what she'd gotten herself into.

And that's when I pulled out all the stops. So help me God, that's when I said, "But straights and circulars are both a piece of cake compared to DPN's."

The nurse looked up and said, "DPN's?"

"Double-pointed needles. They're used for knitting small tubes like socks or sweater arms. You have to use FIVE NEEDLES AT THE SAME TIME."

This got her attention. "Oh my God, that sounds hard! Have you ever used them?"

"Oh, yeah," I say. "But it really is hard. I don't use them very often."

Apparently, I am the opposite of the Yarn Harlot's "Missionary Knitter", whose goal is to spread the Good News about knitting to all she meets. Instead, it is my mission to make knitting look difficult, thereby making myself look talented and smart, and most importantly, ensuring that new knitters don't get all the good yarn.

Oh but you ARE talented and smart and do not ever doubt that. Let your coworkers gaze at your creations in amazement while you smile and know "the truth".
Wow, I was taking the title of this post an entirely different direction.

I'm totally on board with your mission. I'll start to wail and tear at my hair sporadically whenever I knit in public. Not only will this save the good yarn for me ... I mean US, but I'll always have a good seat with plenty of room around me.
I was a bit thrown by the whole missionary in the 'anti-missionary knitter' bit. At first. And then I picked my mind back up from the dank, dirty gutter and finished your post.

On a completely unrelated note, yarn still makes me wanna smoosh my face into it.
I thought that title might reel some readers in. I just hope they're not too disappointed with the actual post. Whoops!
You will conquer those DPNs, I tell ya. :)
now I am the complete opposite when people see me knitting with DPNs and say "wow that looks complicated" I always reply "yeah but, there may be five needles but I'm only knitting with two of them at any one time"

(They don't believe me though)
Personally DPN's are a piece of cake compared to those circulars UGH!
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