Being a 2nd-shift wife, I have tended to default to TV in my solitude this January. Last Friday night, it was time to do something other than watch the box. The local yarn shop (the one that also teaches spinning) hosts a once-a-month Charity Knit event for 2 hours. You bring your needles – you own yarn optional – and come knit with others. They serve refreshments, offer yarn, a simple pattern to knit, and companionship. A perfect – and agreeably different – way to spend a Friday evening.
I almost didn’t go – lucky for me the Goddess gave me one of those petulant looks which sent me scurrying for my size 9s before she started humming doom and gloom.
“I’ll go – but I want to be home to see Doc Martin. So we’ll need to leave by 7:30.” Managing a petulant Goddess is sometimes a struggle. If we did EVERYTHING she wanted to try, we’d have no down time. Alas – she knew I had had too much down-time – hence the looks.
So go we did – and it was such fun. 9 Knitting Goddesses and 1 husband (married to the yarn-shop owner who was also the evening’s hostess). How delightful to spy across the table at a 60ish man struggling to cast on lime green yarn in the company of 8 technically able knitters. He took many breaks to refill his glass and grab salty snacks – returning each time to take up the needles again. One peek found him madly counting his cast-on stitches with his tongue between his teeth, forehead furled, in deep concentration. From time to time he would lay down his work to sip his drink and ask us questions – and questions not most women would ask – which made him delightful and engaging company.
The first 90 minutes (time-limit) went by quickly – I (as well as my female companions) nearly finished the evening’s little hat project while our male companion began knitting his first row – casting on completed at last.
I was charmed by this gentleman’s humility and his unwavering willingness to try something new in the company of the opposite sex. Had the tables been turned, gender-wise, I wonder how likely I might have been to try something similar – oh, wait. I would have! And here’s why I think that: what made his foray into knitting possible was, that for him, success was neither the goal nor an expectation. Neither he, nor we, expected him to succeed. He hoped to do well and we hoped he would do well. There was no judgment. That is different. And that was enough.
Judgement saps the life out of any activity we might enjoy. Perhaps my attempts at writing need the same acceptance and delight. I have hung back, not writing much since the end of my 30 day experiment. Missed it? Yes and no. Yes, in that it was fun and amazing to see what came out of my fingers. No, in that it had become a demanding 2nd life producing much unneeded anxiety – likely related to the judgment piece. (the Goddess is nodding her agreement.)
There was an acceptance of our male knitting companion – and a delight in his attempt and in his company. There was appreciation of the new facet he brought to the conversation. It was not about gender at all. It was about accompanying someone on the journey of discovery. There is great delight in seeing someone begin to do anything. There is a refreshing curiosity that neophytes bring to any activity that makes the veterans less jaded and reminds us why we love doing something.
The Goddess and I left on time – reluctantly as it turned out – and made it home in time for Doc Martin. We will go back next month. I so want to see how the lime green hat is coming. Also, there was a pink yarn in the charity yarn box that I hope is still there in February when the Goddess and I go a-knitting again.