Farts and crafts

Most young people would rather stick their tongues to a frozen pole than learn to knit, so it came as no surprise that most of the women who showed up yesterday for our knitting group were wearing support hose. I was happy to help the newbie knitters learn this time-honored torture, since I had suffered at the hands of a master, and wanted to pay it forward.

From the time I was out of diapers, I was shipped off for two weeks each summer to Grandma’s arts and crafts sweat shop. Grandma lived in rural Washington state, where there was little chance of escape, and no time off for good behavior. I fell into line quickly, since there was no TV, and her book selection included a Field Guide to Song Birds, American National Monuments, and the Bible (your choice of King James or Finnish translations).

Grandma bought the cheapest yarn and fabric she could find, so we generally had to work with colors so garish that they hurt the eyes. All knit slippers had to have double yarn in unbelievable color combinations, pom-poms, and ribbing on the toes. Before her death, Grandma sent me a lifetime supply of slippers, to which I say, “not in this lifetime.”

I was talked into joining this knitting group by my friend, who only uses the most expensive yarns to create amazing quality sweaters and afghans. I showed up with my yarn spun from the finest industrial grade burlap. My needles were long enough that I had to sit on the floor in the center of the room to insure that I would not incur a lawsuit after putting somebody’s eye out.

Normally, this would not be a problem, but it was laundry day, so I had on my only clean pair of pants, left over from the Nixon administration. They were low-rise, insuring that everyone behind me would be getting up close and personal with my lily-white butt crack. The women behind me had the good grace not to comment, titter, or vomit into their knitting bags.

I suppose I will continue to attend the group. For better or worse, there is a nostalgia factor, and next week we’re knitting sweaters for toilet paper rolls.