Twice recently, I've struck up lovely conservations with complete strangers, which is a big deal for me. Normally I'm very shy in public, and I'd rather eat glass than talk to someone I don't know - heck, I have a hard time talking to people I do know. But for some reason, when knitting is involved, I can get over my shyness.
Last Tuesday I arrived at Ella's climbing practice a few minutes early. I had a squirmy toddler with me and no knitting or reading, so I wasn't looking forward to the 10 minutes I was going to have to wait. But there was a woman sitting knitting, so I marched right over and asked what she was working on - it was a market bag. Then she showed me a scarf she had just finished, and it was the same pattern my mom had just sent me that afternoon and that I was planning to make for a Christmas gift. So I picked her brain on the pattern and whether it was worth knitting. Then we started talking different yarns, and she showed me some lovely hand-spun stuff she had gotten at a fiber festival the previous weekend in Boerne - which I didn't find out about until after it was over (grumble). The ten minutes flew past, and Ella ended up having to drag me away because she was hungry.
We spent Thanksgiving at B's cousin's house, feasting on a wonderful meal prepared by Aunt A. Once everyone had finished eating and the kids were upstairs playing, I pulled out my knitting bag and started working on this cool puckered scarf I'm making out of this gorgeous pink and purple yarn - I love this scarf so much that I'm going to be selfish and keep it. Aunt A's aunt sat down next to me and started talking knitting. I gasped out loud when she told me that she had knit her own wedding dress on size 1 needles. For non-knitters, size 1s are really, really tiny. She said it took her every minute of six months to finish the dress and she almost didn't have it done in time for her wedding. I can't even imagine.
Aunt A's aunt teaches at a private school, and the students have to do volunteer service hours each year. So she teaches the kids to knit preemie hats for the local hospital and gives them three hours of credit per hat. I think it's a brilliant plan - she's passing on a love of knitting and teaching them to help others all at the same time.
I'll end with one last knitting story - the other day I came around the corner to find Elizabeth sitting on the floor with a pair of circular needles, fortunately without any knitting on them, and she was clicking the ends together like she was trying to knit. Ella and Lily both know how to knit, and it looks like Elizabeth will be a knitter, too.