Sunday, July 10, 2011

What does a knitter look like?

"You know, when I heard you were doing this knitting thing, I laughed.  I mean, you don't exactly look like a knitter, you know?"

My former boss shared this very thought with me earlier this week.  I am assuming he meant that I don't fit the "knitter's profile," and it is not solely a looks thing, but I am still not sure what he meant.  I decided to mentally peruse my favorite knitters for common characteristics.  It only took a couple of seconds to realize that the only thing I had in common with my fellow knitters are that we are mostly (but not all) female, so I went on to the more deep commonalities.

There were the Chicagoans:  a lawyer and mother who decided when her kids were older that it was time to pursue her dream of owning a yarn shop.  The twentysomething Bosnian immigrant free spirit who is well on her way to getting what she wants, because she knows who she is and what she wants.  The male, gay, spirited dentist who one day decided it was time to learn how to knit, and then never put down his needles again.  The woman who once was part-owner of a yarn store, and is now looking for her new identity...but she could still teach even the most feeble-minded humans (and possibly animals) how to knit.  The childhood friend whose mother taught her the knit stitch, and who has the same father and cancer history that I have and with a similar sense of humor about it.  The girl who teaches, works at the Gap, and always has three projects in her queue.

Then, there were the Texans:  the almost-forty single mother of two who would help absolutely anyone in need and is a sucker for a good shawl pattern.  The happily unretired teacher in her mid-sixties who knits for every member of her family first, and herself second.  The former Oregonian turned Mexican turned Texan turned nomad who traded in her CPA duds for yarn and needles and freedom from the rat-race.  The classy lady in her early eighties who has more life in her than most people twenty years younger.  The two friends who met at a knitting group and decided to pursue their dream of owning a yarn shop together.  The Idahoan and Alaskan transplant who will rip back her work until it is as perfect as she wants it.

And of course, there is everyone else:  The college friend who moved from one coast to the other to pursue another advanced degree, but still wants to go back to the previous coast.  The friend of a friend who reads this vey blog, and is about to take the step to learn how to knit because she finds it interesting.  The girl from Stage Troupe who gave up on marriage after a bad experience or two with it, but who never gave up on knitting.  The new mother who learned to knit from her grandmother, and does not knit often but sighs and smiles every time she sees someone else knitting.  The wealthy wife of a retired investor in Florida who uses knitting as one of about a hundred different creative outlets to turn her brain over. 

I guess there are really only two things I learned from this experiment.  One is that you can't tell a knitter any more readily than you can tell someone's natural demeanor of the person at the booth next to you at the diner.  And secondly, knitters do, in fact, have one thing in common.

They are all lovely human beings.

If you are ever looking for a new friend, target somebody who knits.  Their personality will not disappoint you, because their common thread is that they are good people.


  1. I was having somewhat different thoughts recently. There was an incident at knit night that just bummed me out. I always assume that if a person knits, they will share similar world-views as I do. (Terribly naive on my part, I know.) So when this woman made a terribly ethnocentric remark it just floored me. I haven't been back to knit nite since.

    It is interesting that your boss said "you don't look like a knitter." What does a knitter look like?

  2. That's really interesting to me, since usually the one with the ethnocentric comments is the one that gets shunned to the point where THEY don't come back.

    The only sure common way to tell a knitter, in my opinion, is to look for a needle in one hand, and a needle and yarn in the other. ;-) (the fiber friend, apparently posting anonymously...ha ha ha)