Sunday, September 10, 2006

Victory Dance

I remember the first time I figured out a knitting pattern that seemed impossible. It was a hat from Knitter's magazine constructed out of mitered squares using only a graph and no written instructions. I worked on my first square for hours. When I finally "got it" I shouted and danced around the room. I was so excited that I wanted to tell everyone I knew that I had done this really hard thing, but I knew better. Good friends would have made the appropriate sounds, maybe a "what's it going to be?", and total strangers would have given me that 'hmm, doesn't take much to get you excited' look. I wanted more than that. I wanted affirmation. Thankfully, I now have great knitty friends (and a new audience) to share these victories with. Mr. Strange is very supportive, but it's just not the same, and sharing knitting victories with non-knitters is like wearing a big neon sign that says "I am a huge geek".

This weekend, I actually did something that is a recognizable achievement to the rest of the world. I climbed up Pleasant Mountain with my good friend and fellow troublemaker knitter, Lori.! OK, it's only 2006 feet, but it is the highest mountain in Southern Maine, and it was the first one I ever hiked. Here was our view about two-thirds of the way up. We were sweating our asses off and saying "why are we doing this?". Despite how dark it looks, the sun was beating on us and it was very warm. At this point, Lori was really hoping that those dark streaks were rain. "Naw", I said, "They're crepuscular rays!" (miss big fancy words). She was right.

Here we are at the summit, as the drops just started to fall. Oh yeah, there was thunder too. "Get off the mountain now!!"

I don't know what I expected to see at the top, but I was surprised at this stick tepee structure. It made me think of The Wicker Man (the real one, not that Nick Cage thing). Kind of creepy with the thunder.

Several hours and a real shower later, I enjoyed the lightening show the safe way: in a pub.

Isn't it funny that I am embarrassed to brag to non-knitters about spending 3 hours knitting on a Saturday afternoon, no matter how complicated it is, but feel that this was a legitimate use of my time? I wonder how many of them spend at least 2 to 3 hours watching television every day ? They are usually the same people who say "Oh, I wish I could knit, but I don't have the time/patience". Oh yeah, like TV is so engaging. To think that I have actually felt guilty when I have knit inside on a sunny day.

Today it was cool and sunny, and I spent many guilt-free hours knitting without the TV on (actually, I listened to public radio the whole time) and made this little Nautie from Knitty - go here for more. That figure lurking in the background is Mr. Strange. He really wanted to be photographed with Nautie, but in a naughty way, if you catch my drift. What can I say? He's a guy.

If the hiking and the Nautie weren't impressive enough to earn bragging rights, Lori and I also visited an alpaca farm yesterday where they sold yarn. Very soft yarn with the name and photo of the alpaca that grew the yarn on each label. And we didn't buy a single skein. Now that was hard work.


Charlie said...

Um...did you notice the similarity between the "Wicker Man" structure and your naughty Nautilus that you knitted later? Coincidence? I think knot! See, what you found on top of that mountain was often sneaks up on us unexpectadly. And yes, the original "Wicker Man" was great, didn't even bother too see the remake (pew). Wait...didn't we watch the original together in 1984 or something like that? Geez Louise!

Charlie said...

Oh...and it looks beautiful up there...grey skies and all.