…Where Lolly braves the wilds of the nation's capitol, and the public transit system, with her trusty sock by her side…
I was off to a school-related workshop on Tuesday night, and I took my sock along with me on the Metro train into DC. Any other public transit knitters know that people STARE at knitters… like they are mesmerized by the knitting motions. It is an unusual phenomenon, and has held true in my years of riding the train and knitting. And nothing seems to draw the stares more than the double pointed needles. Maybe people are afraid I will use them as a weapon… who knows.
Yes, I took a picture of myself on the train with my sock. No, there was no one else in the car at the time. There is about a 5-minute lull where I can get this picture – from my stop (at the end of the line) to the following stop, where lots of people get on. I snapped the picture just in time too, right before anyone saw me. My second Lace (Not So) Knee High is even further along at this point, into the lovely lace panel!
See the headphones? That is to keep the weirdos away. (Yes, I know I am a weirdo too for taking a picture of myself on a train with a sock WIP… but these are different weirdos altogether).
Let me explain: I am not adverse in any way to sharing my craft with the casual stranger. I have had many nice people compliment my work, ask about knitting classes, or simply smile and nod. However, I had one particular encounter with a woman a few months ago that I just can't shake…
…It was bad from the beginning. She was a protestor – not that that is automatically a bad thing – but she was in support of something that I am very much against: Her t-shirt actually said (and I kid you not!) Make War. She was decked out too: pins and buttons and picket signs. (Okay, no more politics, I promise…) The train was not full, and yet, she came over and sat right next to me. I was working on my Trekking XXL #108 socks. She was inches away from me and was staring at my knitting. I shuffled to give her some more room (and to get a breath for myself) and she took that as a cue to strike up conversation. Let me preface this by saying: I am a nice person. I will not be mean to anyone unless insulted or provoked in some way. And although I don't remember the exact wording, this is definitely the way the conversation went:
"Is that hard?"
"No. It is not too bad."
"It looks awful."
[flustered] "No it doesn't! This is only 1 inch of the cuff, and it looks exactly like it is supposed to look."
"I meant 'awful hard'. So, it's a sock, right?"
"Is that wool? the scratchy kind?"
"It is not scratchy at all. It is called merino."
"Lemme give you this… [fumbles around in one of her bags] Here is my address. I want you to knit some size 8 socks for me, and some size 4 socks for my daughter. Pink for her, and purple for me, and I don't want the scratchy kind. You can mail them to that address."
"Excuse me?" [I totally heard her, I just couldn't believe what she said]
"You do make socks for others…"
"Um, no. These are for me. I only knit for my family and friends… and I don't take orders! I can't believe that you would say that to a complete stranger!"
I stood up, did not look back, and promptly got off the car at the next stop. I could not believe the audacity of this woman! I moved one car up, and thankfully there were no other propositions there!
I do wish I had seen the look on her face, however…
The point is: make things for people who will truly appreciate the work that was put into your craft. Someone who will value it, cherish it, and take good care of it. Sometimes that person is you, and you alone. Sometimes it is your mother, your sister, your dad, your best friend, but don't EVER make things for weirdos on the train.
PS-I was holding on to this story for weeks and weeks - I couldn't wait to post about it for Socktoberfest