So I woke up a couple of mornings ago and for some reason had an urge to learn how to knit. Knitting is one of those skills that I think will be lost through each generation and it’s something that I absolutely love. That is receiving knitted goods that others have made, just to clarify. Knowing all the effort that someone has gone to to actually sit down and create a garment or blanket or toy. It really makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The hours they have sat there thinking about the person they are making the article for. That is something that is made with a whole lot of love. I have been so so lucky to have aunties, mother-in-laws and grandmas who all knit and who have provided some beautiful things for our girls.
So anyway, I woke up the other morning with an urge to learn to knit while we are on the road. I think I must have had a dream about it or something. I mentioned it to Nic just in passing and I’m sure there was a slight roll to the eyes as if “yeah good one, add it to your list of bright ideas you would like to achieve.” Though he did smile and nod and acknowledge it which gave me that little inkling of plausibility I needed to make it feel like I could do it if I wanted to.
That morning I popped into town (the town of Otaki on the West Coast one hour North of Wellington and home to New Zealand’s first Maori tertiary Education Institute) to do some laundry while Nic had the girls at the playground.
While waiting for the laundry to finish, I strolled around a few shops (This never happens just to clarify so I was soaking this moment up big time). I picked up some second hand books for the girls from a local book shop and had a browse around an op shop. In this op shop, I just happened to come across a whole section of knitting gear. I asked one of the volunteer ladies (in her 70’s of course) if she could recommend me a couple of needles and wool that I might need to get me started (just in case I might want to take my thought process seriously, at least I would be geared up to go). My intention was to just watch a You Tube “How To” video or something when the time came. The beautiful old lady in the op shop just dropped everything and started rummaging through the needles while the other lady started looking for a scarf pattern. The ladies then started me with my very first knitting lesson.
Obviously this whole saga meant something to me more than a quick knitting lesson. It was the fact that rather than a You Tube video, I got to connect with someone and she had such pleasure in being able to teach someone like me how to knit. It was the fact that I had the time to wander and take the opportunity to listen to this lady because I wasn’t too pressed for time with other things that needed to be done. It was listening to all the conversations of the locals who came in and out of the shop while I was there. How everyone in the town knew each other, books were shared, advice given, help offered, invites to gatherings offered. All in the space of 20 minutes I really got to see a bit about this town. I got to connect with this beautiful lady who took time out of her day and had so much patience with me.
When it came time to leave, they just gave me two sets of needles and a couple of balls of wool and sent me on my way.
Now I by no means have it sorted after that little knitting intro, but I have a taste and this taste has given me a whole new appreciation for the gifts we have been given and for the skills some ladies have. (Wow, it’s so tough! Respect to all of you knitters out there!). Whether or not I take up knitting or whether it will remain on the “Ideas” list, one cannot say. But I have the balls at easy arms reach above the bed.
I do love that if ever I need help in learning how to knit in future, I will never be far from a lady who is keen to help and has patience and time to teach me. At any coffee shop, op shop, fabric store or super market, I have my very own real life “how to” lessons at my fingertips.
I find while on the road, I yearn for these interactions with locals. Again, maybe because I have the time to really stop and listen or take in my surroundings and the whole environment. I have always been a little this way inclined. I’m always going on to Nic about my interactions with people. But I think since being on the road I feel a little more disconnected with people and my surroundings so I really yearn for these interactions with others. In a way we are a lot more isolated; living in our own little world, not as a part of a community, not surrounded by our friends and families and even slightly removed from society and the way society expects us to live to a certain extent. I think it is in this way that I perhaps cling to any interactions I have and take away so much more from them.