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Saturday, July 23, 2011

my old sNb - 2006-2011

changes abound, whether we like it or not.  change can be sudden, or it can occur at a snail's pace.  it can be good or it can suck.  i had a recent revelation about a slow going change that i just didn't want to acknowledge.  guess it's time to face it and move on.

i learned to knit at my local library. the small knitting classes eventually morphed into a genuine knitting group, one that i looked forward to every monday evening.  the group was a mixed bunch, with retired ladies knitting with the working gals.  i was the token SAHM, the youngest of the bunch the majority of the time.  we all had differences, with different backgrounds, but knitting tied us together and i enjoyed the ladies' company and natter.

two years ago, my involvement with the group dwindled as the kiddos' hindered my mobility.  it was several months after i delivered that i was able to return to the group semi-regularly.  this was a disappointment for me, as i viewed the group as my mom's evening out, where i wasn't a mom or a wife but a knitter.  many nights i longed to go but i was either just too damned tired or else my mojo was in the crapper.

during my absence, new knitters came, and fellow knitters' attendance dwindled like mine - they too had personal issues that prevented them from attending consistently.  i missed my old friends, but i was always up to meeting new knitters.  the group dynamic changed too - i was the youngest - no biggie i thought.

at this time, my knitting mojo was spotty at best.  i was exhausted and had foggy brain, so the best i could knit was something with a simple pattern.  simple shawls, vanilla socks, easy baby blankets.  i knitted toys - i guess they were the most challenging at the time.

i'll never forget the evening i was working on a sock.  one lady (i dubbed her "bitchy EZ lady") asked me what i was working on - i told her a sock.  she commented that she knitted socks once and that was enough for her.  she looked as though i told her i was knitting with tripe and fish bones.  of course, she was knitting an EZ sweater.  how lovely, i thought.  someday i'll knit one too.  i'm sorry that vanilla socks are beneath you.

another time, i took the zipper back sweater that i knit for my cousin.  i was so proud of it - it was my first "real" sweater, and i had to sew a zipper into it - a fear that i had.  i showed off the sweater and the ladies commented on it.  another lady (whom i dubbed "the know-it-all lady who never STFU") asked for the pattern.  i hesitated giving it to her becos i didn't have it with me for one thing, and i really didn't want to share it (the lady who gave me the pattern probably wouldn't have cared, but i didn't know that for sure).  i found a similar pattern on ravelry and wrote down the link for her.  the lady then said "the zipper should be in the front, becos  babies don't sleep on their bellies anymore."  at that point i wanted to say, "why don't you find a sweater that opens in the front? "  it was a backhanded comment if i'd ever heard one.

i used to come home from knitting in a good mood.  now i'd often leave early becos i was tired of being ignored or looked down upon as "the young'un".  my mood now was often sour - some nights i wondered why i even bothered to go at all.  these ladies didn't know anything about ravelry, no matter how much i talked it up (my knitting teacher, who has an account on ravelry, "didn't get the point").  nobody understood my obsession with my signature needles (when the susan bates or clover bamboo were just as good).  forget nice yarn.  red heart was where it was, unless it was something "fancy" from swisher's.  sigh.

about a month ago my knitting teacher told us about "family fun day" that was being sponsored by the local libraries.  they wanted a knitting table, and she asked if anyone wanted to help.  after a few minutes of crickets, i volunteered.  my teacher looked at me with surprise, but gave me a brochure with all the information about it.  two minutes later bitchy EZ lady "offered to help" (which i read as diva's a flake, i better go along to make sure we look good), to which my teacher seemed happy and she ran to give her a brochure too.

the more i thought about it, the more i thought that i really didn't want to spend 4 hours knitting with someone that i really didn't like.  so i emailed my teacher and told her that "something came up" (hubby's family reunion) and that i wouldn't be able to help.  i didn't get a response back, and i meant to pick up the phone and call her to confirm that she got my email, but between my busy life and my assumption that she was busy with her church's annual yard sale, it slipped my mind, and i resolved that i would honor my obligation and spend the day knitting.

all week i gathered my best knits, books and samples so i'd be ready to go.  when i showed up at the location, i found bitchy EZ lady there, with her chin on the floor.  apparently, my teacher did get my message and told the group that i couldn't help.  however, i neglected to get that message and it was obvious they weren't expecting me.  i showed up with 2 bags of woolens, a bag full of books and my knitting bag.  in a gazillion degree heat.  i wasn't happy, to say the least.

bitchy EZ lady stumbled over herself as she looked at all the bags i brought.  oh, teacher said you had something and weren't able to come.  i never got a response back, and i assumed she didn't get it, and i had to change my plans to be here today.  oh, maybe you can do what you planned to do.  um, no, my family's nearly 3 hours away now, yep, can't get those plans back.  (actually, hubby and the kiddos were at home.  thank goodness for that).  i picked up those heavy bags and hauled ass back through the hallways, back into the stinking heat.

i cried driving home.  it hurt to know that it was apparent that i no longer belonged in that group.  for months i'd bounce in and out - i didn't think it mattered.  i thought knitting was enough.  i guess not.

i had a big talk with my therapist hubby about my disappointment.  i knew the group had changed.  i knew i wasn't happy there.  i wasn't happy with the changes and i tried to roll with them but it wasn't enough. it hurt to acknowledge it.  it hurt that my teacher couldn't be bothered to acknowledge my email (hubby played devil's advocate on that one - that maybe she did email me back but it got lost somehow).  it hurt that no matter what i knitted or what i did, i'd still be the SAHM with the twins.  i had kids.  not a lobotomy.

i take solace in the fact that the knitting display i'd planned would have kicked ass.  i took knitted toys and mittens and socks.  i remembered my tree skirt and shawls.  i took the puppets that were similar to the ones we knitted for the kids in nicaragua.  i took books - harry potter knits, amigarumi, EZ, barbara walker, the yarn harlot, stitch n bitch, to name a few - for people to peruse.  i had several samples knit up.  i was going to talk about ravelry and what a wonderful online community it was in addition to having a live knitting group.

the display that bitchy EZ lady set up?   a pile of bland scarves and some knitting samples.  NO BOOKS (and this was for the library).  no puppets.  not even a sweater or blanket.  snore city.

all is not lost.  i meet up with my friend K every couple of weeks.  i have a lot of fun knitting with her - she totally understands my love of beautiful yarn and books and signature needles (she's an enabler too!)  hubby even comments that when i come back from knit night, i'm in a better mood.  that's a good thing too!  i'm grateful for K and her friendship.  i means a lot to me.

i'm sorry that i had to part ways with my old knitting group.  i appreciated the collective wisdom of the ladies who attended.  i only wish they could have extended that courtesy to me.

1 comment:

  1. Well now honey, I love knitting with you too! I look forward to it all the time! Someone finally understands my need to knit (and you're ALMOST my age...:).

    IMHO, we should sick Francis on that silly lady.....that would be funny!

    Just to clarify, I clearly am not an enabler, I'm an ENCOURAGER......yes, that's it!

    See you this week! Can't wait! :)


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