I got to the meeting early, prepared a cup of tepid tea, and began to knit the foot of my sock. A businesslike woman sat down to my left and began to write large, black notes in her quadrille-ruled Moleskine.
My knitting friend came in and sat to my right. Her last project was a pattern-less cabled pullover sweater in lanolin-rich wool, its cables proceeding across the fabric in a balanced, yet quirky labyrinth. Her next project will be a blue cashmere sweater. She spins, too.
And yet, she never has knitted socks. She's gotten as far as a heel flap, but hasn't turned a heel. I showed her my imperfect sock-heel, and we talked about the loveliness of hand-knitted socks.
The woman to my left had stopped writing. "Do you knit?" I asked. She said she knew how to crochet. But then she said the magic words, the transformative words, the curt, yet incantatory words:
I don't crochet any more. I have things to do.
In fairy tales, transformations are vouchsafed when the heroine takes a risk, endures the rigors of a quest, or wanders lonely until her material goal is transmuted into a larger, deeper wisdom. I'm so lucky! All I had to do was sit next to a businesswoman and knit.
Three years ago, I was afraid of YO and K2tog. Then I was afraid of cables. Then socks. Intarsia still lies ahead, and Fair Isle, my own personal Avalon. I know I won't be lonely on the road.