I have a soft spot in my heart for novelty yarns. No, I don’t knit with them (OK, OK, I don’t knit with them anymore. My pile of FOs do include projects that bling, blink or purr), it’s because novelty yarns had a profound impact on our craft; successfully luring many new knitters into the fold. Hopefully some of them (you?) stuck around. Fortunately, my weakness tends towards yarns that I can blissfully fondle so any eyelash used in my scarves were a light accent - a touch of mascara vs. a full set of false eyelashes so to speak … but I digress.
Back then (all of five years ago) the yarn shop was filled with newbie knitters, all entering the store with an amazed but slightly dazed look in their eyes and one common thought in their heads; “I want to knit a scarf just like my friend Mary’s.” Some in the store found it annoying to sell garter stitch scarf after garter stitch scarf of brightly-colored sparkly, furry or squiggly yarn. Not me. That’s because I loved talking to the knitters, doing my little part to suck them into the black hole that is knitting obsession. So many of them had a similar story to my own, “I learned how to knit as a girl but haven’t knit in 20 (30, or even 40) years.” I quietly congratulated myself on the wisdom that lead me back to knitting a full decade before these I-want-that-too knitters but mentally scooted over to make sure there was plenty of room on the bandwagon for them too.
I was reminded, as we watched the kids and their cousins play and adapt to their new Christmas presents how quickly these women also relearned their childhood knitting skills. It didn’t seem to matter how I taught them to hold the needles and yarn in their hands. When they picked up their own soon-to-be-first-scarf they reverted to the way their mother or grandmother had taught them so many years ago.
And so I will battle with my I-so-do-not-want-to-knit daughter this vacation to teach her to knit, just so she has something to fall back in twenty, thirty or forty years from now when I will gracefully refrain from saying “I told you so!”