Adventures of an Arctic Chihuahua

Living Small at the Far Edge

Archive for Knitting

Learning to Knit

 Nut and Berry Colored Wool… 

The Chihuahua  and I are learning to knit.  Real wool, real needles!

Earlier this year I purchased  four skeins of a  roughly spun, richly dyed wool, a pair of wooden needles, and the book “Stitch and Bitch”  (I kid you not!). Perfect for the Arctic Chihuahua!

What was I thinking you might wonder…I’d been thinking that in work meetings, I’d wasted a lot of indelible black ink on doodling, tattooing my arms as they leaned into the doodles, and upon my shirts. It was time to switch to another media. 

It took me a while, as new ventures often do.  Sometime about two weeks ago, I finally plucked the knitting lot up and took it to work. You know, like ‘Take Your Daughter To Work Day?”  I was looking forward to this new turn of events. Come to find out knitting is more like bringing a chaotic teenager to high tea. 

More than one of my esteemed colleagues watched incredulously as I manipulated my new and unlikely appendages for the first time.  Fingers, wool, needles, all entangled like so much kudzu on a chain link fence.

“That doesn’t look like any knitting I’ve ever seen!,”  my boss told me.  My colleagues agreed and also laughed.

Stubbornly, I struggled trying my best to recall the instructions which, naturally, I’d left at home.  Undaunted, I kept at it, working up to a decent clip, so I thought. Chortles continued to fill every lull in an otherwise dull meeting.  Laugh away! My knitting clicked.   Yarn the color of nuts and berries spilled out along my arms, in a spongy carpet.  Needles waved like Elm twigs from the ulna and the radius…you remember Edward Scissorhands?  Same concept, lighter souls.

That was about two weeks ago.  Today, I carried the project into a five day training.  Confidently I pulled out my wool, possibly a new dog blanket for Gidget, and resumed the soft clicking of wooden needles. My Inupiaq colleagues however were born with knitting needles in hand (which come to think of it must have been traumatic for their mothers)! Before you know it, whispers began drifting from each corner of the room.  Everything seemed to be quite in order, no class clowns here.  I looked around again. 

“Don’t tell her, she’ll probably cry,” came a tease meant for me to hear.


“OK” I said with a feeble smile and clear voice, feeling dismayed inside all the while.  “Teach me!.”  Now there is a win-win dare if ever there was one!  They’d been laughing at me.

From a corner formerly filled with giggling,  a colleague emboldened, approached to take the project into her own capable hands. She made a couple of swift twists, needles, wool and all.  Patiently once more for me to see, then she simply returned to her seat.

Tonight, it is raining out.  As vehicles pass the open window, I hear a familiar splash of wheels moving along down the road.  The sound vanishes.  My work for the day is done. In this moment of contemplation just before bedtime, I review the day and all that filled it.  It is a miracle indeed. Today, in embarrassment’s earliest moments, with nothing more than a pair of wooden sticks, bare and clumsy fingers, a bit of colorful wool, we stepped forward to dare, to weave and to teach. In some small way, with these seemingly inconsequential twists of fate and wool, the gift of the ewe and the gift of each other, we put one more stitch into the most luscious blanket ever gifted to dog or to dreams…

Here’s to knitters everywhere, alert or sleeping soundly.

With Love,

Jennifer and Gidget, The Arctic Chihuahua