Friday, April 26, 2013

KCBW Day 5: Anapestic Tetrameter

Today is a day to post otherwise,
For sharing one’s interests in some other guise.
Now, please don’t groan -- I could do much worse
than sharing my pathway to knitting in verse.

It started eight years ago, in late December
(don’t ask me the date, I can’t quite remember)
When a visiting friend forthwith pulled out her work
and caused me to pause with a slight inner smirk.

“How quaint, how cute,” I practically laughed,
“to practice a bygone superfluous craft.
“All that time, all that bother,” I thought, rather jaded.
“It’s so slow, so boring, and so complicated.”

But sitting and talking and watching her stitches,
the needletips moving in rises and pitches,
And seeing the yarn as it looped and it traveled,
my biases melted, or rather, unraveled.

There’s some magic there, I began to perceive,
when needles and hands work together to weave
a sweater, some socks or some other thing
where once there was only a long strand of string.

I thought back to childhood, my mom and my aunts
and my Granny, all sewing when they had the chance.
But when I showed interest, my mom would defer;
There had to be boy stuff I’d rather prefer.

But I always liked indoors and calmer vocations
And admired the skills of my female relations.
I didn’t enjoy all the rough and the tumble
(I have to pause now, tummy’s starting to rumble)...


And now I am back, wait, what, where was I?
Ah, complaining about what it’s like as a guy
to be “crafty.” Let us halt now this long inventory.
Enough of this whining -- get on with the story.

When my friend packed and left I mulled it around
And went to a chain craft store branch in my town.
I bought me some needles, aluminium, size 8.
Good choice for a starter? That’s up for debate.

I purchased some green yarn, worsted, acrylic,
(NOT a good choice due to harshness dactylic)
Finally, a manual, a book of instruction --
I got one by Stoller -- now on to production.

I read and I read and I tried to cast on
not realizing the need for finesse over brawn.
It took me two hours, sweating aplenty,
to manage a long-tail cast-on of just 20.

I mastered the knit, not so quickly the purl
My frustration was such that I wanted to hurl
the whole mess, but I stopped and I took a new tack
when I realized my problem -- I’d purled through the back.

My 20 did vary, some rows more, some rows less,
No semblance of tension -- a green yarny mess.
Quite some time later, I came to the end,
And binding it off, sent the thing to my friend.
With no advance warning, she was quite surprised.
Her friend Steven, a knitter, newly baptized!                             
And she couldn’t be blamed, to my mind, if she’d thought,
“I’ve created a monster! What have I wrought?”

But she’s kept the sad square, with its gaffes and its botches;
That beginner's attempt, that most abject of swatches.
A ragged token of crafty caprice,
To this day displayed upon her mantelpiece.

So I thank you, Janelle, for lighting the spark
That brought early interests back from the dark.
And for helping me learn, and for listening, too.
(Don’t worry, dear readers, this thing’s almost through)

A craft neat and simple, with variation untold,
An artform to wrap me and keep me from cold.
From this time and onward until life’s last thrill
I hope to be knitting, while sitting, still.


  1. You are Bard and a Knitter fine all in a Manatee.

    How fun your week of posting here has been for us to see!

  2. Brilliant! Dr. Parker would be so pleased!


    Best thing I've read all week!

  4. I am beaming! I saved that swatch, of course. I will dig it up and photograph it as proof.

    Knitting has added another wonderful dimension to our friendship, which I value ever so much. You're the best boyfriend I've ever had! Ha!

  5. I found that first bit of knitting and posted it here:

    Ah, memories...

  6. Author! Author! BRILLIANT. Even moreso that you found a word to rhyme with "acrylic".

    My friend Robin got me started with knitting, a sage green swatch reminiscent of yours except that mine was trapezoid because I kept making accidental yarn overs at the beginning. Also holes, which Robin kindly pointed out proved that I could knit lace.