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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

the Sock Speaks

Yesterday was a virtual Trifecta of Crafting on the #66.

While I was knitting away on my River Sock, I spied in a side seat in front of me a lady embroidering what looked to be a small tablecloth! Across from her, was a young woman furiously wielding a hook.

In her lap lay a gorgeous green crocheted shawl. She was working so fast, I could not see the stitches actually being made – she was poking the hook back and forth into the edge of the piece so quickly I couldn’t see her throw the thread over the hook before it disappeared and grabbed another stitch! THRILLING!

Thread? Did I hear the word Thread? Indeed – the fiber she was using to crochet her masterpiece was the finest gauge *yarn* I’ve ever seen.

hey Ann this is for you…

But of course, this made me knit faster and faster. I am still in thrall to the River Sock – I’m actually almost finished with it but I left it at work so all I have is what you see above.

The last few rows of the heel turning drew some attention from fellow riders when made. Next to me was a young woman wearing the uniform of Chicago Teens – roughhouse – low riders, starter jacket, no brow left unpierced.

She and a friend proceeded to have one of those amazing bus converations where people in close proximity to you, discuss you, & maybe what you’re doing or other, like you are a table or chair. [Perhaps I resembled fine furniture with a few moving parts – indeed – I spend a lot of time in my glider in the hut, knitting…]

My neighbors puzzled over the type and meaning of my object and when they decided it was a sock, started a conversation with me.

She told me she knew how to knit, too. That while she was in Cook Co. Jail a couple of months ago, a group (must find) came in and taught the ladies-in-waiting. Speaking with obvious delight, she told me how from her hands came a yellow baby blanket, recipient unknown, but good will winging its way. She said she probably wouln’t knit anything else, but she really liked my sock.

19 responses to “Tuesday, April 11, 2006”

  1. Hi Bonnie,

    Read Krakauer’s book when it first came out. Fascinating!! (Actually I’m a fan of all Jon’s work. Try “Into the Wild”, if you haven’t already.)

  2. Terry says:

    I know! you do have THE gift to connect w. people on your #66 – yesterday this girl opens up to you, that guy (you know!), … Lovely sock.

  3. Chris says:

    That’s a great story of knitting on transit!

    I really love how the colors are spiraling on that sock.

  4. Scout says:

    Wait. Why was she in jail?

  5. Marg says:

    Lovely busknitting story! P’rhaps if she rides with/near you often enough, said Pierced Princess will return to knitting…might make all the difference in her world. :-)

    As for the sock — wonderful! I’m in the midst of Sock #2 in the “56 sts–56 rows” pattern, using KnitPicks “Yukon”. Blues and greys to go with jeans for a Lady Rancher I know. This is my 3rd pair in almost as many weeks…methinks I’m hooked!

  6. geniap says:

    ummmm, are you a bit worried when you leave your handknit socks at work? I would be afraid someone would take then and lay in wait for a mate (mismatched or not a handknit sock is like gold, especially around here!)

    The cooliest people ride public transportation!

  7. Wanda says:

    Amazing the conversations that strike up from knitting, isn’t it? Hopefully she will pick up knitting again.

  8. meg says:

    There may be a gentle knitter waiting to emerge from a rough-looking cocoon there. I was very surprised once, when the person most disturbed by a very turbulent flight was the toughest-looking, most pierced girl in the plane.

  9. Wanett says:

    I love this story. I was a little nervous about knitting on the bus, rather than the train. But the day I worked up the nerve I looked around and a lady was crocheting a baby blanket nearby. Since then I can’t get enough KIP time.

  10. carrie m says:

    you have to love those little spontaneous conversations on mass transit. people just feel compelled to say anything — like somewhere else, she might have self-censored and said she learned to knit in, say, 4H.

  11. claudia says:

    Oh yeah. Find that jail program. I would totally do it with you if I could.

  12. Sarah says:

    Funny coincidence. A former co-worker of mine was convicted, and he knew I knit. During the period that he knew he would be going and his actual incarceration, my knitting buddies and I taught him to knit. He was adamant that he would knit in jail to pass the time. Just got a letter a little over a week ago saying that he got the permit to have the needles and yarn and what the specifications were, and had them sent to him. Visited him yesterday. He’ll be making an afghan.

  13. Karen B. says:

    The River sock is lovely. The KIP conversations are even better!

    Only rarely do I see people stitching on my bus. Whenever I do, there is this instant comraderie which is very cool.

  14. Imbrium says:

    I wish I had a knitting story as cool as “I learned to knit in jail.”

    Well, I mean, not really, but still….

  15. Jennifer says:

    I think teaching people in prison how to knit is a fabulous idea! I’m glad she got a chance to learn.

    How fun to see so many other people needleworking. I hardly ever see other people knit, crochet, or embroider in public here.

  16. Corinne says:

    There’s something about an inmate and a sharp pointy thing that concerns me. Do we really believe that such a program exists?

  17. lindsey says:

    ah, how i miss chicago. esp. the 66 and redline. at any rate, they often teach people in rehab how to knit too. so you get these big tough guys knitting these wierd delicate little things.

  18. Ann says:

    That’s one swell sock! (you are cruising on it!)

  19. Sarah says:

    I love hearing your stories about Chicago! I am seeing more and more people knitting on the el and the buses, it’s awesome!

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