Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.
She. Let’s do it now! I’m ready.
Me. Are you sure you want to do this?
Me. Okay, then. Come over here and sit next to me.
(She does so.)
Me. You’re going to have to put down the iPad.
She. But I’m watching “Word Girl.”
Me. You can’t watch television and learn to knit at the same time.
She. You did knitting while we watched The Great Muppet Caper last night. You knit during the whole movie.
Me. That’s different. I have been knitting for years. So I know what I’m doing.
She. You do?
Me. Well, maybe not in a cosmic sense; but I can knit and purl and also sing along to “Happiness Hotel.” Now, sit down.
She. And the iPad is not the television, it’s the iPad.
Me. You can’t watch or listen to programming of any kind, educational, frivolous, or otherwise, on any electronic device and learn to knit at the same time.
She. You use a lot of big words.
Me. Are we going to do this or not? Because I haven’t got all day.
She. Yes! I’m ready now.
Me. Then sit here next to me.
She. Wait a minute, I want to get Sheba Bear.
Me. You can’t play with Sheba Bear and learn to knit at the same time.
She. I’m not going to play with her, she wants to watch so she can know how to knit, too. I will be back in a minute. Don’t go anywhere, stay right here.
(She exits. Fifteen minutes pass.)
Me. Are you coming back or what?
She (offstage). I can’t find Sheba Bear.
Me. She’s on top of the toy box.
She (offstage). No she isn’t, I looked.
Me. Look again.
She (offstage). Oh!
(She returns, with bear.)
Me. Now, both of you sit here next to me.
She. Sheba can’t see. She needs to borrow your glasses.
Me. If I don’t have my glasses, I can’t see the knitting.
She. Is that because you are so old?
She. I said is that because you are so old?
Me. I wasn’t when we started this.
Me. Never mind. You sit there, and Sheba can sit there.
She. But she can’t see without her glasses!
Me. Yes she can. She has excellent eyesight. All bears have perfect eyesight.
Me. Because Boy Scouts are high in Vitamin A.
Me. Never mind. Just. Sit. Down. Are we talking about bears or are you learning to knit?
She. Learning to knit! Learning to knit!
Me. Okay. So you need to sit down.
Me. Now, this is our ball of yarn. It’s made of wool. You know where wool comes from, right?
She. From sheep.
Me. Correct! Good!
She. Can I pet the yarn?
Me. We can always pet the yarn.
(She pets the yarn.)
She. It’s soft.
Me. Yes, it is.
She. Sheba wants to pet it, too.
Me. Okay, fine. Be quick, Sheba.
(Sheba pets the yarn.)
She. Sheba says it’s soft like a baby raccoon.
Me. I guess she would know.
She. But she doesn’t like the color.
Me. Well, that’s too bad. This is all we’ve got.
She. That’s not true! You have a whole room full of yarn!
Me. Well, this is the yarn we have to use right now.
She. Why? Why can’t we use your other yarn?
Me. Because when you are starting out, it makes more sense to practice on scrap yarn. And this is good yarn. I used this to make a very nice hat.
She. I know what I want to make.
Me. What do you want to make?
She. My wedding dress.
Me. Are you engaged?
Me. Then there’s no rush, so you can start with something smaller.
She. It won’t be a real wedding dress. Just for pretend. So that is smaller.
Me. Even a small dress is a lot of work. Let’s just learn the knit stitch today and see how it goes from there, okay?
She. If I made a wedding dress for Sheba Bear that would be a lot smaller.
Me. Do you want to knit or not?
She. I do, but we can’t use that color because it’s not white and Sheba wants her wedding dress to be white!
Me. That’s pretty nervy of her.
Me. Never mind.
She. You say never mind a lot.
Me. So. Anyway. Here is the yarn, and of course you know what else we need to knit.
Me. Bingo. Here are our needles. Take this one in your right hand.
She. Sheba can use the other one.
Me. Fine, okay. Sheba can use the other one.
She. Oh no she stabbed herself with it!
Me. Oh, did she?
She. She stabbed herself with the knitting needle! She stabbed herself in the ear! Oh the blood is going everywhere! She needs the emergency doctor! Ow ow ow! We have to go to the hospital so they can pull it out again or she can’t hear anything!
(Exit, swiftly, with bear.)
Me. Can I have my needle back, please?
Me. Needle! I need that needle back! Bring it back, please!
She (offstage). The operation was a success, nurse!
Me. Smashing. Bring back my needle.
(Enter, with needle.)
She. Here you go. Sheba is resting now.
Me. Great. I’ll send flowers. Shall we knit?
Me. Why not?
She. Sheba says knitting can kill you.
Writer, illustrator, and photographer Franklin Habit is the author of I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book (Soho Publishing, 2016) and It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008) and proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on Internet. His publishing experience in the fiber world includes contributions to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Ply Magazine, Cast On: A Podcast for Knitters, Twist Collective, and Knitty.com.
He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, Stitches Events, Squam Arts Workshops, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.
These days, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois, sharing a small city apartment with a Schacht spinning wheel, two looms, and colony of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned. Visit him at www.franklinhabit.com