• The Magpie Knitter…

    ...trying to get from "Oooooh, shiny!" to a design.
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  • Jen Johnson began knitting in 2007 while pregnant with her daughter and does most of her knitting for her daughter and son. When she couldn’t find the patterns she wanted, she added designer to her job titles of Navy wife and mother. Jen loves the inspiration she gets from all the beautiful yarns available, as long as she doesn’t get distracted by—ooh, shiny!
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Staring at the ceiling at 2 a.m.

That’s where I found myself the other night…or rather, the other morning.  I couldn’t see the ceiling in the dark (except for the glow-in-the-dark stars our landlords inexplicably stuck up there), of course, but that’s okay because in my mind’s eye, I was seeing a knitted skirt.

I would have much rather been seeing it at 8 a.m., though.

At least I had my Blackberry on the nightstand next to me, so I was able to jot down some notes in the hopes that a) I wouldn’t forget everything and b) my brain would stop trying to design and let me sleep.  For the record, I was more successful with a) than b).  Every time I’d start to drift off, that part of my brain would start jumping up and down, yelling, “Ooh, and what about this?  You have to add this too!”  I’d fumble for the Blackberry, add that to the note, put the Blackberry back down, eventually start to drift off…  “Ooh!  How about this?”  It was a long night.

And it all started a few nights earlier at my weekly knit night.  We meet at Panera Bread (just like, apparently, almost every other knitting group around the U.S.), and as I was chatting with some of the ladies at my end of the table, I happened to notice a little girl walk past.  Actually, I noticed her skirt.  It was sewn, not knit, and at first glance I thought it was striped.  On second glance, it looked as though it was more of a tiered skirt, where the last inches of each layer of fabric had been folded under several times and sewn to make a thin, stiff ruffle.

“Bet I could do something like that with knitting…” I muttered to myself–but I was in the middle of a conversation and was trying to finish the sleeve on the cardigan I was knitting for my nephew, so I tucked it into the back of my mind for when I had time to really think about it.

I shouldn’t have been terribly surprised at the fact that my thoughts on design jumped to the forefront right about midnight–they did the same thing to me back when I was agonizing over whether or not to submit my 2 design ideas to Three Irish Girls.  But I was anyway.

And this idea wasn’t willing to take “no” for an answer…and apparently interpreted “not right now” as “no.”  Unfortunately, “yes, but not right now” was the best I could do.  I’ve got a deadline…and while the tactic of waiting until the night before my 10 – 25 page papers were due to start writing them worked for my master’s degree (seriously–I aced every paper I did this on), it isn’t going to work this time.

So we’ve compromised.  I’m not completely forgetting the skirt, and already have a pretty good bit of the design jotted down.  And if it wants a few minutes of my time for some additions, it can have those minutes.  But until these other 2 designs are done, it’s playing third fiddle.

It’s an uneasy truce.


2 Responses

  1. I love your writing, and may someday learn how to knit…….

    • Thank you–I appreciate that! And do give knitting a try. Trust me; there are few people as uncoordinated as I, so I wasn’t sure I could handle 2 needles AND yarn with only 2 hands. But I surprised myself, and you might too. 🙂

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