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April 15, 2003: Kittens and more

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“I have babies,” said the woman who is teaching me to knit.

I perked up immediately, as she knew I would. “How old?”

“Five weeks. Orange and black tabbies and one tri-tabby with a little orange smudge on her head.”

It was no surprise to anyone when I suddenly declared that I was in need of another knitting lesson.

They are still young enough that their eyes have just started to change and they have little quivering bottle-brush tails, and there is still kitten fuzz everywhere and extra wisps of whiskers poking out all over their wide-eyed little faces. They walk with that wide-legged stomp and are just as likely to pounce on invisible things as they are to trip over their own feet.

They chased each others tails and played King of the Hill on my knees and untied my shoelaces and attacked my fingers and chewed on my chin and purred loud rattling purrs and then once they finally collapsed in a tangled heap on my lap, asleep, their foster mom turned to me and said “So. Do you have any questions about knitting you wanted answered?”

Later we put the kittens back into their room, where they protested squeakily and noisily but rather quickly fell back asleep, and she let me look through books and gave me a stitch holder and showed me patterns for woven scarves, and pages on how to estimate sizes and fit sweaters to any body shape.

After work this afternoon I went to a shop in Davis and wandered around pondering hundreds of choices in colors and textures and dozens of types of yarn, and finally someone took pity on me and showed me where I could find simple patterns for children. I picked out a pattern that I could actually decipher, even though it includes twisting stitches and cable stitches. It involves circular needles, which I’ve used before, but there are also double-pointed needles and apparently there are going to be four in use at one time when I reach the sleeves, and basically from what I can figure, I knit the entire sweater in a big circle and there is not a single seam anywhere.

Despite all of that, I got the pattern and the yarn anyway. This is because, at least while reading through pattern, I stumbled only briefly when it came to the directions for the sleeves. But I think the lady with the kittens would be quite happy to help me when I get that far.

I have four skeins of yarn in a lovely deep teal. If all goes well, they will eventually be transformed into a sweater for the smallest of my nephews. Once I’ve made a few for small people who won’t care so much if they aren’t perfect, maybe then I’ll finally have the nerve to tackle something for myself.

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