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March 24, 2012

On The Go: A tale of an 18-year-old knitter


Daily Star

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When people hear of "knitting," the image that comes to mind is probably one of a bunch of elderly women, their glasses halfway down their nose, sitting around in a circle in rocking chairs, rocking back and forth with a ball of yarn trailing on the floor.

Now, I would like to be able to debunk this stereotype, but unfortunately, the image of me knitting is almost exactly the same. Minus the rocking chairs; they won't fit in my dorm room. Also I'm only 18. But the rest is almost entirely accurate.

I never expected to see myself with knitting needles in hand. Well, that's not true. They worked well as weapons for sword fights between my sister and me for a while. But to use them for their actual purpose seemed quite inconceivable.

I've never been very good at arts-and-crafts types of things. In fact, that last sentence alone was putting it so mildly, I'm a little flattered. In truth, I'm awful.

So when my sister offered to teach me how to knit on one mundane winter break day, at first, I scoffed at the idea. But as the days got longer and longer and the amount of times I could watch "Raising Helen" on cable started to dwindle, I started to warm up to the idea.

So I gave it a shot. And just as I had expected, it didn't go very well. I kept dropping stitches everywhere. Soon, the floor all around me was covered with stitches! Ha! Just a little "knitting humor" for you all.

I can make those jokes now because I knit and stuff. But no, really, my first attempt at a knitted row has been destroyed forever as to prevent any humiliation that could potentially come from it.

I considered giving up. After all, they'd stopped replaying "Raising Helen" and were moving on to a strict rotation of "Sleepless in Seattle," a movie of which I have no viewing limits.

However, as much as I wanted to quit, I wanted to say that I was able to start and actually finish something more. So, despite the fact that I had no real knitting skill to fall back on, and the fact that a young Tom Hanks was well into a conversation with a radio therapist about his insomnia, I kept trying. After a few frustrating starts, I finally got the hang of it.

By the end of the break, I had finished my very first (albeit very rough) knitted scarf. It was a red scarf, one of those circle ones that are so confusing to put on, but so well worth the struggle, and of course, I have already lost it.

For some reason, this loss affected me like no other article of clothing's disappearance had.

It has been suggested to me that this could be because of the effort I put into it myself, but I think it's probably because of how good it looked with my winter coat. Yes, I learned invaluable lessons on perseverance and the value of hard work, blah, blah, blah, but I'm not going to harp on about that right now. I just want my scarf back.

Adrian Adamo, a 2011 graduate of Oneonta High School, is a freshman at Emerson College in Boston. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk.