Knitting My Way to a Date

Over three decades ago, emergency surgery came on the heels of separation from my daughter’s father. Recovering from both, I was both a heart- and physically sore newly single (and scared) 23 year old parent. Of course I swore it would be a long time before I dated anyone.

I planned on soothing my soul by playing in the sand with my baby (we lived near the beach) and knitting peacefully in the evenings while she slept – and all other times I could sneak it in. I put my baby into a backpack and knit while walking along the beach or to the store. I knit as she slept on my lap, whether at home or on the bus. I knit, therefore I was! (The great picture on the left is from Jackie Morris‘s blog.)

Of course I had to work to support us, and soon after I returned to work I caught the eye of a fellow bus commuter who was apparently determined to get my attention on the ride into San Francisco. Now in all honesty, I had noticed him. A very tall Brit with dark curly hair, vivid blue eyes and a wearer of well-tailored suits, it would have been hard for any person not in a coma to miss him. I simply wasn’t interested in “meeting” him.

He was quite persistent. For two solid weeks he attempted to engage me in conversation during which time I only grunted in response and pointedly (and quite rudely) ignored him as I pulled out pieces of half-finished intricate knitting projects and Norwegian knitting patterns. As I knitted feverishly and read Norwegian patterns, I hoped he would assume I was a non-English speaking foreigner who, it seemed obvious, preferred her knitting to him.

On Friday of the second week, as people filed out of the bus I noticed he was outside the bus standing by the door. I stayed in my seat (knitting, of course), until he gave up waiting for me and started walking through the bus terminal. (To the right is a picture of the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco back in its glory days. Picture from the Timothy Pflueger Blog.)Β  At that point I scurried off the bus and joined the crowd. I found myself in a sea of people moving en mass. I was, of course, knitting as I walked.

All was fine until (gasp!) I found myself at the top of the stairs looking at his back two steps down! I couldn’t back up or move sideways because of the crush of bodies around me, so I could only hope he wouldn’t turn around and see me. The people behind me moved into me as I refused to move from the step, and I started to get nervous.

Apparently my first thought was to save my knitting as I quickly shoved my knitting into the deep pockets of my trench coat but simultaneously I began to teeter on my large wooden platform shoes (they were so stylish 30 some years ago)! As my hands were in my pockets and I couldn’t flex my feet in their wooden coffin-like constraints, I was unable to get my balance. Down I went.

I fell forward, all 150 pounds of nearly 6 feet of me – well over 6 feet with those ridiculous shoes. Straight onto him. Somehow I ripped my hands out of my pockets just in the nick of time. I found myself with my arms around his neck, my chin on his left shoulder, with my body hanging straight (parallel with the floor), my toes still on the top step. Thankfully he was a big guy – probably 6′ 6″ and 250 lbs. or so – or I would have crushed the poor man.

Yes, of course, we went out. After all, it would have been rude to say no, given that he saved my neck and all. Turned out, growing up in England he saw his mother, grandmother, and an array of relatives knit regularly. He spoke of them quite fondly and showed me pictures of him as a boy in short pants wearing various hand knit sweaters, cardigans, and like.

Clearly, knitting is a great way to meet others!

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Knitting, Miscellany. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Knitting My Way to a Date

  1. Yes, I guess having a daughter at 22 meant I had an instant way to detect the first level of maturity of the potential boyfriend. πŸ™‚

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  2. My grandmother had me doing lots of Hardanger one summer. Is “soem” separate from Hardanger? While the Hardanger was white on white, the other handarbeid was not necessarily on white, nor was the thread white. You think it might be “soem”

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  3. Deanne says:

    Delightful story. Thanks for sharing. A shame he was allergic to kids, but then again that’s not such a great trait!:)

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  4. Hanne says:

    What a cute story πŸ™‚
    You are right – knitting, and any kind of “handarbeid” done in public is a conversation starter, and draws attention πŸ™‚ I knit and crochet a lot riding the bus and train, and lots of people comment on it, ask questions and simply want to talk. I even had a lady take pictures of my hands while I was knitting, riding the bus πŸ™‚ Quite often older men are very fascinated of what I work on and tell me stories about their mom or grandma who was a knitter or crocheter. I love the stories πŸ™‚
    That embroidery – the “pull thread” one.. I wonder what you refer to is Hardanger “soem”. Beautiful, typically made white on white.

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  5. Well, you don’t have to look for marriage at every turn. I get annoyed at people who feel a woman without a man is an unhappy woman. A woman who is happy whether or not she has a man in her life is the woman with the highest self esteem, I feel! πŸ˜‰

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  6. caityrosey says:

    Herm, yes that was lucky. πŸ˜‰

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  7. As one reader noted, good thing I was using circular needles!

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  8. caityrosey says:

    What a charming, funny story. Knitting brings people together.

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  9. My knitting never contributed to a breakup … maybe her boyfriends were self-centered to the point they were angered if she was working on something that wasn’t intended for them?! Re theory of naming a yarn, I haven’t thought about that. Do you mean naming the colors or naming the yarn itself?

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  10. Now I like that thought – fate giving me a “shove” !!!! Maybe so … it sort of broke the ice, as it were. πŸ™‚ I The man I went out with after the man I fell on – well, that one proposed to me. (But I turned him down.) Guess I’m just not a marriage-minded-kinda-gal. πŸ™‚

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  11. That is so funny…LMAO funny!!!! I have a customer who swears that her knitting has caused numorous breakups and a divorce. Another intended to make a hat for your boyfriend. I am not sure which happened first, but the dog ate the yarn and the relationship unraveled….hardy har.
    What is your theory on naming a yarn. I may have to blog about that!

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  12. Gorgeous story! I would’ve said that may have been fate giving you a shove seeing as you wouldnt jump in there yourself but possibly not, given his attitude to children!
    Tracey x

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  13. Clearly a bumper sticker in the making!

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  14. And not just knitting – all handarbeider, I think. When I was a young woman and taking a ferry between Denmark and Norway, I met a charming young man from the Faroe Island who started talking to me about the hand work I was doing. (I don’t remember the name in Norwegian and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it in the U.S. Maybe it’s what the Americans call “pulled thread” embroidery, but I’m not sure.) In any event, his opening line was something along the line of “Wow, I’ve never seen such a pretty young woman doing handwork my grandmother does!” Anyway, that was a very pleasant ferry trip. πŸ™‚

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  15. I hadn’t thought of that! I could have seriously injured one (or both) of us! He joked later that my falling on him was probably an example of a forward American. πŸ™‚ Oh, and thank you for reading my blog! I’m glad you enjoy it.

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  16. nicolaknits says:

    Recently started reading your blog and enjoying it. Love this story and feeling glad that you didn’t have spiky needles in your hand and stab the poor chap when you fell on top of him!

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  17. What a great story! Yes, you are right knitting does bring people together! I was knitting with beads on the underground in Oslo when a man in his sixties – not a typically knitter exactly – approached me and wanted to know how I did it. I explained and he was just genuinely curious. He thanked me for enlightening him and left a few stops later. It put a smile to several people’s faces that morning!

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  18. Relationships might come and go (or stay) but knitting is forever!

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  19. My tow haired, blue eyed toddler daughter scared him away. He was one of those men who didn’t want to date women with children. πŸ™‚

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  20. Oh no … we had a few dates but he was allergic to children!

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  21. Funny now, but at the time I was mortified (as you can well imagine)!

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  22. Mr. Hottie was single and had no children. I was single and had a toddler. I was young (22) when I had my daughter, and I heard a lot of “Sorry, I don’t date women with children” from men who were nearly drooling over me (I was kinda cute in those days) until they found that out. Actually, once I learned that having a child drove a lot of men away, when I went to parties etc. and was chatted up by men I thought were yucky, I would say things like, “Wow, look at the time. I better go home and relieve the sitter. This is her first time with my brood, and the 4 of them can be a little tough.” If the guy didn’t bolt, he was a potential. πŸ™‚

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  23. H**l no … Once he found out I came with a toddler in tow, he backed up with amazing vigor!

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  24. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. And I just corrected your blog name! πŸ™‚

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  25. And in the most unexpected of ways! πŸ™‚

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  26. Oh yes … knitting for “admirers” is a big no no in my book … not unless you’re exchanging it for a new car or or they will pay you for your labor and supplies! πŸ™‚

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  27. Thankfully he was a big guy or might not have thought it was so cute! πŸ™‚

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  28. What a cute story! A great little “warm fuzzy” for the day.

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  29. Well, I am a single mom knitting her way as well. Since it is bad luck to knit for my admirer’s (and I have proof), I just knit for the kids. So much easier. Just makes me think that maybe I should be attracting a guy who gets me, knitter and all!

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  30. Northern Narratives says:

    Funny how knitting brings people together.

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  31. tpoletti says:

    That is a great story, yes what happened. Also thanks for linking to my blog, but can you fix the name? It is the Timothy Pflueger Blog, (not Pflueger’s Blog, he died in 1946). Thanks so much!

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  32. Cindy says:

    I also want to know. Did you marry him?

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  33. kokorimbaud says:

    I totally second Karen’s question (and her sentiment towards the story πŸ™‚ love a little real-life romance!)
    Please, do tell us how it went on.

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  34. Carla says:

    What a great read!

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  35. tgonzales says:

    Karen,

    Great story. I just want to know, did you marry him too? πŸ™‚

    Hugs,
    Tamara

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  36. Cindy says:

    Don’t leave us hanging! What happened next?
    Cindy in the Bay Area

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