Knit Without Ceasing

Southern Knitting

I decided to travel without knitting, mostly because I didn’t have a good project to carry along and partly because I didn’t know when I would have time and partly because I was worried I wouldn’t seem sufficiently serious taking knitting on what St. Casserole has called a “mission of mercy.”

But my hands want to be making something, and my eye wants to see colors and textures and discern what they might become. Knitting, after all, is prayer time for me.

When during lunch my hostess pulled a coupon from Michael’s out of her purse and I saw the yarn sale on the reverse of the flyer, I found I was eager to go and see what might be had.

There were many full bins of the yarns that would be sparse at home in Snow Country’s City By the Sea, the bulky wools and wool blends. For the first time my eyes lit with interest on ribbon yarn. I had a notion that I would like to make something for my friend, for she is now an incarnate friend instead of a whimsical figment of my imagination, and although I brought her a Prayer Shawl from Small Church, it was not of my own making.
Ribbon yarn is also whimsical. You wonder how it can become anything at all. It’s terrible to cast on and begin knitting if you haven’t done it before. It’s difficult to get the tension just right. And although ginger kittens are eager to assist, they are, not surprisingly, as helpful as a cat.

Finally I got it started, and my image of what it might have been has been far surpassed by the reality.

Today we are going to New Orleans. We will meet a sorority sister of mine who lives outside Baton Rouge at the Café du Monde. My Theta sister of long ago lived in New Orleans right after college and has, like my newfound sister, memories and history that I do not. Today I am making memories. I will drink coffee and eat the first beignets of my life. And tucked into my purse, I have the address of a nearby yarn shop that has re-opened.

11 thoughts on “Southern Knitting”

  1. Oh, oh! Have some cafe au lait for me, please! I’ll go make some of my own, but it’s not the same without the chicory. And the beignets! I last ate them while pathetically nauseous with morning sickness, and they soothed me no end.
    I love the idea of knitting time as prayer time.

  2. Ah, yes, I think I know the yarn shop of which you speak, in the French Quarter. I got some amazing bulky, nobbly thick-thin multicolored yarn there that I made into a hat and a purse for StrongOpinions. I’ve used ribbon yarn before, sometimes blending it with other yarns. Strange stuff, but it is interesting.
    Knitting is prayer time for me as well. I sometimes have trouble sitting still, but knitting centers me like nothing else, except maybe icon writing.
    Beignets! Avec un p’tit cafe au lait. Ciel! Joie!

  3. Hoping a picture will follow. I mean – for a very laid back knitter like me – I have no idea what ribbon yarn is.
    Butpraying and knitting seem a great combination

  4. Beignets are the best! My parents loved N’Orleans coffee and chicory so much that’s what we had growing up. Spoiled me for Folgers and Maxwell House. Guess that’s why I have a bad Starbucks habit.

  5. Oh, ppb, I am caught out with my lack of commas. Let’s try again.
    “We will meet a sorority sister of mine, who lives outside Baton Rouge, at the Café du Monde.”
    We did indeed meet her. I saw the mighty Mississippi. I grieved for so much that has been lost. I ate beignets and drank cafe au lait. I bought yarn. I grieved some more.
    I did not have my palm read, but it was tempting.

  6. I do not knit, but I do crochet. It is a wonderfully calming, centering, creative activity. I get a little twitchy when I put it down for too long!

  7. I did find some yarn at Quarterstitch on Chartres Street. The young lady there gave me her undivided and enthusiastic attention, wrapped my purchases like a present, and showed no signs of giving up on New Orleans, thanks be to God. When I make this yarn into something, a big shawl or scarf or something, i will post a picture. This one will be for me.

  8. Yes! QuarterStitch! Hurray! I loved the way they wrapped up my little yarn purchase, and they’ve got some truly amazing stuff there.

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