I know all the standard ways to recognize other knitters in the wild: There’s the obvious — seeing someone other than me knitting in public. There’s the almost-as-obvious — spying a person wearing handknits. Then, there’s the less-obvious, such as watching for someone’s ears to perk up when I discuss knitting with someone else, or looking for knitting paraphernalia, perhaps commingled with a person’s carry-on baggage. This past week, I found yet another way.
The other morning, I was at a conference for work — the kind where continental breakfast is served, and there’s a row of coffee percolators and hot water for tea and such there to greet you in the morning. I’d come prepared with my own travel mug, and made my way down to the end with all the coffee condiments before adding coffee.
Most people (read: normal people) will fill up their coffee cups and then add the condiments. Not me. I prefer to put all the sugar and half-and-half in my cup, then swim upstream a bit to add the coffee. I’m usually the only person at any large meeting preparing my coffee in this bass-ackwards way. But not that morning.
No, that morning, as I was finishing loading up my mug, another woman sidled next to me at the condiments station. “Oh, excuse me,” I apologized, “I do things backwards here. It’s a consequence of having OCD tendencies, although OCD does have some upsides, too.” I went to move toward the coffee percolators.
“So do I,” she rejoined. I noticed her nametag read “Alice.” Alice continued, “For certain foods, I have a very specific way of doing things. I always do my coffee condiments first, too.” She paused in her coffee preparation and looked at me. “Are you a knitter, by chance?”
“Why yes, I am,” I replied. “Are you?”
“Yes, I am, too,” Alice responded, smiling broadly. “I had a feeling you were. We’re all a little OCD-like, don’t you think?”
I laughed, and we chatted amiably for a few minutes about the knitting projects we were working on, in addition to work-related matters. I should note that neither Alice nor I were wearing any handknits, nor were we carrying any project bags nor anything else that might give us away as knitters. We were just two professionally dressed women at the coffee bar. Nevertheless, she picked me out right away as a knitter — one more way to discover other members of our club.
In other knitterly news, when life gets as busy and complicated as it has for me the past few weeks, my knitting gets simpler and my knitting time more sparse. About the only thing I’ve been able to work on is a pair of plain socks:
This is Ann Budd’s basic sock pattern in Knit Picks Hawthorne, the Irvington colorway. The socks are for my older son. I managed to finish the first sock, other than the grafting, and started on the second one. I’m hoping to find time for other knitting in the next few weeks in between work demands, gardening, and other May craziness. And who knows? Maybe I’ll find more knitters in the wild, too.