I like to knit. No, really, I LOVE to knit. Knitting gives me control that does not exist in the rest of my life. When I knit, I am in charge of the pattern, the colors, the stitches. I love the feel of the yarn between my fingers, the click of my needles as they create the fabric, and the satisfaction of making something from nothing. Even when I am not knitting, I am thinking about my next project, mentally listing the materials I will need and the colors that will work best. Knitting is my refuge. In my very busy, hectic, and crazy life, it is knitting that keeps me sane.
But knitting has some minimal requirements: a good light, space to spread out your yarns, markers, and patterns, and a comforting cup of tea. Not much to ask, one would think. One would be surprised.
A favorite time to knit is on Sunday afternoons, when my husband is engrossed in some CNN sports game or other. I can be passively engaged with him--paying absolutely no attention to the field of play--and still fulfill my need for calm and beauty. For the last year or so, the left side of the couch has been my knitting nirvana, complete with a crafter's light and a side table for my accouterments.
Let me explain right here that my husband and I still live in the same starter home where we swore we would spend the first five years of our married life. We've raised three kids here, two of whom have returned home to roost due to the lousy economy, bringing with them one cat each. My former office--fortress of solitude for my budding writing career and consistent teaching stuff--has been given over to a daughter who swears she's leaving next June. I believe her. I also believe that her cat, a large orange with depressive tendencies, will stay. So space in our small abode is at a premium. Whenever I manage to carve out a tiny space for myself, I need to be on guard against squatters. And since I work about 60 hours a week, I cannot stand guard with a rifle over my minuscule domain. I have trained my cocker spaniel, Taffy, to do it but she's weak and can be bought for a bacon treat.
Back to my dilemma. I settled into my new knitting space quite well. It had the benefit of being near a vent which kept me warm when the weather outside got frightful. I could throw a blanket around myself and knit the Sunday happily away.
Perhaps I was too comfortable. Perhaps I made it look too inviting. Because today, my husband sacked himself out on the love seat instead of the usual side of the couch.
"That's not where you sit," I told him.
He shrugged. "We don't have assigned seats."
"But this is where I knit. This is where the light is good and my knitting things are all here."
"There's enough space," he said. "You can still knit."
I had my doubts. While a very portable hobby, knitting does require a certain amount of elbow room and my husband is not a small man. Still, I was willing to give it a try. First, I needed to move a cat--not the depressed one--onto the floor, then re-position the light because it was, alas, casting a glare onto the TV. Heaven forbid. I settled onto the 1/3 of the love seat left and found that I could almost move my arms. Not quite, though. After a few minutes of close quarters knitting, I gave up.
"This will not work,' I announced. "I need ROOM!"
"Sit on the couch, " my helpful husband suggested.
"I can't," I wailed. "There's not enough light."
"You used to sit there."
"Yes. Until you wanted to sit there. Then I had to move my lamp over here. Now you want to sit here!"
Okay, I know I sounded petulant. So sue me.
He sighed. Not just a little, ahhh, sigh. But a loud, I-am-the-most-put-upon-husband-on-the-face-of-the-earth sigh. "I could move," he said.
"Yes. Please." He heaved himself off the couch and I made a quick trip to the restroom. When I came back, he was still sitting on the love seat, my just-begun project disappearing under the cushion.
"You said you were moving!" I said.
"You left the room!" he countered.
"Well, I'm back," I said. "Move!" At a speed that matches that of paint drying, he heaved and hooed and sighed and groaned and made it to the couch. Plop. "Don't know why you're making such a big deal out of it," he muttered.
"Just so we're clear," I said to my husband. "When I am knitting, I sit here."
He grunted, already back into whatever game he was watching.
So, for the moment, my space is once again secure. But tomorrow will come and I will need to go to work and my unreliable dog will undoubtedly sell me out for bacon treats. But I have a plan, a strategically planted spare knitting needle between the cushions. And not a plastic one either.