Why A Size 6 Needle Comes In Handy; or, A Violent Knitter

 Explaining the dynamics of the local poetry group would be difficult. It’s like trying to explain an in-joke to someone; it never pays off. But I’ll try.


 Well, I always bring my knitting. Knitting is a safe refuge if the weaselly looking guy decides to read a Ribert Frost poem—an unfortunate incident which occured as follows. The scene is the Seattle Best Cafe. I have a laptop on my, er, lap, and a short, skinny little man stands up to read.

 Weasel Man: (In flat, nasal voice) 

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;

 Me: (Starts to giggle)

 Weasel Man:

He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

 Me: (Starts to giggle even harder as he speaks each line like he’s dropping a dead animal onto the floor)

 Weasel Man:

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

Me: (Now visibly convulsing in my chair, barely able to stop from exploding into laughter. Did I mention the bristly little blond mustache, that simply adds to the weasel impression? He read on, blessedly deaf to my muted explosions.)

 Weasel Man:

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there’s some mistake….

 By the time that he reached the very famous last lines, “And miles to go before I sleep,” I was this close to lying on the floor, writhing with hysterical laughter. It may have something to do with the fact that this was November and I was in NaNoWriMo, a novel writing challenge that required 1,667 words per day. Emerging for the poetry reading was one of the few social ventures that I made that month. I guess that it showed.

 However, now I have knitting, and I knitted alternately on my t-shirt and on a hat, which is not going to pictured here until I have found out whether I actually have enough yarn for it or not. Tonight, everyone put their poems in a bag and so everything was anonymous. The evening went well. Poets are strange and sensitive breed, so when everyone starts laughing, you know that it’s going well.

 Afterwards, me, the Artist and a bunch of the other poets, including Matt, piled into our cars to go to the ice cream shop nearby. Fueled by sugar, everyone began to share stories.

 “I remember the best fanfiction line ever,” Matt said, “You know Doom, the computer game, with the marine? Well, this fanfiction story is about John, the marine, and he’s on the phone with the commander. And John says, ‘I have to defeat all these demons!’ and the commander says, ‘YOU are the demons,’.”

 He paused, savoring everyone’s expectant faces. Then he giggled, which spoiled it slightly.

 “And then he was a zombie.”

 Everyone gaped for a moment.

 “Seriously, that was the ending of the story. And then he was a zombie. That’s it.”

 This spurred many stories about fanfiction horrors, another memorable ending line being, “BUT WHO WAS THE PHONE!” because we are all geeks, and probably everyone there had written at least one fanfiction story. However, Rob, a generally good natured guy who enjoys teasing, started to dig at my and the Artist, namely because everyone in my family is rather short. I joked that at the family reunions, we have a ruler that says, “Must Not Be Taller Than This,” because if you’re taller than a certain height, you’re not actually a member of the family!

 However, this did not stop him. Instead, it encouraged him. I knit on my cotton t-shirt, and reached the end of the row. My needle—my size 6, 14 inch long bamboo needle—was free. Finally. He made one more quip.


 I flicked the blunt end of the needle against his leg, not too hard, but enough to make a point. Bamboo needles sting.

 “Ow!” he said, whining.

 He got no sympathy, however, simply laughter. When all the ice had melted, finally, me, the Artist and her friend needed to leave. As I got into the car, he called out,

 “Goodbye, hobbits!”

 Darn it. Maybe I should start using metal needles.

 Note: There will be a t-shirt KAL update this week, probably Thursday or Friday. Sorry for the delay.


June 18, 2008. Snark Editorial.


  1. Sally replied:

    Too funny. I remember that poem from high school. I think the analysis killed it for me. 🙂

  2. Michelle replied:

    I am working on sleeve number 1 of my T! Woo-hoo! With any luck I’ll be sewing it together next week!

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