Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A long tail out of context

I spent well over an hour, maybe two, at Romni Wool on Saturday. Mostly in the basement where they keep the yarns on sale, sacks of roving and huge spools of weaving warp thread. You can get totally lost at that store, both literally and figuratively. Time just stands still.

While I was in the basement the staff person there was talking to another lost customer about Long Tail Cast On. I was eavesdropping. I thought I knew LTCO, but when she started to demonstrate it to the other lost customer, I realized that I didn't know the half of it. Her method was so elegant compared to mine. I get the same results, but my style is much more fiddly and awkward. It was such a pleasure to watch her doing it. She repeated the demo several times for my edification and then assured me I could find pictures and videos on the web. She was right, and I did, here and here.

She asked me where I learned to knit, and I said I couldn't remember. It was either at home or at Brownies. I didn't want to blame my awkward method on my mother or Brown Owl (who probably taught me correctly but somehow I mangled it), so I just said I couldn't remember.

Eventually I had spent more money than I cared to know about and it was time to check out at the cash register. There was as usual a line-up. But a very pleasant line-up, all knitting chitchat. The guy behind the counter is a knitter too, he is generous with knitting advice and discussion. In a good way.

So, another staffer came into the store bearing some metal frame contraption. She announced to the guy that she had found a rack. He looked up and admired her rack.

He said, "That's a much better rack than mine."

We all looked at each and stifled smiles.

But after a few more comments about the superior rack, another guy in the line-up said, "This conversation could so be taken out of context!" and everyone laughed.

The staffer with the rack and the cashier both grinned, and he repeated his remark with emphasis and gestures to his inferior "rack". It was true.

I love it that the biggest yarn store in Toronto, possibly Canada, has avid knitting men working there and equally avid knitting men shopping there.


Anonymous said...

intriuged...only learned LTCO on return to knitting in my 60s. oh yes, and all the other kinds besides the one from my start in 1940s.

enjoed your perfect description of how we get lost in a really good yarn space. have a lovely smaller LYO in new york city and wonder if there's anything in the states as generous as yours.

Zabetha said...

LTCO was the only cast-on I ever knew. Except I did it backwards (!) and with two hands. The method the woman at Romni Wools demonstrated for me was one-handed and looked so elegant.

Surely New York City has something comparable! It must!