The Scarf that Launched a Thousand Stitches

So this is how it happened:

I pass a yarn store every day on my way to work whose front window displays detailed vignettes: life-size amigurumi swans, knit birch trees, an ice princess in a sweater dress. A yarn-bombed bicycle with a basket full of stockinette-stitched bread loaves and a bottle of wine nestled in an embroidered cozy. A literal carpet of spring grass. The kind of thing that raises knitting to an art form. And it seemed like my type of art: meticulous, rhythmic, a little obsessive. Besides, who doesn’t love a good cardigan?

So knitting was on my mind. What’s more, I’d been poking around on blogs by women who sell handmade products on Etsy — some as a hobby, some as a full-time job. The idea appealed to the Thoreau in me. (Or the Martha Stewart? Ew.) I started daydreaming about owning my own business … a combination bookstore/homemade ice cream shop flooded with natural light and outfitted with whitewashed wood, subway tiles, and chrome-edged stools — kind of a soda fountain meets McNally Jackson. (Yeah, this is where the blog name came from.)

Well, bookstores are famously dying, and my short-lived attempt to sell old books on Amazon was … well, short-lived. But I couldn’t clear my head of the fantasy of making a career that didn’t depend on whether some editor or agent or academic liked my work — or my cover letter.

Then S.M. texted me one afternoon to say he was learning how to embroider.

And that got me thinking. I had some time to kill before work, so I walked down 15th Street to the store I’d been eyeing and finally went in. I came out with a ball of rust-colored yarn — and thus began my spiral into addiction.

Which is not to say learning was a breeze, or that I didn’t feel like screaming in frustration more than once over the week it took me to finish the scarf. I did it in garter stitch — the simplest one there is — but it ended up being about 9 feet long. So the fact I was able to knit it in a week, what with all the unraveling and redoing and YouTube-watching, shows how rapidly my obsession grew.

The scarf that launched a thousand stitches

And here I am, four scarves, three hats, a pair of wrist warmers, a tea cozy and a blanket later, more obsessed than ever. I’m nowhere near ready to start an Etsy shop yet, but one day! In the meantime, I’ve got this blog to keep me busy.

Didn’t really expect this to happen … but a lot of things have happened this year that I didn’t expect, and they’ve all been pretty fantastic.



2 thoughts on “The Scarf that Launched a Thousand Stitches

  1. Love your old fashioned soda fountain idea, that sounds so cute. I started with a scarf myself and got hooked to knitting as well! Hope you can open your etsy shop soon!

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