There's something that's been bothering me for the last few days.
It all started with Ravelry. I entered a few projects, photographed some yarn, and had fun with the site. The trouble started when I went to the "friends" tab. You know how it shows you pictures of people who did the same projects as you, and suggests that you might be friends? Well, having cooked up a couple of socks from your Basic Sock Recipe, I saw, amongst the other happy sock knitters, a small black and white photo of you. I didn't even think twice. I added you as my friend.
I immediately had second thoughts. Let's face it... you don't know me. We're not even in the same city. You could ride past me on your bike and not know me from any other muggle. Sure, we met at a book signing, but you've met a significant portion of the knitter population in this country and the next, and I don't flatter myself that you'd remember my face out of the thousands. Considering those facts, adding you as my friend on Ravelry seems a little... presumptuous. Possibly even stalker-esque. Or just plain juvenile.... like the people who just add everyone to their "friends" list on Facebook, thinking that might make them seem loved and popular.
I wondered what you'd think when you got that notification that you'd been added as my friend. "Who the hell...?" you'd think, then probably shrug it off. I suspect I'm not the only one, but all the same, I was uncomfortable with you thinking that I presumed friendship. I very nearly removed you from my friends list.
Then I thought a little about it all. And here's how I see it now.
I make time in my busy life for you almost every day. I can't wait to hear what you, your family and the squirrels are up to. Your stories have made me laugh, made me cry, made me mad, and made me act. "Knitting Rules" is a constant companion, and from it I draw the courage to be the boss of my own knitting, the technical know-how to make what I want to make, and no end of amusement. Even my family knows you... the household activities come to a screeching halt when you were on CBC TV and I am forever stopping someone to read aloud a choice excerpt from a book or blog entry.
Though I think my husband sometimes regrets that you hang around the house so much. One night as we sat in a darkened theater together, I muttered and cursed over the fact that there simply wasn't enough light to knit by. "But the Harlot knits in theaters!" I exclaimed, frustrated. "If the Harlot went to movies naked, would you do that, too?" my husband growled, exasperated with this whole knitting obsession.
I'd have to give it some thought.
I think "friend" actually is the wrong word for it. I think "role model" might be a better fit. I know you're probably surprised at that, but there it is. You make being an "ordinary" mother, wife and knitter look pretty damned good. The humour through which you see the world, the patience you exemplify towards your family (and sometimes even your knitting), the way you're not afraid to stand up and do something to right a wrong. Even the fact that your hard labour with needles and yarn sometimes turns out looking like ass is terribly, terribly endearing. You are a quiet heroine for the everyday woman.
Steph... can I call you Steph?... Please don't think I'm stalking you 'cause I added you as friend. It's just sometimes, you're more helpful then the in-the-flesh people around me. And let's not forget, you are personally to blame for the fact that I am now obsessed with string and pointy sticks. You must be held accountable for that; it alone earns you the epithet "friend."
PS. See what you made me do?
Plain Wintery Socks, Basic Sock Recipe (Knitting Rules), Austermann Step yarn. One to go.
PSS: Can you spot the difference?