Yesterday, Scott and I both woke up feeling tired and completely unmotivated for the chose list that we had created. Also, since Scott works at home, he was ready for a day away from the place, and I don’t blame him. So, we went through several ideas of what we could do that wouldn’t cost a lot of money, and decided on several hours at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. I love the Textile Arts and the Contemporary Art departments, and Scott wanted to take his sketch book and wander through other areas making sketches of things that captured his eye. So, off we went.
When we got there, we checked our watches (or cell phone in Scott’s case because he can’t wear watches – they quit working on him in just a few weeks) and split up. I entered the Textile Arts department and they had the coolest display of bathing suits, dresses, suits and such all that was considered “ultra modern and futuristic” for their time periods, so I retreated, found Scott and took him to it. If he every needed some inspiration for superhero costumes and how cat suits fit a body, then this was the place he needed to be. We went through it together and I left him making some sketches.
After a tour through the Contemporary art section, where I fell in love with two mind-bending paintings (both of which I’d love to recreate in weaving or in silk painting or do something that is fully inspired by them) and a mobius ship, I took myself down to the first floor where I had seen a comfy couch off in a corner for people to rest their weary legs on. What really caught my attention about this couch was the lighting. Several direct eyeball lights in the ceiling meant I would be able to see my knitting. Yes, I took my knitting (the nearly completed sock if you’re asking) because I wanted Scott to be able to wander around without worrying about me, and while I like certain areas, the rest I’ve seen time and again, and didn’t feel like seeing them this time.
So, I plunked myself down in a corner of that couch (there were two matching chairs facing it, too), got myself comfortable and situated, took out my knitting, and proceeded to knit.
I love people watching, and I have knitted this sock pattern so many times now that I don’t need to pay close attention to my hands. This gave me the freedom to watch people as they passed to and from the restrooms nearby, the food court, the gift shop and the room where you can hang up your coat. I don’t stare, just glance around between the sights around me and my knitting. People are so interesting, don’t you think?
Well, while I was measuring the foot of the sock against its completed mate to see how much more I had to go before I could start the toe, another woman came over and sat opposite me in one of the chairs. And I realized she was watching me! So, I continued working and knitting and she continued to stare at my hands as they knitted one needle, then the next, then the next and so forth. One of the reasons I love knitting socks with five needles is that it looks so cool and complicated to the uninitiated.
So many times, I have had people come over and ask me what I am doing, and I will show them the sock, usually its mate, and then when they say the inevitable “That looks so hard!”, I explain what I am doing and how easy it actually is. I’ve had people who have knitted scarves but said they were afraid to try socks come over, and when I show them how easy it is to make socks and show them that even though there are lots of needles there, you work with only the familiar two at a time, just moving on to the next needle with you’ve finished one, they leave saying, “I can do that!”
But this lady did not approach me, nor did we ever make eye contact, but she sat and watched my hands knit round and round on that sock for a full 10 minutes. While she was there, two young ladies (in their early 20′s) came over and one sat in the other chair and one sat on the other end of the couch, and they, too, watched my hands as I worked. They tried to keep up some sort of conversation, but it kept trailing off as they watched me knit. Again, no eye contact was made, but I did quickly glance up from time to time and I had to smile inwardly at their interest and concentration on my hands.
Luckily, I still had had quite a bit of work to do on the foot, and when it came to transfer the 4 needles over to three to start the decrease for the toe, all three ladies had left. But it made me think. It was like, for a space of about 15 minutes, I had become some sort of moving exhibit at the museum. It made me think a few other things, too, but I need to let them simmer a bit before I am ready to see what can be made of them.
And I will be able to finish that sock and pass it and its mate off to their new home this week. Yesterday was a fun day and educaional in more ways than one.