This may be the weirdest post I’ve ever written. A while ago I was on admissions-duty for obstetrics. If you’ve spent time on an obstetrics service, you know that there are short bursts of action followed by long periods of waiting. Less so in admissions, but the intern and I still had a lot of time that we were waiting for something new to happen. I took out my iPad to
read study and he… took out a ball of yarn and continued knitting something that seriously resembled a sweater.
For all my ranting about stereotyping, I still struggled to keep my reaction in check. Now, I know THIS DOESN’T MAKE A DIFFERENCE but… This intern was pretty awesome. He was about a year older than me, a pretty fit kid of Asian origin, with really good hair and smallish ear-gauges. He was also really cool and nice: he had taught me a lot that day and let me do all the internal examinations (I needed them for my log), AND he didn’t make me do all his scutwork.
And so, yeah, I definitely did NOT expect him to pull out a ball of yarn and some knitting needles!
But I recovered very well and started asking him about it. He taught himself to knit because there are times when he doesn’t have anything to do at hospital (hard to believe but apparently true), or during an overnight call with accompanying insomnia, or when suffering post-call insomnia.
Long story short: he likes it, he has finished a few items already, it keeps him awake during boring meetings, and if he gets called away he can put it down immediately. Oh, and also, he can talk at the same time, which I cannot do while practicing my go-to hobby (reading).
We did knitting at school. I was ten and the biggest mistake I made was to choose the most difficult pattern the teacher had available. So while my friends knitted simple teddy bears, I attempted an owl plushie (I’ve always loved owls). Given that my hand-eye coordination was pretty crappy (I still refused to wear my specs at the time) my knitting was appalling. I never finished the project as it was not a graded class, and by the next year our syllabus had dropped knitting/woodwork/etc.
Needless to say, I walked away with the belief that I was no good at knitting. Okay, I mean, I REALLY WASN’T, but I have to learn that I don’t have to be NATURALLY good at everything I try. It’s okay to have to work at it.
Recently I’ve had the urge to learn to sew. My suturing is pretty bad (so bad that I am considering using a week of holiday just hanging out in the skills lab), but also I’m really jealous of my friends who sew their own reversible hoodies and scrub caps, and tailor their own scrubs. I have been thinking about taking some sewing classes next year but the truth is that any free time I have outside of hospital I will want to spend on exercise, my family, and reading.
I am reaching a point now, I swear: I wonder if knitting might be my answer. I really enjoy reading during those quiet moments, but it takes a while to get back into reading and then if you have to put it down to rush off to a code you will probably forget what you last read. Reading is not the most social activity and I don’t want people at my new job to avoid talking to me because my nose is in a book and they don’t want to bother me. (Yeah, I’d much rather read than do small-talk but I am old enough to understand that I need real-life friends too.) And people are probably less likely to steal some unfinished knitting than to steal my tablet (then again, this is South Africa, so you never know…).
I just… I mean… KNITTING?! I have so many bad preconceived notions about it. The teenager in my brain still wants to paste an L to my forehead just thinking of it. Which is mean because people I love have made me some really awesome knitwear. Will I enjoy it? What if I suck at it? Is it an expensive hobby? Will I really be able to put it down and pick it back up without difficulty? WHAT WILL I MAKE?!
And don’t hate me, but I’m kind of scared people will laugh at me. I have a lot of bluster about being true to oneself and doing what makes you happy but nobody likes being laughed at.