Friday, June 10, 2005

Madame Defarge

I went to a meeting of the DC Stitch and Bitch group last night. I read about such groups in a knitting magazine long ago and have longingly wished for such a group in the City of Light, and later in Our Fair City. I've heard that a group exists in Our Fair City, but since it never actually meets, it might as well not exist.

Anyway, I joined their Yahoo group several weeks ago, but I haven't been able to make it to any of the meetings until now for a host of reasons. I've been interviewing the family of a woman applying for political asylum, I've been going out to dinner with the Boss and His Wife, I've been unwilling to take a Metro ride that would involve a transfer and over an hour on the train each way...You know, the usual litany of inertial excuses. So, when I read that their meeting would be in Logan's Circle, I was all over that. It's not too far from work, so it would be convenient to get there and one of the other girls at work also knits, so we decided to go together.

The only problem was that they fired her at work yesterday.

Nonetheless, we decided to meet at the Metro in Dupont Circle and walk over together. It was really strange at first. I like her a lot and I'm sorry to see her go. She, on the other hand, was relieved. She hated working at the firm and is sort of relieved not to have to come in to work anymore. She was also already looking for jobs, so she has interviews lined up for next week. That's great; I'm sure she will land on her feet.

The D.C. evening was incredibly oppresive. And let me tell you, I'm sick to death of the wise, all-knowing "Oh, summer in D.C. is worse than anywhere! The city was built on a swamp". Bull pucky. I grew up in the valley of the Ohio River where July is a stagnant, wilting month followed by 31 soul-sucking days of August. Relative humidity hits 70 or 80% in mid-June and stays there until after Labor Day. I'm no stranger to hot and humid. Last night was particularly oppresive because the air was supersaturated. It condensed on your face as you stood on the street corner waiting for the light to change and occasionally crossed the line into desultory drizzles of rain, only to stop short of the deliverance of a downpour.

There were only two people there when we arrived and conversation was quite stilted. I felt vaguely disappointed, but decided to knit for at least a half-hour and then take the Metro home. But then the other women drizzled in in pairs and one-by-one and soon there were nine or ten of us sitting around, knitting and chatting, the conversation going from one end of the table to the other, groups forming and re-forming as the topics drifted from wool to moving to finishing a project and what a pain it is to weave in ends to how to help one of the girls fix a grevious error in her sweater without resorting to ripping out the whole thing nearly to the waistline and starting over. The women ranged in age from 22 to (I estimate) 40 and came all kinds of fields. One woman is a doctor specializing in nuclear medicine. Another is a secretary.

I was gratified to note that my knitting is better than most of the others. I may be slow, but I'm good. One of the women, though, is a knitting genius. She was wearing a gorgeous tank that she knitted from a very fine cotton and working on a baby sweater that was so beautiful and well-worked that I don't think I could actually put it on a baby for fear of ruining it. Better to just frame it and admire it from a distance.

The next thing I knew, it was after 10 p.m. I was so tired that the walk from the Metro to the house seemed like a never-ending march on a treadmill with an old-fashioned movie background winding by to give the illusion of forward movement where none exists. Six and a half stripes to go before the book premiere. I think I can make it.


At 8:30 AM , Blogger J said...

I can't knit, but there is something really facinating about knitting. It's like watching spiders spin their webs.
Also, I love the Madame Defarge reference. I used to teach AToTC.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home