It’s been years since I’ve attempted to share my passionate hobby of knitting, but last week I brought a friend into the fold. Earlier this winter she saw me knitting in public and expressed interest in learning how to knit, to which I promptly replied, “Why, I’ll be happy to teach you how!”
First, let me tell you a little bit more about my friend. A few years ago The Optometrist and I sat through a Dave Ramsey course with her at church, and then last fall she attended one of the ladies Bible study classes I taught, allowing our spiritual connection to deepen. Since this friend knows us both and had never been to our home before, I thought inviting her over would be a more comfortable and inviting option to learn how to knit around our kitchen table. (She’s also an animal lover, so she was quite taken with our affectionate kitty Sylvester.) Like I mentioned, it’s been a while since I’ve taught someone to knit, and she’s old enough to be my mom, so I wanted to be patient, concise, and encouraging. But I was still a little bit nervous.
You see, my friend’s husband has a very important, high profile job. He’s the president of our University, ultimately my boss.
He’s a busy man, and therefore, she’s a busy lady. They have notoriety in our community, simply because of his academic position, and we both hold them in high regard as individuals and leaders.
And yet, my friend doesn’t “put on airs,” as we say in the Ozarks. She’s genuine, gracious, and open with those she meets, when she has every right to be snobby, elitist, and disconnected from people. While I’ve never asked her, I get the impression that she and her husband are totally fine with her being who she is – someone who doesn’t pretend to appear perfect and whose bubbly personality draws people to her naturally.
So because of her lack of pretense, I felt I could comfortably teach her how to knit, not as the president’s wife, but as my friend.
She has crocheted in the past, which is always helpful when picking up knitting, but I hoped I could convey the basics in a way that she would understand. I instructed her to purchase size US 8 needles and some 100% cotton yarn so we could make a dishcloth; a great beginner project. We worked together for about 2 hours and during this time I was so proud of her ability to understand and execute the long tail cast on, the knit stitch, and was getting the hang of the purl stitch by the end of our evening together. As we wrapped up our session she thanked me, gave me a hug, and we walked her outside. For the past few days I kept thinking I needed to check in with her about her progress, then today, this arrived at work.
It’s a dainty flower arrangement, with pale pink roses, in a tea cup with a saucer! It couldn’t be more me.
I thought The Optometrist had sent me belated Valentine’s Day flowers, but then I read the card and was almost moved to tears.
While she’s the thankful one, I am the one who has received the blessing. When you share something you love, that’s a gift in and of itself. And the fact that she’s enjoying knitting and wants to learn more? Pure joy!
But more importantly, I am reminded from my friend’s thoughtful demonstration of how it’s always good to be open to learning new things from others; how being generous, authentic, and kind never goes out of style. As I look to her example, I not only want to be more like that when I grow up, but want to be more like that right now.