During our recent trip to visit family in Eugene, Ally asked my grandmother to teach her how to knit. Making the unfamiliar passes, loops, and returns of thread on the obtuse needles, Ally slowly progressed from a swath of coagulated yarn to something resembling a bookmark to something steadily growing in length.
Daily, Ally practices knitting; “If I don’t do it everyday, I think I might forget how.”
What I am intrigued by is the difference she and I perceive in the process. Frustrated with how slowly it takes to create something, Ally points out how much faster and easier it is to “just buy a $10 scarf.”
Of course, she’s right. And frankly, I don’t find myself interested in investing that much time in learning how to and then actually knitting a scarf.
But then again … what if knitting was Legos? Two years ago, I spent the good part of a week slowly following the instructions to build a Lego replica of Fallingwater. It sat on the windowsill for a while until the Santa Ana winds blew it over and made short work of Wright’s architectural masterpiece. Even several decades beyond the intended age of Legos I find myself drawn to the allure of creating, exploring, building. Even when it takes a long time.
Perhaps because I’ve grown up recognizing Legos as “fun,” I am compelled to invest time in them. Perhaps because of their impracticality (it wouldn’t be very easy to wear a Lego scarf … but it would be awesome) they will never feel like labor the same way that knitting will. Perhaps because there is no wrong way to build Lego structures they are shielded from the required rote practice of knitting correctly.