overheard on the Metro

“Teaching people how to create is the antidote to oppression.”
After I eavesdropped on a long conversation about knitting (!) I gave my card to these folk because I knew I was going to blog about them. 🙂


Mr. Wallace Boyd was sitting there knitting away when a family across the aisle engaged him. He shared, in addition to the quote above, all kinds of experience and wisdom about knitting: how meditative it is, calming, that doing it well is a state-of-mind, one simply needs to be patient enough to make mistakes and learn from them, persevere. One stitch at a time is a metaphor for life, for community-building. Wallace is part of a network of knitting support groups across the DC area, “Knit and Crochet in the City.” They reached out to crocheters for the diversity; folks who can do both Wallace calls “bifibrous.” 🙂 They have a yarn swap every year, and many people have “UFO’s” – UnFinished Objects.
The family had a bunch of knitters in it, it seemed – but the daughter (?) seemed most into it….she knits items for her family which they actually wear – even-edged or not. 🙂 Wallace told a story about a sweater he was making once in which something early on didn’t seem quite right, but he thought it would probably turn out alright so he didn’t recheck the gauge (something to do with measuring how long the eventual product would be). Turns out, after hours of labor, that he realized he was going to end up 3 inches short. Moral of the story?
“If its wrong now, it’ll be wrong later. It’ll always be wrong. Go ahead and take the time to fix it now.”
I’m not a knitter (can you imagine?!), but I know folks who are. It wasn’t the content that initially drew me to pay attention to the conversation, it was the people themselves. Do you have a mental picture in your head of who these folks are? What they look like?
Coming from dang near lilywhite Vermont, I always get a visual and psychic rush interacting with people of a wide variety of shades, ethnicities, and backgrounds. And, being concerned with social justice, I always notice the visible characteristics of folks, and think (depending upon what transpires) about whether or not those characteristics are having any kind of impact on the interaction itself. Do they matter?
Today, they didn’t matter at all, and it was so refreshing. 🙂

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