A friend and I went to Roanoke today to look at cabinets and granite for her to remodel her kitchen and for me to pick up my husband's birthday gift (his birthday is Thursday! woo hoo!). We also made a side trip to Black Dog Salvage, one of my favorite places to poke around and daydream. We are not from Roanoke but have been to the major places there and are 2 pretty intelligent women so after leaving Black Dog, we decided not to just backtrack the way we came. We turned out the opposite direction from which we had entered the parking lot because we "felt" like it was the correct way to go to get to where we wanted to eat lunch. A few miles into it, we had NO idea where we were but we still "felt" like we were headed in the correct direction. We went through a beautiful neighborhood, a nice neighborhood, an OK neighborhood, a decidedly not OK neighborhood and then we were on some random road with no neighborhoods at all. Did we stop? no. Did we ask anyone for directions? no. We maintained our stance that we "felt" it was the right way and kept going. Somehow (due to fantastic intuition I'm sure), we popped out on the right road (and then passed the road we had just been on-huh??-explain THAT one!!) We both agreed, through fits of uncontrollable laughing when we were utterly devoid of any clue as to where we were, that we would NOT call our husbands and ask directions because we already have a bit of a "reputation" for getting into trouble when we're together and also for not quite "getting" maps-which, by the way, we did not have. Sometimes I think I knit like I read maps. I see the big picture. I know where I'd like to be. But all that stuff on the map sometimes confuses me and I say things like "go over a little on the squiggly grey liney thing and then go down at the red line by the black star." It is as this point that my methodical, engineer husband looks at me as though I have just spoken in Cantonese and ask some stupid question like "What are the NAMES of the ROADS? What are the NUMBERS of the EXITS??" Jeez, some people are so picky. How should I know that stuff? I don't MAKE maps, I just read them, sort of. Soon after some of my (perfectly acceptable) excuses for why we missed our exit because it did not resemble the aforementioned grey squiggle, the map is ripped from my hands and I am no longer in charge of playing GPS for our road trips. But anyway, back to knitting-I know in my head what I want to knit. I know what I want it to look like. I will sometimes even-gasp!-find a pattern and use the ACTUAL yarn/directions/stitches specified. But other times, I sort of read the pattern before starting to knit. Or I am "pretty sure" the yarn will get gauge and so I do not bother with swatches. Or I decide it would look better with a (fill in the blank) here or there. And most of the time, it all comes out OK eventually, even though during the process I am thinking "what the heck am I even DOING to this poor (insert fibery object here)??" Which leads me to believe that sometimes knitting is understanding directions and sometimes it is intuition and creativity. But most of the time, it is both and it is an amazing, fun way to express my artistic inner spirit.
According to my husband, however, reading maps is not. Whatever.