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by Wendy D. Johnson

My alarm clock sounds. I awake with my knitting in my hands — I must have fallen asleep while knitting the night before. I scan it eagerly. No progress. Rats. I haven't yet learned to knit in my sleep.

In my morning fog, I make my way over to the computer to check my e-mail. Any notices about great yarn sales? Nope. Any notices about grants that offer me $100K/year to knit? Nope.

I feed the cat and start my morning exercise routine. The ball of handpainted pashmina just out of reach keeps me inspired as I do my warm-up stretches.

I'm showered and ready for work. I sit down and write my daily knitting blog entry and answer knitting e-mail.

I arrive at the train station. I pull out my sock-in-progress and start working while waiting for the train.

The train arrives. I board and scan the passengers for the most knit-friendly person to sit beside.

I choose a grandmotherly-looking woman, sit down, resume knitting. We have a brief conversation.

Her: "That’s really annoying, you know."

Me: "It would be even more annoying if I accidentally stab you with one of my needles."

Grandmotherly-looking woman changes seats.

I arrive at work and leave sock-in-progress on my desk to inspire me. I spend a bit of time reading knitting blogs and e-mail. Finally, grudgingly, I turn to work.

Lunchtime! I grab a salad from the cafeteria, then knit on my sock. I pause after every round to shop for yarn online.

Quittin' time! I leave work, board the train and whip out my sock-in-progress. A somewhat peculiar-looking man sits next to me.

Him: "What are you knitting?"
Me: "A sock."
Him: "A sock? Ha-ha!"
Him: "It looks like you started at the toe."
Me: "Yes I did."
Him: "Why?"
Me: "Just because. I like making them this way."
Him: "What are you going to do about the heel?"
Me: "I’ve got the heel done — see?" (Wave sock at him.)
Him: "Oh, so now you just have to finish it at the top."

I am impressed; this is the most thoughtful knitting conversation I've ever had on the train. The fact that the somewhat peculiar-looking man is picking what I hope are imaginary bugs out of his hair and eating them while discussing the finer points of sock knitting does somewhat detract from the experience.

I get off the train and stop by the grocery store to buy something for dinner. [Upon arriving home I take a long shower and wash my hair three times.]

I lay out clothes and get everything lined up for tomorrow. I spend some time reading and answering knitting e-mail.

I eat dinner and settle down on the couch for knitting. My pattern is propped up on a music stand, my cat is curled up at the other end of the couch, the phone is on the coffee table and the remote control is within reach. On a good night, I get two or three good hours of knitting on my primary work-in-progress. I take breaks to peruse new knitting books and read e-mail.

I retire to the bedroom, knitting in hand. I watch some television propped up in bed so I can get a couple more rounds of knitting in. Maybe tonight is the night I'll finally knit in my sleep!


Wendy Johnson has been knitting for as long as she can remember. She maintains a knitting website that includes photos and notes on finished works, along with tips and tricks and a daily knitting blog, and moderates a couple of knitting discussion groups.

When not wielding her needles, she works for the U.S. government.

2002 Wendy D. Johnson