I have a knitting superpower.
My superpower is that I can know where I am in a chart at a glance. I have never used highlighter tape or rulers or color coding. I usually keep the chart off to my side, glance down, knit and glance down again and know exactly where I am. People who aren’t used to charts or have used them and dislike them are amazed that I don’t even check off the rows (I do have a separate little sheet of paper where I do hatch marks but nothing on the actual chart).
I will insert a caveat here: this superpower is the best when dealing with cable charts. Color charts for fair isle (or stranded) can be a little more challenging. And recently a designer did throw some kryptonite in my path. It was one of the squares for the Great American Aran Afghan (the Georgia Vincent for those of you in the know) where there was a "phantom" stitch on either end of the row (created by knitting two stitches together that span a marker). Now, if I had actually READ the directions where it described what a phantom stitch WAS I might not have had to rip out the same 6 rows 8 times, but my superpower is also my weakness. I’m so sure about charts that when I run up against something that is unusual I tell myself “I’ve got this” and then become bull-headed when I don’t actually “got this”.
And I’m not alone in my superpower, everyone in the store has one. Danni has the superpower of lace (Danni once knit me something so amazing it caused my husband to say that she must be part spider), Pam has the fixing mistakes superpower which is part and parcel with the superpower of patience (also Pam’s), Margaret has the superpower of picking the hottest patterns (I think I’ll call this the superpower of chic) and Beth has the superpower of robotic knitting (meaning she knits like a machine, without stopping, without mistakes, without pain, it’s uncanny). And then there is someone like Jane Elliott who is all the knitting superpowers rolled into one caffeine-fueled, sleep-deprived package.
So what is your superpower? Do you always get gauge? ("Amazing Gauge Woman!") Can you knit cables to beat the band? (“Knits cables in the speed of light!”) Do you knit faster than anyone you know? ("Faster than an electric ball winder!")
The truth is your superpower may not be fully developed yet, but you may have an inkling. So run with it! Claim your superpower! Become “Amazing Knitting Woman”!
The rational side of my brain was screaming “Mayday! Danger Will Robinson! Abort! Abort!” because it was registering all the work that was going to go into it (see second paragraph above). This is a kid who is so long and lean that normal measurements don’t even come into play (his pants are a 33” waist with a 35” inseam for instance and he has the arms of an orangutan, like his mother I might add). But this is my baby and so the rational side of the brain was squelched (although it remains whimpering in the corner) and we picked out a pattern together and a color. He is leaving the actual yarn choice to me (“I know that you’ll pick a nice one, Mom”) which has me scouring all types of yarn from all types of vendors. I am sending him a schematic with a tape measure (because I know that he doesn’t have one) with the directions to have one of his (female) friends do his measurements. Then I will be able to determine the extent of the yarn damage.
But my favorite moment came immediately after he asked me for the sweater and I had agreed (cue: screaming on the rational side of my brain). He asked the dreaded question: “So how long do you think that will take?”
No sweat. I’ll get right on it.
Julie, WY's Do-bee and store wordsmith.