Thursday, August 20, 2009

Harsh Words, Soft Beehive Hat

Yesterday was a hard day. I won't call it a bad day, because in the end we accomplished what was necessary, but it was hard.
We made some decisions yesterday, as a family, about a direction for our near future. We set out to put those decisions into action. In the process, I walked a long way in stifling heat, waited patiently for service, and explained the circumstances that led to us being there. Then I tried to ask the questions that would educate us about necessary procedures and what we could expect in the future. In return, someone half my age greeted me with disdain and told me I should be "nice". I contemplated that for a moment, then asked the person if they were saying I had not been "nice". The reply was that I wanted a special service and should "at least be grateful".
I am being deliberately obtuse about the particulars of this encounter, but trust me when I say that the "special service" I requested was only the lifting of a deadline, and I was asking to pay my own money for something that should be available to everyone in Tennessee. I am afraid to be more specific in this public forum.

I was shaken by this encounter. It was humiliating. Degrading. It made me go home and question myself, look in the mirror to see what about me was so offensive that I could engender a negative reaction just by being there. I saw a short, fat, light brown-skinned woman with close-cropped hair and glasses. In private, I cried. I didn't know that I am still so vulnerable to that kind of ugliness.

In my teen years, I would have hurt myself after that experience - literally beating myself up for not being "acceptable". In my 20s I would have made a long, loud, eloquent rejoinder and demanded to see the person in charge. In my 30s I learned tact, and my response would have been modulated, but still extremely voluble. Yesterday I was at a loss, because I have not dealt with such a blatant approach in a long time. My guard was down, so I met it with puzzlement and quiet. I returned to my home and quietly did housework.
Last night I knit until my hands hurt. I worked out my hurt with my needles, relishing the solid metallic clash of one against the other, making something that I love out of the hatred that I met.
I just learned an Estonian cast-on that is very stretchy and decorative. The video where I learned (Nancy Bush teaches the technique) is here: It is very similar to traditional long-tail cast-on, and it didn't take me long. I used it as the brim for a hat. Having extra stretch at the forehead edge is always nice. The bottom photo shows the new edge. The bottom of the cap can turn up as a cuff. The second photo shows the "wrong" side. Still pretty.

The hat is a new design, my Beehive. The yarn is Karabella Supercashmere, about 110 yards (a little less than one and one-half balls). I cast on a purple one this morning, to repeat the pattern. I plan to do a couple more in organic cotton. I love the design, and it feels and looks soft, very flattering.
Design and knit - my dose of healing.

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