Fairy Tale Knit: Day 10 at the bench

Cake Sculpture and Photography by Christen Mattix

Cake Sculpture and Photography by Christen Mattix

[excerpt from previously unpublished journal of my knit-to-the-sea from a public bench in Bellingham, WA, begun last May 1, 2012.]  

I don’t know how this experience could get any better!  Today G. came and she brought me 4 skeins of Carron “ocean” blue yarn.  She said they were a gift and that they were on sale when she went to pay for them.  The checker refused her 40% off coupon because they rang up already discounted.  Even though there had been no “on sale” sign.  Then she told me about her fruitless search for fabric for her daughter’s fox costume for a play she was in.  As we visited, she began untwisting my knit line for me, and R. joined her.  They added about 3 feet to the line by doing this so that the line made it across the road!  I told them it felt like a bridal train…

M. stopped by and told me I’m becoming part of his morning routine.  He said he moved to 16th St. because the neighbors stopped and said hi…It’s also farther from Boulevard Park and quieter.

I realize I’m guilty of being too busy for community.  It took me sitting still with a set task of knitting to open me up to people.  Up until now, I’ve always been rushing to catch the bus, go to the store.

M. said my knitting to the sea is like a fairy tale.  He’s really perceptive.  I found out he plays jazz guitar so I invited him to come play on the bench.  He said, “That’s funny, I was just thinking about doing that today!”  So if the weather is good, I hope to enjoy live music tomorrow!  I would really like to record it but I don’t want to be invasive.

A mom and her son came up and said they hoped they weren’t interrupting but what am I doing?  I told them.  Then they came back later and the mom said her son had a question he was dying to ask me.  Do I knit all night?

I love how this piece provokes a sense of wonderment and imagination.  A lot of people start their question, “We were wondering…”  Today a lady actually parked her car, got out and came over to talk to me.  Her name is J.–she lives in the yellow house.  I got to chat with my landlady too who says that the weather forecast is for good weather for the next 7 days at least.  I also met M., whose husband is an artist.  I am surrounded by amazing people, and I never knew it!  What a revelation.  Am thinking of the knit line now as a metaphor for community and community building.

One of the mom’s, (no name yet), told me her kids recognized me as The Fates from one of their sci fi books.  Evidently, there’s a lady who knits blue yarn in the book.  I told her that my project connects to a lot of myths–the story of Penelope, for example, from Ulysses.

Took a photo of the gift of yarn.  Whoo hoo!




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