OK, those of you who wander by are looking for knitting. But last night, on the most beautiful evening we’ve had in months, Holley and I visited a local cross country jumping course and had about the most fun you can have on horseback. I am not a thrill seeking daredevil. I’m old enough to know that broken bones are painful, and that the fun of having your cast signed wears off quickly. I only go over the little pony club jumps. Even those seem scary at times to me. I just have to say, that doing something you have wanted to do since you were a kid really brings that little kid back to the surface in a good way.
There is a knitting connection here – a few weeks ago Holley and I did our first team sorting. She was ranch raised and loves working with cows. I grew up in NJ, where only cops and rich people had horses. We make a great team. In fact, she pretty much likes any kind of work. Kim, my friend and riding instructor extraordinaire always says Holley has such a great work ethic that if she were human, she’d be German. This day was intro to team sorting and we set up the teams ‘boys against the girls’ – not one human was a day under 35, and most were over 40, but the cry of ‘boys against the girls’ brings out the playground demon in all of us. I was sitting watching the boys fail miserably (well, not really) and one other ‘girls’ trotted over and said “Hey, I saw that picture on your blog of Momo (the cat) sleeping on Holley’s back. It’s sooooo cute.”
I know this picture has appeared before, but it is cute.
I’d been outed. How did one of my barn buds discover I had a knitting blog? It was almost embarrassing, and I’m not sure why. Then another woman said “You knit?” She looked at me like I was a giant nerdy weirdo. (OK, I may be.) “I can’t picture it.”
Last month a community event I attended for my job was held outside. I mentioned to a city staffer that I should have brought my horse. “You have a horse? Really?” Yes, I do. “Do you RIDE it?” “Um, yeah.” “You ride? I can’t picture it.” She gave me that same look that the barn babe gave me when she discovered that I knit. Like I’d just showed her my feet and they each had 7.5 toes.
I wrote this the other day and didn’t post, then saw the Yarn Harlots ode to knit buds, finished with a quote from C. S. Lewis: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
I know I am not the only knitter out there with a horse, another one of the Yarnery teachers rides. I also found Anne’s site, How the West was Spun. She is currently offering her own hand-dyed yarn and the Bee Fields Shawl as a kit and it’s selling out. Her site is full of equine goodness, too. I wonder if she hears “I can’t picture it” in the way I do.
I was in Richmond, Virginia, recently for work. I went shopping with my friend Linda, who lives in Seattle and I see once or twice a year at meetings. She beads, I knit and we have a great time together. I spent time hanging with her in a beautiful bead store, then she went with me to the Yarn Lounge. It’s a really nice shop, well laid out, friendly staff. And it has a clever logo.
I explained my dilemma. I work in a yarn shop, so I get to see and buy lots of yarn. While I love seeing a wall of Rowan, I can buy that at home. The owner, whose name I didn’t get, immediately led me to a yarn she found at Taos Sheep and Wool. Plain and Fancy Sheep and Wool Company in Henderson, Texas. They don’t even have a website. But they do make some kick-ass- hand-dyed-with natural-colors sport weight yarn. Of course I bought it. The colors looked just like the jasper, and agate, and petersite I’d just been fondling, plus there is 400 yards in one skein. I bet they have horses around all that yarn on the outskirts of Henderson, Texas, too.
Isn’t it funny how people see us? I don’t usually give it much thought until I have a juxtaposition like those described above. My husband, on the other hand, laughs and says it’s interesting that I teach the young girls I know 19th century skills to prepare them for life in the 21st — knitting and horseback riding. What better way to prepare, I say! Cowgirl up with them needles. You never know when you might need to do both.