Knitting Horror Story

If you aren’t a knitter, the utter horror of what I’m about to describe may not be fully appreciated. However, if you believe that most kids are brats by nature, keep reading.

Last week I was up at Merck Forest doing my volunteer job of labeling the maple syrup bottles. It isn’t as easy as it looks. (The boss, my sister, is somewhat of a stickler for details.) One sticker gets lined up on the bottle cap, another next to the logo, and one of four barcodes  adheres to the back depending on the bottle size. That’s the one that takes the most concentration. I’m proud to say, so far, I’ve only had to correct the barcode about 3 times in two years.

After my chores were done, I sat and knit amidst the cartons and waited for someone else to restock the shelves. I can only take so much manual labor. 

Sometimes knitting can be meditative, zen like in rhythm, a time to enjoy the ease of soft focus… not this project. This was a complicated headband I’d already started, pulled out, and started again at least three times. It involved a circular needle, really thin yard, a provisional cast on, 4 cables, and the kirchner stitch. It took a lot of concentration to zone in or out.

Sometimes knitting projects don’t want to be knit, and I know when to quit. Not this time.

Earlier in the week I planned to email the designer and tell her there was an error in her instructions. I sure am glad I didn’t.

(Don’t quit reading, the brats are about to enter the story.)

“33-34-35-36. Phew, still haven’t lost any stitches.” I congratulated myself.

Two siblings wandered into the room, “Whatcha doin’?”


“We want to knit. Can you teach us?” asked the six year old.

“No but I’m sure someone could.”

“What’s this?” she continued. 

“My lunchbox.”

“It’s really hard to open.”


The father ambled in and sat down next to me showing the same amount of respect towards personal space as his children. “I hope they aren’t bothering you.” Interesting comment considering one child was spinning two of my completed (no frills) headbands around her wrists like mini hula hoops and her older brother was clacking a pair of extra needles together. “Look, I’m knitting air!”

“Oh, they’re fine.”

I felt guilty not giving my attention to the kids so I pushed my project deep in the bottom of the knitting bag and wondered whose fault it would be when someone lost an eye.

“Oh, this is so soft,” said the urchin as her arm disappeared into my bag of wool as I looked away for a second.

“Hey! What’s this?” With that she pulled out a circular needle without any stitches attached. I was frozen with horror for 1.5 seconds and then moaned “NOOOOOOOOOO”.

This got the father’s attention as well as my sister’s. I didn’t hear if the child apologized as instructed but I did here my sister say,

“Give me those needles. Get your hand out of her bag. Move away from the bottles. This isn’t safe. Go outside. It’s too nice to be in here.” They obeyed.

I couldn’t speak for the next four minutes. My total concern was on saving my work.

“33-34-35-36, oh thank God. You saved me! Those kids just caught me by surprise.”

“Maybe you assumed the father would have a little control. Meanwhile the mother is on her cell phone at the picnic table. I hate bratty kids.” She announced.

I agreed with her and packed up my stuff so I could go home, lie on the couch and knit in peace on the most beautiful day of the year.

Bratty kids are no fun whether they are 6 or 63. Unfortunately boredom, hunger, fatigue, impatience, frustration, or just a bad mood are inevitable at any age.

Ideally family or friends will ignore our behavior (within limits) or say “Knock it off!”

However, it’s best if we can say the latter to ourselves – before someone loses an eye.

Namaste- It’s okay to be bratty, just don’t stay that way!