Wednesday, May 06, 2009

When knitting meets Sci Fi


I have been meaning to post on this knit for ages but somehow here we are in May and I am finally sharing the completed Kit 24. It began way back in late August-early September, was completed in November and has been worn often in the months since.


If I am to explain the title of this post I need to go back a little in time, so let us enter the time machine and hurtle back through the months to early Spring, 2008. A good friend mentioned that he was off to America on a book tour and would be spending some time in New York, he foolishly asked if there was anything I wanted bringing back....

Good golly yes! My mind began to take a virtual craft tour of New York, noting shops and making lists along the way but I think I really knew all along, I knew the one thing that I absolutely could not get over here and desperately wanted from over there.


Habu Kit 24

I knew that that I could not purchase my kit on-line at that time and that it would be difficult to place an order by telephone. I knew that I really, really wanted that kit. Once the idea had been planted in my mind it swam lazily around my head all day long, I obsessed upon it, I had to have it.


I am afraid that I must also confess that I suspected it may not be the most straightforward of shopping expeditions. I knew that the Habu shop was located upstairs in a building, somewhere in the Garment District. I knew that it was not quite like asking someone to pick me up a few skeins of yarn whilst passing John Lewis but I didn't tell my friend this, I didn't want to put him off. Besides, he is an author, surely all experiences are valuable?


So this is how, sometime last Spring, an internationally popular Science Fiction author from a small, sleepy village in Rutland found himself in the bustling Garment District of New York, clutching a piece of paper with the mysterious instructions: Kit 24, both cones in silk stainless steel, darkest blue. He was accompanied by his editor and publicity manager who must have been equally bewildered and I am sorry to say that as far as I am aware the experience has not encouraged any of them to take up knitting.

The transaction was not without incident. It necessitated a telephone call, he had to come out of the building and go back in and I had to speak to a lady on the phone. The yarn had to be ordered and posted on to Peter in England. I salute your bravery Peter, it is not every non-knitting man who could venture into a yarn shop with seemingly nonsensical instructions and emerge victorious. Thank you.


Eventually, he found himself handing over what must have seemed a shocking amount of money to a man who does not knit, nor live with a knitter; receiving in return a rather tiny package of thread. I think that dear Peter was a little concerned. He questioned that this could become a garment, he questioned that this could really be the Holy Grail of knitting. I think he was a little worried that he had done something wrong and he anxiously watched as I opened the package. I guess it all seemed rather stranger than fiction.

I have written previously about the experience of knitting this kit. The oddly meditative process of slowly turning thread into stitch, the surprising peace gained from knitting slowly and carefully, so I shall say no more about the making for now.


It's just Kit 24, comfortably crumpled by day and shimmeringly glamorous at night.


And I suppose, given the definition of mithril, the story of how my Kit 24 came to be is rather fitting.

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