Our 16-year-old, Mireya is almost never bored. She has a tendency to dive into hobbies with a level of intensity shared by Green Berets, Star Wars fans, and competitive ballroom dancers. She’ll research a hobby, read everything she can get her hands on, then tackle a huge project as if it was no big deal. Once she taught herself sign language and then began “signing” song lyrics. When she wanted to learn how to draw, she studied how to draw portraits. She wanted to learn a new language, so she started to learn Dutch.
All of these hobbies simmer down to a dull roar after a month or so, but during that month, look out. She’s all in, all the time. She’ll go from rank beginner to intermediate in a matter of weeks, thanks to her ability to concentrate her energy like a laser. Then, with her new ability honed, she’ll set it down and look for the next challenge.
That’s how it was with knitting, anyway. A few years ago, she’d learned how to knit and after completing a couple small projects, she hung up her needles. We figured that was it.
I’m not sure if it was because she’s got some time on her hands this summer, or if she came across a project idea, but all of a sudden Mireya was all-knitting, all-the-time. She decided to knit a blanket. As in the “this would take a normal person a good month and a half to do” blanket.
Before I knew what was happening, we were walking down an aisle full of yarn. We tested thickness, softness, compatibility of colors, trying to select just the right options for her carefully planned pattern of colored squares.
Did you know that the yarn needed for an entire blanket is about the same price as a fancy steak dinner for two — with wine? I don’t get it. It’s string. You can buy a giant ball of string for a dollar at the hardware store.
But I digress.
Every night and every day for a week Mireya was clicking those needles like a crazy woman. My husband Adam and I tried just to stay out of the way lest our sleeves get accidentally knitted into the blanket.
One night we all went to bed but she kept at it. The next morning she told us she was up late knitting and listening to Frank Sinatra and she realized that she was channeling an old lady. I’m guessing it was probably one of her Italian grandmothers, the one that used to make lasagna for the entire family in the basement where there were four ovens.
The good news is the blanket is done. She finished off the last of the yarn by knitting a few beanies. And since she has a case of knitter’s shoulder, I think she’s taking a break. Today she made red velvet cookies. Who knows what’s next — but no matter what it is, we’ll be sure to stay out of her way.