Monday, December 15, 2008

Knitting with Ultra Magnus

Tonight, I had dinner w/ my good friend Maggie, who I also affectionately call "Ultra Magnus." For those of you who are a little less nerdy than myself, Ultra Magnus was Optimus Prime's successor in the 1987 animated classic (yes, classic) movie "Transformers: The Movie." With Maggie's unassuming, yet oh-so-intimidating 4'10" frame, I decided she deserved a more powerful-sounding name - hence, Ultra Magnus. But, I digress.

Maggie & I met in 2003 while we were working at Borders in Brentwood, TN. It was a fun gig for a while, but the majority of us found ourselves slightly bored after a little while. After all, you can only read so many books.

One day, however, one of the girls showed up with knitting needles. All of a sudden, we found ourselves hooked. I know, it's not very manly, but you have to admit it's pretty cool to start out w/ a useless ball of yarn and some needles that eventually turn into a pair of gloves, a scarf, a hat. Naturally, my "take-everything-apart-to-see-how-it-works" brain simply had to know. Besides, I couldn't be outdone by the girls. I found it quite amusing walking in one of those days with a hat I'd made. One of the girls asked me what pattern I used. I smiled at her and simply said, "Pattern? Why, whatever do you mean?" To make things more exciting, I made my knitting needles out of chop sticks with the help of a pencil sharpener & some sand paper...much cheaper than what you'd get at the store, and just as good.

It really is quite fascinating. I obsessed over it till I could master the fundamentals...sort of a habit of mine. A few of the others took things quite a bit further, and Maggie, who's one of my more artistic friends, is one of them. But don't take my word for it.

When I worked at the record company, I was part of a group who made scarves for orphans in Muldova. One day, I found some of my work on display at the front about a blow to your street cred. A few years back, I made a santa hat & matching scarf. One time, my cousin forgot his hat, so in the two-hour trip to the ski slopes, I whipped one up for him.
As you can imagine, I've taken a bit of heat over the years for this short-lived addiction. Eventually, I started telling people that I learned to knit during anger management classes while I was in the clink.

While there is a nice rhythm to knit-knit-pearl, I think I'll stick with the whrrrr of my table saw, the pop of my nail gun, and the smell of fresh-cut wood.


  1. Speaking of Optimus Prime, check out this video that my brother and sis-in-law made of their Colorado vacation. You can watch the whole thing, or you can fast-forward to 3:25 or so for the greatest, most hilarious Optimus Prime-themed vignette.

  2. 2 hours? 2. HOURS. It only took you that long to make a hat? I'm sincerely hoping that you exaggerated the time a little for the purposes of your blog. At the same time, fearing that you're telling the truth. I've knitted scarves and they took much longer than 2 hours. You've motivated me to give knitting one last shot at some point. What's the status on Copper?

  3. i believe they were called "knitting spears."


  4. Annie: nice call indeed. I love the cheap-shot that ends the video.

    Kyla: In all fairness, that one I crocheted. I was hoping to avoid mentioning that I actually know the difference.

    ABC: Right you are...right you are. 8)