I was thinking the other day about all the different skills I've learned as a knitter. I began listing in my head the 8 different techniques I know just to cast on. And I know that there are more ways to cast on that I haven't done yet. There are also many ways to cast off. And as I was listing these skills in my head, it reminded me of a scene from one of my all time favorite books, American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, in which Mr. Wednesday lists all the charms he knows. Then I thought, wouldn't it be funny if Mr. Wednesday learned to knit, and then he could list all the cast ons and other skills he knew. I decided I wanted to see what that looked like so here is my interpretation of Mr. Wednesday, who has learned to knit, listing all the skills he knows.
Wednesday said nothing for long enough that Shadow started to wonder if he had heard the question, or if he had, possibly, fallen asleep with his eyes open. Then he said, staring ahead of him as he talked, "I know a cast on that's easy and simple and is good for beginning knitters.
"I know a cast on that requires a long tail.
"I know a cast on that is very stretchy and good for 1x1 or 2x2 ribbing.
"I know another cast on that starts from the middle of a circular piece.
" A fifth cast on: I can use waste yarn to cast on and then pull out the waste yarn to create live stitches.
His words were quiet, urgent. Wednesday spoke as if he were reciting the words of a religious ritual, as if he were speaking something dark and scratchy.
"A sixth cast on: It's like knitting but you put the new stitches back on the left hand needle.
"A seventh cast on I know: I can use two needles to start a sock from the toe up.
"An eighth: it's sometimes known as Old Norwegian and is favored by sock knitters.
"A ninth: I can cast on by putting the needle between two stitches and putting the new stitch back on the left hand needle.
"Those were the first nine cast ons I learned. Nine nights I hung out at the yarn store, my thumb pierced by a darning needle. I swayed and blew in the cold winds and the hot winds, without food, without water, a sacrifice of myself to myself, and the wools opened up to me.
"For a tenth thing, I learned to use a drop spindle, to spin them around in the air so that the yarn will never unwind again.
"An eleventh: if I store the yarn properly, the wool will go uneaten by moths or other pests, and will last a very long time.
"A twelfth thing I know: if I see a knot, I can undo it, no matter how large, and return the yarn to a neatly wound ball.
"A thirteenth: if I sprinkle water on wool, it will felt.
"A fourteenth: I know the names of all the breeds of sheep. Every darned one of them.
"A fifteenth: I have a dream of merino, cashmere, and angora, and I can make people believe my dreams.
His voice was so low now that Shadow had to strain to hear it over the plane's engine noise.
"A sixteenth thing I know: if I need yarn, I can spin the fiber of any animal.
"A seventeenth, that no animal will give its fiber to another.
"And I know an eighteenth thing, and that thing is the greatest of all, and that thing I can tell to no man, for a secret that no on knows but you is the most powerful secret there can ever be."
And that's based on a scene from Chapter 10 of American Gods, a book I highly recommend you read if you haven't already. If you have read it, I hope you enjoyed my little parody.
If there are any kids reading this, I recommend that you wait until you are an adult to read American Gods and in the mean time, you should read lots of mythology books. Especially Norse mythology. And fairytales, folktales, and legends. And about world religions. This will get you ready to read American Gods so that you understand all the references.
And thank you for your indulgence.