I spent the past weekend visiting my dad in Vegas. I had high hopes about getting some knitting done. Didn't happen.
My stepsister has an autistic son who basically lives with my dad and stepmother. He is 10 years old but doesn't talk or really communicate much at all. He watches television or plays video games most of the day. My kids get along really well with him, as long as they give him whatever he wants when he wants it. This isn't a problem for my kids because they are compassionate to his autism and understand that's just the way God made him. I understand that, too, but dang. It was impossible to knit around him.
I was knitting on double-pointed needles, which made the project very appealing to him, three needles in a triangle shape with a yarn tube hanging down. What kid wouldn't be drawn to that? Unfortunately for me, he was fascinated with my knitting and tried to grab everything, yarn, needles, my project, whatever, anytime I had it out. Okay. I put my knitting things away except for what I could hold in my lap, and continued adding inches. Until I had to go to the bathroom. Big mistake.
I, stupidly, left the project on the bed in our room, door closed, and dashed into the connected bathroom, taking three minutes tops. When I came out, I gasped in horror. There he was, holding two double-pointed needles and tossing the skein yarn with them like he was tossing a salad. My heart stopped when I saw him holding two needles because that meant he had pulled at least one out of my project, which I was more than halfway finished with when I put it down. My eyes quickly discerned ALL the needles were pulled from my now limp project, and they were scattered on the bed. It was a knitter's worst nightmare.
I approached him cautiously, not wanting to startle him into grabbing the project and running, and said, very gently, "Hey, buddy, what are you doing?" He replied, in his high-pitched voice, still tossing the yarn with the needles, "I'm making socks!" Wow. How can you stay mad at that? Seriously, my heart just melted. Even if I had to completely redo my project, it was worth it for the connection that was made with him through the knitting. If I hadn't been knitting, if he hadn't seen someone knitting socks somewhere at sometime, the moment would have never happened. Knitting reached an autistic boy. I love it.
I smiled. What else could I do? Once again, knitting is the great equalizer. Eventually my stepmother came in and, "Oh dear, where did he get those needles?!" and she got them back for me and ushered him out of the room. I then returned to my previous state of panic, gathered my limp project into my arms with the needles and severely disheveled yarn, and ran into the bathroom. I deposited everything on the floor and looking at it said, "Shit." That's right, I cursed. Once. Then I felt better and got to work. I managed to reinsert the needles to every stitch without dropping any, miracle of miracles! I do have one stitch that is only halfway through the strand of yarn, making a small whole, but compared to what could have happened, this is no problem.
I gave up the idea of trying to knit at all for the rest of the weekend because it just wasn't worth the stress. I was stressed out trying to knit and that just shouldn't happen.