23 November 2008
We’re in the middle of an unseasonable cold snap, so this morning was a good time to sleep in. While I was dozing, I had a really vivid dream, that went like this:
I am back at my old high school, I have been called in for a meeting with the headmistress (in waking life, she is the headmistress, though when I was actually at the school she was the head teacher of home economics). She wants to talk to me about starting a knitting group, “I believe you call them stitch and bitch”, she says, and then cautions me that the school cannot condone using language like that, another name will have to be found.
We have a long conversation about knitting. I tell her about the level of maths involved and she thinks that’s a good thing. The conversation makes a detour through women’s skills vs men’s skills, “women are cooks and men are chefs and none of the girls in the cooking classes are there because they are passionate about food,” she asserts. I am at pains to tell her that people may be shy about about knitting in public, about how many of the textile crafts are not considered cool and doing them in public for the first time is like coming out. I ask her how she’s going to protect her school knitting group from ridicule. We talk about it calling it art, so that it’s cooler. We wonder how strong the cultural memory of knitting is.
The bell rings. I tell the headmistress I’m heading back to work and will call her next week to discuss further. I promise to try to come up with an alternative to ‘bitch’, but warn her that it has a strong hold in popular culture. I give her my business card. I realise I am wearing my school uniform.
Pictured: Cherry, half-finished. In a yellow that is disturbingly close to my old school uniform.