Last Sunday I was sitting on a bench in Yerba Buena Gardens knitting, and two older Chinese women slowly walked by me smiling and nodding at my knitting. I smiled back. The younger woman, who I'm guessing is in her 60s, stopped. She started talking to me in Chinese. I held out my knitting to her so she could see the fabric. She touched it and ooo'd and ahhh'd.
Somehow everything ended up in her hands and she wrapped the yarn around her finger and started knitting. She started giggling like a little girl. It was the most amazing thing! She knit for a little while standing up, and then she sat down next to me on the bench and kept knitting. Her mother, who I'm guessing was in her 80s, sat on the other side of me.
I had three different colors going. At the end of the row she would carefully twist the yarn to keep the unused colors running tightly along the edge. Occasionally she would gesture to a new color to ask if it was time to change. Sure. Whatever. Just keep knitting! She was knitting like a speed-machine.
Except for repeating "Thank you" when I said it and "Bye bye" when she left, she only spoke Chinese. I was able to figure out that she usually uses longer needles so she can rest the right needle on her forearm when she throws English-style. My needles were a little short for her and they occasionally fell off, which is why she sat down.
She kept trying to tell me something about her mother's sweater. She would reach across me and pull at her mother's sweater and say something. I have no clue what it was she was trying to tell me. They would talk to each other, too. I wish I'd had someone to translate.
She knit/purled around 10 rows of perfect stockinette before she stopped and handed the work back. She smiled and waved as she walked away, "Bye bye. Bye bye." It was one of the most magical experiences I've ever had. Thank goodness she didn't mind me taking a couple photos of her. She laughed when I showed them to her on my phone.
In related news, I think I found the perfect place to have crafty meetups. Any Bay Area crafters up for meeting in Yerba Buena Gardens on a week night or weekend day? I probably can't commit *for sure* to going until mid-May, but that'll be here soon enough!