As you know, this is The Year of Creativity for me. You can tell because of all of my artistic face tattoos.

It's been a really good focus for me for 2017. I've immersed myself in more writing and Strangervilling and that has been incredibly therapeutic. Strangerville Live, which we launched at the beginning of the year as a part of my Year of Creativity has been one of the most fun projects I've ever had. And all of it so far has led up to my niece telling me that my hair is "a little out of hand."

Seriously. If you haven't listened yet, you need to check out The World of Babysitting. These stories are giving me life right now.

The last few weeks of work have been like a roller coaster for me. A really long, unfortunately-bumpy roller coaster that often happens until about 2:00 in the morning. But without the fun parts.

So I decided that I needed to take on a new creative hobby because my life philosophy is why be exceptional at a few things when you can be pretty bad at a lot of things?

The last couple of winters I have felt guilty about how much time I spend in front of the TV to just avoid being outside and so I really don't want to go through another Salt Lake winter season, rotting my mind with nothing to show for it. So I decided I need to make a plan for this year.

I'm not going to stop watching TV. That's simply not an option. Cutting out TV and replacing it with something else is off the table. Stop trying to put it on the table.


Fuller House Season 4 isn't going to watch itself!

So the only other option is to multi-task. Which is why I decided, yesterday, to start knitting.

Cue every single "OMG Eli you are so lonely/grandma/get a cat already/your shirts are too tight/how does your hair do that" joke.

I know nothing about knitting. But I texted my sister, Krishelle, and demanded that she teach me.

She mentioned that there's an old house in my neighborhood converted into a knitting store (something that I previously did not know existed) and she sent me there with a long list of instructions.

I found this house, walked up the steps, and pushed the door open. Inside there was the trendiest-looking 50-year-old I've ever seen in my life. But like, trendy in the if-Mother-Goose-was-on-a-Dolce-and-Gabbona-commercial kind of way.

She looked up at me.

Woman: Excuse me. This is a private residence. You are trespassing.

Eli: Oh my gosh. I'm so sorry! I thought this was a store!

Woman: Just kidding! Get in here, bitch!

I thought I was tripping acid. NOT THAT WE KNOW WHAT ACID IS.

I nervously entered. The store/house was half-filled with people, mostly women, picking out yarn, sitting by the fire knitting, and chatting over tea.

If Santa and Mrs. Claus were real people who had a real house I assume it would look just like this place.

A swooping staircase in the middle of the main floor was lined with knitting projects that I might have been able to fully appreciate if I knew the first thing about knitting.

The woman, whom I shall call Betty-Lou because that's what her name should be, welcomed me in.

Betty-Lou: Now what is a nice young man without a known criminal history doing in a place like this?

Eli: Well, I want to start knitting so this winter when people say "what did you do all weekend" I can say "I made a sweater" instead of "I binge-watched That's So Raven" even though the latter will be true.

Betty-Lou: Good. You already understand that the entire enterprise of knitting is a front. What do you want to knit?

Eli: I don't know. A scarf? Because that seems easy.

Betty-Lou: Great. I'll getting you started on a scarf and then you should come back in two weeks when you abandon the project and we'll teach you how to make a hat instead.

When I asked "why" she thought I would abandon the scarf, she said something about Rome not being built in a day and that's why there's only ever been one Rome and even that one got half abandoned.

I don't know. I was fixated on her lecture about how there are actually eleventy hundred kinds of knitting needles. I previously thought there was only one kind.

By this point a whole army of knitters was standing behind me, uttering encouragements in unison about what I should and should not buy.

Eventually a man used a machine that is either from the future or from the Middle Ages, and it's one of those two and not any year between, to take the yarn I just bought and roll it into a neat ball that I actually don't want to unravel because it looks so nice just how it is.

When I left the place every single person inside was wishing me luck and saying goodbye. It looked exactly like the So Long, Farewell scene from The Sound of Music. Except instead of kids it was elderly women and instead of Nazis being the national enemy threatening to take everyone down . . . no actually just the elderly women part.

When I got home I immediately watched every video on Youtube including this one twice to learn how to get started and then I knitted away.

17 hours later I had a four-inch scarf.

That's long enough, right? Most scarfs are four inches?

~It Just Gets Stranger