I went to pick up some 2mm (that's US #0) bamboo knitting needles, because I bought some really skinny yarn and have an obvious wish to speed up my progress toward a stiff mattress with plastic sheeting in a psychiatric ward. Of course, I did not just pick up the knitting needles, because I was in a yarn store, the Bacchanalia of the crafting set.
I love yarn. I won't smoke during the day before I go to the yarn store, because I want to handle everything with fresh, clean hands. I love it coarse, soft, fine, and thick. I love it dark, bright, fuzzy, smooth, and with little doodads strung up in it. I'm no snob, either. Everything from acrylic to bamboo has its beauty and purpose.
So, of course, I ended up with a couple of balls of alpaca wool and a bag of polyester fiberfill before I went up at the counter. While the man tallied up my bill, he started chatting about charities with which the store was involved and something about the government, and I pretended to pay attention while I tried to understand the money in my wallet, because some days the different bills combined with simple mathematics does not compute.
"Would you like see one of our breasts?" suddenly zinged out of the blue.
"Uh, what?" I asked.
"Would you like to hold one of our breasts?"
I felt like I should just back slowly away from the counter and make a dash out the door. I had gone shopping for knitting needles, not a proposal to feel up a boob. ONE boob. Not two boobs. A boob. It sounded like the weirdest kind of prostitution, and he was the boob pimp. Single Boob Bob.
I looked over to where he was pointing, and I exhaled with relief. There was, indeed, a pile of single breasts at one end of the counter. They were knitted out of soft yarn and stuffed with fiberfill.
Apparently, people affiliated with that yarn store have a pattern for knitted breast prostheses, and they donate them to an organization that gives them to women who find the heavy prosthetics provided by our health system uncomfortable. Knitty.com has a great pattern called "Tit Bits" that is accompanied by the personal story of its creator, Beryl Tsang, who was given high praise for her knitted breast:
"You really did a great job! Your left breast looks almost as good as the right one — a bit lumpy but very realistic."
"You know," I replied, "It was my right breast that was removed."
Knitted titties. Who knew?
I am a participant in NaBloPoMo 2008, a challenge to write 30 posts in 30 days during the month of November. "National Blog Posting Month is the epicenter of daily blogging!"