Tornado Derby

In case you have not picked up on it from recent posts, in the midst of end-of-semester craziness I am getting ready to move again.  My TA contract is up in May, and so I am moving to Raleigh in about 3 weeks.  I am super excited about the move because I will be living with my best friend.  We have been talking about living together for what feels like forever and now we finally are!

Because I am moving, over the weekend I went up to Raleigh to pay the deposit on our new place and get everything set for next month.  Unfortunately the leasing office closed early the day I was there, but we left our checks and went on to find other adventure.  And boy did we ever -- we decided to go to roller derby.

The weather was kind of bad when we got there, lots of wind and the threat of rain.  We were at an indoor arena, so we were not too worried, but that's just because we don't have this one particular form of weather around here very often.  That's right.  Tornadoes.  I can only remember one time when I was really little that there was even a real threat of a tornado.  It's more foreign to my experiences than snow on the beach.  When we left for derby we heard on the radio that there was some concern in surrounding areas, but nothing serious, and nothing where we were. Right before the first bout the announcers said that though they usually use the air raid siren to start the first half, they would not be using it unless there was a severe weather concern in which case we were all to go to the tunnels under the arena.  No big deal.  This is Raleigh, NC, right?  Wrong.  

About five minutes into the first half the siren went off.  With an almost surprising amount of civility everyone filed down into the tunnels to find a spot of concrete wall to sit against.  Derby girls, volunteers, and spectators alike.  While the tornado passed to the south of us, we stayed down there for almost an hour.  So I did what I always do when I have to wait for a long time, or any length of time, really.  I took out my knitting.

And a funny thing happened.  While I was knitting I glanced around and noticed I was not alone.  In the midst of the bored, concerned crowd were other knitters.  The woman sitting next to me was working on a sweater.  A lady across the hall was knitting what appeared to be a dish towel.  It's improbable that all the knitters ended up in one place (though we were near the bathroom.  In a long wait it's always about location), so one can infer that there were at least a few other knitters around the arena, patiently knitting their concerns to maintain a level of peace in the hallway.  Sure, I have had the opening bars of Twister stuck in my head for days (our family is on some sick level obsessed with disaster movies), but the knitting seemed to do what we all know knitting can do, provide the outward appearance of patience while inwardly calming restless concerns.

It is very rare when I knit in public that I am near other knitters.  And I've never seen another knitter at the sporting events I have been to.  Maybe knitting and roller derby mix on some subcultural level.  But it was nice to see, in potential (albeit unlikely) disaster that other knitters were there to converse about fiber and stitch pattern, rather than stew in our impatience.  I guess knitters in some way always find one another.

Just know, if I had died, it would have been with the finest of Malabrigo clutched in my hands.

Oh, and we won!


  1. Well, I for one, am glad you didn't die. Would have missed you. Thanks for sharing, and you know... since you two will be roomies... you could record some more Chic Geeks... just saying... ;)

  2. I always get very excited when I spot another knitter in the "wild" ;)

  3. I wish I could spot other knitters outside our natural habitat XD. I would love to see a roller derby just once. Was it fun?

  4. @PandaBearofDoom

    Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I would highly recommend checking it out if there's a team in your area. It barely cost more than a movie ticket.