Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Other Obsession

I have a confession to make--writing is not my only creative obsession. While writing, plotting, creating scenes, characters, etc in my head takes up most of my cranial space; I save a little for another creative endeavor.

I knit.

And much like romance writers, I’ve discovered knitting has a strange stigma surrounding it. The comments I get from friends, colleagues, strangers who barely know me, never cease to amaze me. I’ve put up with comments like:

“You knit?” As if it would make more sense to them if they discovered I drink the blood of virgins on the full moon.

Or, “Next you’ll be walking with a cane and popping Geratol.” Because apparently no one picks up a pair of needles and learns the craft until they are well past the age of retirement.

Oh, and my personal favorite, “How very domesticated of you.” As if creating something out of yarn somehow was on par with washing the dishes or scrubbing the floor.

I’ve always been the type that likes to do things with their hands. I like to build things, watch things grow. Had I to do it all over again, I would have chosen carpentry as my career, rather than sitting in an office all day staring at the swirls on my pod wall. Or pottery. I think that would be a blast. Maybe even landscaping.

To me, knitting is not domesticated, or the providence of old people or wallflowers or people who have no life, all of which have been insinuated to me at one time or another. For me, it is another mode of creative expression. I’m a visual person, so watching the colors I choose to work with unfold as I knit a sock or scarf or some other such thing, gives me a sense of accomplishment. I love the feel of the textures, the thrill of finishing a project, the joy of handing it over as a gift to someone else where most of my knitting ends up going. I’ve even used my powers for good and became the Nova Scotia Coordinator for Project Linus Canada.

And if that wasn’t enough, the money I save on buying presents is outrageous. My Christmas spending had dropped to a tenth of what it used to be. I’ve been able to give friends and family handmade blankets, socks, golf club covers, dishcloths, scarves, mitts, hats, Christmas tree ornaments. Egg cozies for crying out loud! I’ve even just recently found a pattern to create a knit replica of your internal organs.

So I admit it. I love to knit. And, dare I say it, I may have as many skeins of yarn as I do books. You cannot enter a room in my house, with the possible exception of the dining room, without encountering a basket of yarn or a pile of books.


Knitters aren’t all sprouting gray hair and granny shawls, walking stooped over as if hoping to hide from the Grim Reaper. Lots of us are young (relatively), hip and pretty damn cool. And if someone suggests otherwise, we also have the skills and the ability to use our sharp pointy needles to inflict immeasurable pain. One might wish to keep that in mind the next time they are about to let a derogatory comment about my knitting fly out of their mouths. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

17 comments:

Maxx said...

Did I mention I could use some new dish clothes? I'll make you a pair of earrings in trade.

Nikki said...

I never learned to knit -- my nanny tried to teach me when I was young but could never master it. I think it's great you do -- and Julia Roberts knits like a fiend apparently, and I don't think anyone would accuse her of being a fogey ..

Kelly said...

I'll bet if they did she'd stick her bamboo needle in their eye.

I learned when I was 9 but it took me a whole year to knit a scarf which actually ended up being a potholder because I got totally frustrated. I hated knitting. But I needed some cheap gifts about 5 years ago so I started with a few dishclothes and then did an afghan and I got hooked.

Anonymous said...

Can you make me a pair of leg warmers?!!!! Hahahah remember those? Chris

Erin said...

Yes, please make Chris some leg warmers! They would look so cute and just what she'd need to keep her legs warm...wouldn't need the heater as much!

No one would accuse you of being an old fogey just yet, Kelly, but give it a few years and they will! ;)

Chris said...

Erin that is just your opinion about Kelly not be an old fogey just yet...others have different opinions!!! Of course I don't think that of you. You still wearing your glasses Kel?

Erin said...

Tsk tsk tsk...now, see, I was being nice. Keep that up, Chris, and Kelly will definitely not make you leg warmers.

Chris said...

But Erin, you are being nice but...are you being truthful? Kelly I think Erin wants some leg warmers as well.

Kelly said...

I think instead I'm going to knit you both a long rope so I can tie you together whilst I beat you with the stupid stick. Yup. And I'm going to knit it in a lovely shade of puce and neon orange that will clash horribly with your skin tone and everything you wear. Mmm hmm...

And then I'm going to make you wear toe socks. Although Erin would probably like that. Which is just disturbing in itself.

Tess said...

Awwwww - what an adorable picture! Though most kittens I know wouldn't SLEEP on a ball of wool. They'd wind themselves in it *g*.

I used to knit, but never got beyond the necktie/scarf stage. Would love to take it up again now, but with my CTS, I'm not sure it would be such a good idea.

Our niece Nylah, 8, is learning to knit - just like her mum and stepmum (both of whom are, like you, in their 30s).

It's a stupid stereotype - just like assuming all romance writers swan around in negligees and boas, munching on chocolate or that all librarians wear cardigans, support hose, glasses and have their hair in a tight bun.

Erin said...

Nothing wrong with a good pair of toe socks. I really liked the toe socks when I had 'em back in 1976.

But why am I being beaten? I was being nice to you, Kelly! I was defending you!

Kelly said...

Two birds. One stone. I like to multi-task.

Melissa Marsh said...

I wouldn't have the patience for knitting. I like to do crafts (or I used to) but I like to work on projects that I can get done within a few days or a few hours. Strange that I like to write novels, though...

Peggy said...

I don't think knitting is for the domesticated. I've tried it many, many times and never able to pick it up. I think knitting is for the talented. Some pieces can look pretty lame, but some can look like pieces of art---and those are the pieces that are way over my budget, and dang, having me thinking I really ought to learn again.

julia said...

I get the reverse sort of reaction from people when I boldly admit that I don't cook. They always think I'm kidding. "But what does your husband eat?" they ask as if he's a toddler and needs to be hoisted into the highchair.

Michelle said...

I used to crochet and quilt. Those were replaced when my free time went down to zero with the kids. I had to choose which activity I wanted to keep, and the choice was writing. Maybe if I weren't working I could quilt again? But I admire your abilities! A lot of people knit and have some of the neatest projects. :)

Rene said...

Man, I've been trying to teach myself to knit. I can do the knit stitch, I can't purl. I will eventually. I taught myself how to crochet, so I should be able to do this. I like to do counted cross-stitch but I've found my kids get into my floss and ruin it. I'll get back into it in another year or so.