Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Why I knit

I knit for several reasons and not the least important of them is the fact that it's a great hobby for someone with OCD. You can totally re-do your work if it's not "just right". You can just rrrrrrip and start over, as many times as your heart desires until you get all the stitches lined up perfectly and everyone is happy. Of course, when you get to the middle/end of a project and then you mess up, you feel like throwing yourself off a cliff because either a) you don't want to have to go back and re-do the entire thing or b) you lack the knowledge necessary to fix the problem or c) you are too impatient to try and look up the fix in your Knitting Answer Book. I've become a lot more relaxed about mistakes the longer I've been knitting and that's probably because I make fewer, but also it's good because if I make a mistake, I call it a Happy Accident (thank you, Bob Ross) and move on. Unless it's a dropped stitch. Then I curse your mother and try to fix it the best I can. I'm still not 100% clear on fixing dropped stitches. So I just kind of jimmy rig it and move on. One of these days I'll actually read that book.

Anyway, I probably have the best boyfriend in the world. Friday is The Cowboy's birthday and we've both taken the day off work to go to some "super cool" (read: really boring) guitar workshop factory thing that he's been wanting to do forever, and really, you should see how excited he is about it. It's cute. So whatever, I'm a good girlfriend, I will suck it up and go because it's important to him. But what's even cooler than THAT, is that that night, Friday night, his birthday evening, he is letting me go to Mystery Knit Nite at Bluebonnet. I missed the last one, due to a timely visit from Nuggsamillion (my mother), and I was sad to think I would miss this one too. A bunch of (presumably) women in a room, with food, perhaps wine, and yarn?? Oh man, I know it may not sound like much to you non-knitters, but I get excited just thinking about it. Excited like this.


So The Cowboy, upon hearing of this Mystery Knit Nite, and knowing how important knitting is to me, said that I could attend, and it wasn't a problem at all. I argued with him for the appropriate amount of time: Oh, but it's your birthday! We should go out! We should do something special. Together.

You know. All that crap. And then I told him, because it's 100% true, that if he had wanted to do some crazy guitar thing on the evening of my birthday, I would have been sad. And that's only a partial truth. The entire truth is that I would have thrown a huge hissy fit and it would have been embarassing for all parties involved because after all, I am 30 Years Old. But he just said, again, that it was OK and that he wanted me to go.

So basically, he's the best, and I'm the selfish idiot who wouldn't let him have his fun if my birthday depended on it. But I'm cool with that. To each his own. He wins.

So short story long, I was trying to think of why knitting is so important to me, and why it's become somewhat of an obsession of late, and why I'm trying desperately to teach everyone I know to love it as I do. And then I was reading on of my yarn porn books last night. The Secret Life of a Knitter by the Yarn Harlot, AKA Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. She's a hilarious knit blogger whom I aspire to be like one day yeah right and a link can be found to the right of my posts. Check her out. I'll give you a preview of her writing right now. She put into words a way of describing knitting that I love, so I'm going to borrow those words from her.

"Why would any sane person give up so much closet space and money to a craft that seems simple and silly? The answer: because knitting is more than it seems. Knitting is a complex and joyful act of creation in my everyday life...... Knitting is only two stitches, knit and purl, yet with those two ordinary acts we knitters can take a ball of yarn and a couple of pointy sticks and create something useful and beautiful.... Wrapping yarn around needles over and over and over again disconnects me from my cares. Knitting makes something from nothing, and it's usually such an interesting something.... I love knitting because it's something that can be accomplished no matter how poorly it's going at any given moment. It's a triumph of dexterity over string..... Knitting is magic. Kntting is an act of creation and a simple transformation each and every time. Each knitted gift holds hours of my life. I know it looks just like a hat, but really, it's four hours at the hospital, six hours on the bus, two hours alone at four in the morning when I couldn't sleep because I tend to worry. It is all those hours when I chose to spend time warming another person. It's giving them my time - time that I could have spent on anything, or anyone, else. Knitting is love, looped and warm."

Thank you Yarn Harlot. That, folks, is why I knit.

2 comments:

Stacy said...

Amen!! to the James Taylor comment and I also with you about Tim Russert. We watched his memorial service last night on MSNBC and it was awesome. So was he.

Suna said...

I am glad you came to the mystery knit night. Your "item" came out great in the end.

And I have a lot of empathy for having musician boyfriends and their interesting interests. I did once tour a guitar factory. There was lovely wood there and cool robots.