Having owned a knitting store for over eight years now, I have met an army of knitters. How knitters feel about their knitting has been a great source of fascination to me. Knitting is so much more than knitting. It is a mirror for life and how people perceive it. I could get all philosophical now, and talk about coping skills and what not. But, frankly, all I am going to say is that sometimes I don’t get it.
When I decided I wanted to own a knitting store, my impetus for doing this was to own this zen-space that was about creativity, appreciation of luxury ﬁbers, relaxation, and personal challenge. In other words, fun. Knitting has always been a source of fun to me. I love the challenge of learning a new technique. I love working with yummy ﬁbers like cashmere or alpaca yarn. It has also always been a great source of relaxation for me.
I thought everyone felt this way about knitting. I was wrong. Sure, there are lots of people who do knit for the pure pleasure of it. But then there are the others….
And this is what I don’t get. Some knitters approach knitting like a test of endurance. Like they are hanging from the ceiling and want to see how long they last before they drop. They come into the store like someone has kidnapped their loved ones and will release them only after they pick out a project. Yikes. They ask me through gritted teeth to help them choose something. I want to say, “Are you sure you want to go through with this?” I feel like I am the Satan of Yarn. They reply with a steely look of determination, that, yes, they do want to go through with this. Okay then. As I hand them their new project, I feel that I embody all that is evil and dark in the world. They take it, reluctantly, and leave. I get this mental picture of them hyperventilating in the car. This is not what I wanted for them. So I have come up with a simple solution. A test.
I think that, somehow, things got rearranged and knitting got placed in an incorrect category with these knitters. This is what I mean:
Let’s make a list of things that are truly things we do not want to endure, shall we?
Here are some things I have come up with:
1. A colonoscopy
2. Glass in one’s eye
3. Root Canal
4. Any kind of painful, itchy rash
5. Tax audit
6. Passing a kidney stone
7. Losing one’s wallet
8. Locking your keys in your car
9. Running into an old friend and realizing she looks better than you
10. A colonoscopy (I felt this warranted a second listing)
11. A yeast infection
12. Showing up in a large mister potato head costume to a party after not receiving the text that the costume part was cancelled
13. Getting a new short haircut and then being told by more than six people that they loved your long hair, and wondering why no one told you until after you cut it.
14. After a guest’s ring rolls under your refrigerator, causing you to have to pull it out only to ﬁnd a large dead animal and your father in-law’s toupee under there.
15. Thinking that you didn’t look half bad in the Goofy hat and Pluto tee shirt and shorts at Disney World until you saw the slides of yourself at the party.
16. Trying to deep fry your ﬁrst Thanksgiving turkey and setting your garage on ﬁre.
17. Turning around to realize that that skunk you have glimpsed in the neighborhood has found its way into the back seat of your car and in your panic you back up and run over your neighbor”s dog.
18. A colonoscopy (let’s go for three)
19. And, of course, hemorrhoids.
So, I think you are getting the picture here. I ask you, does knitting ﬁt on this list?
I am going to stand ﬁrm and say no, no it does not. So I want all the knitters that will read this blog and who think that knitting feels like any of the above mentioned items to them, to rethink this thing. Knitting belongs in the magical column with things like this:
1. You wake up with great regret remembering that last night you ate half of the lasagna,and the whole Pepperidge Farm chocolate cake from the freezer by yourself, only to ﬁnd you lost eight pounds overnight.
2. You ﬁnd out that you made a giant error in your income tax calculations, and receive a check that enables you to pay off your house.
3. After doing sit ups for ﬁfteen minutes for the ﬁrst time in six years, you look down to see that you now have a tight, ﬂat stomach and a great ass.
4. Architectural Digest calls and wants to feature your house in its next issue.
5. An ex that dumped you years ago bumps into you on the street, falls to his knees and weepingly says that he can’t believe he broke up with you.
6. The Chippendales call and want to know if they can practice in your basement
7. You glance at your reﬂection in a store window and realize that the new moisturizer that you tried for the ﬁrst time that morning has taken all your wrinkles away and you look about 23.
8. Your husband takes you out for the most romantic date you have had in years, gives you ﬂowers, takes you to a great restaurant, takes you home and makes passionate love to you after dancing with you until 2:00 in the morning, and has your car detailed.
9. Your doctor informs you that you are so healthy that you will never require another colonoscopy. (You had to know this was coming)
10. A new machine is invented that a doctor uses from across the room that makes mammograms unnecessary.
11. A new drug is created that stops aging, and since you now look 23, you will look this way forever.
12. Your doorbell rings and a cheerful, rosy cheeked little woman in a maid’s uniform says that she is moving in with you and is going to cook and clean for you for free,and asks what you would like for dinner.
13. Martha Stewart keeps calling leaving messages to please call her back with your blueberry buckle recipe.
14. Your hair has miraculously stopped turning gray, and is growing in back to your natural color but even shinier and thicker
15. You realize that you can tap dance really well
16. People constantly ask you if you are French.
See the difference? Knitting belongs in this category along with rainbows and unicorns. It is a happy activity. So no more worrying alright? If there is something you don’t understand, we are like Santa’s helpers at our store. We will ﬁx it and show you how to do it yourself. We will sing a little ditty to you. We will pull out a little cot, give you milk and a cookie, pull the shades down, and let you take a nap. There is no need to fret. Don’t let the stuff you don’t know how to do scare you so much that you think you will ruin your project. You won’t. We wouldn’t let that happen, now would we? Of course not.
So, next time you think of doing a new project, step right up to one of us and say, “By God, I want to knit something.” We will salute you and help you get in touch with your happy place. If you can’t get to our yarn store, we can salute on line from our website, as you place your order. We will lovingly and painstakingly assemble your new project, sending it out to you on angel’s wings. Yep. That’s what we do.
So what have we learned here? I think it is obvious. Stop confusing knitting with a colonoscopy. Only one of these things sucks.