Monday, November 17, 2008


I think I get the whole knitting craze. Last week, my 8 year old daughter taught me how to knit. It is very slow going for me, my hands far more attenuated to catching a football or diving into the water without making a splash. Certainly ,though exercised hours a day clacking away on my keyboard, my fingers are not conditioned for this fine motor movement.

But sitting there entangled in a skein of yarn, like Charlie Brown and his kite, I get why this domestic phenomena is all the rage. Knitting has been embraced by the earth mommas, the professional mommas, "normal" mommas, the serious religious mommas. I honestly think that I was one of the final few holdouts, clinging to the foundation of my American girlhood--that is, clinging to my absolute and complete ignorance of all the domestic arts. Hey, somebody needs to be a traditionalist...

So it turns out this activity created initially so that people could cope with the cold after that apple incident of yore--which then morphed into an activity to keep idle hands from being
plaything--let's you look like you're busy and productive, while actually doing absolutely nothing!!! Now I know why there are mommas knitting at the park, and on the train and in the rain. When you are knitting, it looks like you are doing something, you end up with some knotted string to prove you've done something, but really you are just sitting around and shrugging off other responsibilities.

So now, when I don't feel like refereeing the "He touched me, she looked at me, she thought about looking at me" death matches...I don't need to look like awful mom sitting on the bench with my book (gasp! can you imagine a more detached mom, reading a book while her kids are playing!)---I can look like a domestic goddess, as I sit and knit and tell my children to work out their own problems. Which, while lauded by parenting experts- all mom's know the "go talk to each other and work out your problems" tack is really just code for "go away and leave me alone". Now when my husband wants to watch some French New Wave film, with 3 hours of subtitles and stark angles (because parenting all day is nothing like that) --I don't need to look like unenthusiastic-to-his interests wife, I can sit right next to him as he watches and click away.

The whole knitting thing is all a ruse, allowing women to have total and complete freedom, allowing women to be completely unengaged from their families, to shrug off other house work, the blow off their children, to sit through hours of husband interests...and yet looking like the most womanly women, producing yet another scarf for their family, because you just never know when you might need one....So if you are feeling overwhelmed, and over burdened and somehow have missed this knitting craze- I urge you- Right now! Today! Go out and buy some needles and yarn--and watch your responsibilities fade away (just don't look in the hamper).


  1. I too joined the craze just five days ago! It is a simple extension of my Slacker Lifestyle, wherein I make it look like i do stuff, when really...i slack!

    Can't wait to read more of your thoughts on here. So glad you got this started.

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  3. I don't knit

    But my wife and son do.

    Cosmic Charlie

  4. I love knitting when I can get myself to be patient enough. Also, I tend to lose count of the amount of stitches.

    Anyhoo, have you joined It takes ages to sign up, but it's full of tips, free patterns and knit-alongs (if you have competive streak).


  5. HA! I must not be working hard enough on the whole pretending-to-pay-attention thing, because my husband gets mad at me when I knit in the car ("Look at all the beautiful scenery you are missing!") and when I want the light on during a movie in order to knit. I am proud to say though that I have successfully mastered walking and knitting now, so I can fully enjoy the benefits of being with my kids at the park, on walks, etc...

  6. I too have thought of taking up knitting, not so much to avoid other things, apart that is from worrying and being anxious, but just, as I suppose, to be IMMERSED in something that is not necessarily of cosmic importance!


  7. Hey Shannon :) I got your PM on FD. I tried knitting once - a nun tried to teach me when I went on retreat one time. I was TERRIBLE at it. I couldn't get the hang of it! I tried crocheting once too, and I got the basic hang of it but I definitely didn't have any skill.

    So far the only crafty thing I can really do is cross-stitch. And even then, I'm not very good... lol.

  8. I love knitting and I am so glad I taught you. I am knitting a scarf

    PS. your knitting is getting better