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Knitting: Slavery or Freedom?
My first round (75 stitches) of knitting took me something like an hour. It was both time-consuming and all-too-brief; sickeningly repulsive and refreshingly captivating. It was the best of times, it was ... you know the rest.
On that first round, I became a boy in a bubble. I didn't want to talk to anyone, I didn't even want to look at anyone. Knit, purl, knit, purl. Clock ticking, just over an hour. But once I had finished, another round beckoned. Maybe I could get that one done in 55 minutes. Who knew? I lost weight. Friends stopped calling. I started writing letters to guests on "Jerry Springer". (For a moment there, I thought I had something with the 1200 pound woman.)
What had made me so drawn to knitting that I had withdrawn from polite society and lost all my ambition to pursue friendships and my career? Having been educated at a liberal arts college, I already had a suspicion about who was to blame: the White Man. Probably a Republican.
The "Knitting as slavery" theory persisted all the way through my first work (currently a large black potholder in the bottom of a drawer somewhere).
It wasn't until my second or third toessel that I came to realize that knitting was not enslaving me, it was, Orwellian-like, actually liberating me. By focusing my left brain on a simple, menial task, my right brain was unshackled to fly with the eagles. Like a Hare Krishna entranced by dancing, chanting, and long ponytails, my mind wrapped itself around issues impossible without chemical assistance. For a few minutes, while knitting a pink french beret toessel, I actually became a sparrow.
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