Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Knitting Zone

Sometimes I think knitting is a disease - a neuromuscular disorder, maybe, some especially organized form of whole body tic. We gotta do it, it's beyond our conscious control. On the other hand, it feels so right!. And it actually accomplishes something - there are plenty of things people do to pass the time or soothe rattled nerves, and very few of them produce tangible objects. I can read or do crosswords for hours, and never so much as a single sock will result. 

Knitting is definitely one of those zones we all want to be in. The lure of producing an honest -to-gosh result is magically compelling. You start with a mass of yarn and end up with a garment. It's like watching cellular organization coalesce out of the primordial soup, or being able to see snowflakes form in the upper air. When things are going especially well, my hands  are operating on their own, and the intangible ME of the whole operation is watching from behind my eyes. And it's the most amazing show! I marvel at the way knit and purl change places and shape; how cables form like stone carving itself across the face of the fabric; the delicate pas de deux of the needles. Tonight I traded off projects a few times to rest my hands, and miraculously ended up with 3 new inches on my sweater, another 2 on the lace scarf, and enough to hit the half-way mark on the silk tie ...

Of course, then there's the other nights. Those are the  nights where you come out of the rosy trance and discover that you've spent your time in the Twilight Zone and somehow  knit yourself to the throw on the couch ... and you really have to wonder it you don't  actually have some sort of manual Tourette's after all.

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