Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.
December already? You have got to be kidding me.
I’ve been cleaning out. This apartment, as city apartments go, is not a cracker box. I am fortunate. But neither is it a many-wingèd mansion, and that keeps me from turning packrat. There’s no room for excess. Every year around this time I get the urge to pick up the household by one end and shake it like a rug to snap out the debris.
Much of my personal debris is knitted. This was a busy year. I made lots of stuff, most of it for books or articles rather than personal use. I can’t keep it all, nor do I have reason to. Without a baby in the family, what do I want with a series of tiny bonnets? Out they go, and may they comfort heads that need them.
Still, laid end to end across the dining room table, they and the dozens of other finished objects from 2015 make an impressively bulky display. They’re even more impressive piled atop one another to make a sort of finished project mountain.
“Check it out,” I said to a visiting friend. “It’s tall as I am. All I need is a little amigurumi Edmund Hillary planting a flag on top.”
“What’s amigurumi?” she said. (She doesn’t crochet, yet.)
“Never mind,” I said. “Look how much I made!”
“What do you want? A medal?”
And I thought to myself, “Why, yes. Yes, I do. I would like a medal, please.”
Why shouldn’t folks who knit and crochet get medals? This is the season for it. Journalists of every stripe are tripping over each other to be first across the line with end-of-the-year lists of who did what best, or most, or loudest.
Maybe that’s the reason we who play with yarn usually aren’t given medals. We are not, on the whole, a loud bunch. This is not to say we don’t sometimes raise a ruckus when we get congregate. We do. But as individuals, we think nothing of binding off a hundred-hour project of ten thousand or more stitches without fanfare, then quietly beginning another.
I know jigsaw puzzle fanciers who celebrate their achievements with more enthusiasm. And they don’t have to deal with necklines or buttonholes.
I propose that here, now, we have our own awards ceremony.
The event staff have been working on a red carpet of 2,648 granny squares made of Lion Brand Wool Ease, and should be here within the hour. I am, you will have noticed, in full evening dress; but you may come as you are. Tiaras welcomed.
When you’re quite ready, please make your way to the stage and lay claim to the trophy for any and all of your remarkable achievements. Feel free to add others in the comments section.
And don’t worry about keeping your acceptance speech short. I brought my knitting.
Presenting the Franklin Habit Awards! And the winners are…
Writer, illustrator, and photographer Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008–now in its third printing) and proprietor of The Panopticon (the-panopticon.blogspot.com), one of the most popular knitting blogs on Internet. On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep. Franklin’s other publishing experience in the fiber world includes contributions to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Cast On: A Podcast for Knitters, Twist Collective, and a regular column on historic knitting patterns for Knitty.com.
These days, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois, sharing a small city apartment with a Schacht spinning wheel and colony of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned.