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jokes for knitters and crocheters

  • A Brief Guide to Lesser-Known Yarn Superstitions by Franklin Habit

    Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

    There is no question that persons who make things with yarn are a superstitious lot.  This is scarcely to be wondered at–so much can go awry on the journey from winding up to casting off. Skill and vigilance are well and good as safeguards against disaster; yet much depends on luck. You cannot make luck as you can, with luck, make a mitten. And so knitting, crochet, and all their sister arts are shot through with charms and spells intended to pick up stitches before they drop.

    You are likely familiar with the folk custom that one does not knit a sweater for a lover to whom one is not firmly and finally wed. So old and pervasive is this belief that it has passed into common knowledge. Few among us will have left grammar school without learning the ancient playground chant:

    Mary knit a cardigan

    And handed it to Gene.

    He stuffed it in his bottom drawer

    And ran off with Maureen.

    The origins of the famous “sweater curse” are obscure, but perhaps arose from the hard-won knowledge that it is best to present him with an expensive, labor-intensive gift he doesn’t want and won’t use only after both of you are too exhausted by the demands of child-rearing to care about anything else.

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  • Bootie Call by Franklin Habit

    Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

    I couldn’t sleep a few nights ago so I pulled out a copy of After the Thin Man, the second of the classic MGM films with William Powell and Myrna Loy as socialite detectives Nick and Nora Charles. Have you seen them? You really ought to.

    Start at the beginning, with The Thin Man. It was based on a crime novel by Dashiell Hammett, and all the installments are mysteries; but they wear that badge lightly. You don’t really watch a Thin Man film to find out who killed who; you watch it to see Powell and Loy bounce absolutely perfect wisecracks off one another in the highest possible style. Even their romantic moments are agreeably tart.

    NICK: Did I ever tell you that you’re the most fascinating woman this side of the Rockies?

    NORA: Wait ’til you see me on the other side.

    Nick, Nora, and their dog, Asta, form the family unit in the first and most of the second installments. But in the closing minutes of After the Thin Man, Nick notices that Nora is knitting something.

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    He leans in to take a closer look. “Looks like a baby’s sock,” he says.

    after-thin-still-02

    A pause.

    “And you call yourself a detective,” says Nora.

    He gasps. They kiss. Asta wails. The End, until Another Thin Man.

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  • Why You Don't Have Your Mitten Yet

    Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

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    Chances are I am never going to knit anything for you.

    It’s not that I don’t like you. Of course I like you. You’re interested in yarn and you’ve come all this way to read something I’ve written; how could I not think well of such a person?

    No, it’s not about you. It’s about time, and having too little of it. There is but one of me, and there are many of you. Even if I should promise to knit each of you a single mitten I couldn’t keep that promise before I drop dead.

    And what kind of off-kilter gift is one mitten, anyhow?

    You make things, so you know how it goes. You learn to make things and are so excited at having learned to make things that you want to make things for everyone. But you are a novice, and it shows. Your work is earnest, but uneven. The things you make are not much in demand.

    “Is that…a hat?” says the person in the next cubicle when she spots you merrily stitching away during your afternoon break.

    “Yes!” you cry. “Yes, it’s a hat. I’m making a hat. Would you like a hat? I’ll be happy to make you a hat. What color hat do you want?”

    “Uh…” says the person in the next cubicle.

    With practice your work grows not only even, but accomplished–and possibly splendid. The person in the next cubicle changes her tune.

    “Would you make me a hat?” she says. “I would totally pay you. Ten bucks!”
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