Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.
Every so often, usually during a rare moment when I feel pretty good about myself, a well-meaning relation sends me one of those perennial news items about a lady who has crocheted the same blanket for every baby born in her town since 1957, or another lady who singlehandedly keeps an entire children’s hospital supplied with knitted teddy bears, or that other lady who cranks out 100,000 pairs of mittens annually to warm the chilly hands of the poor.
These inspiring stories are invariably accompanied by a note saying, “Hey, you could do something like this.”
Sure, okay. Maybe I could also sail to China on a mulberry leaf, or spin straw into rigatoni.
I’m not so good at repetitive knitting.
Or maybe I am. I don’t know, because I pretty much refuse to do it. I have a deep-seated, abiding aversion to knitting the same thing twice. It is only through the cultivation of an iron will that I do not have a wardrobe of full of unwed socks and one-armed sweaters.
I am not proud of this. I see it as a character flaw to be smoothed away, much like my fear of flying. Both keep me from living life to the fullest.
To overcome the aerophobia, I’ve found it comforting to interact with people who love airplanes. My father, for example, is a pilot; and keeps an airplane in his backyard where normal people keep a toolshed. When taking off, or bouncing through unstable air, I hang on tight and try to remember his frequent rhapsodies on the wonder of flight and the laws of aerodynamics. I also listen to Frank Sinatra singing “Come Fly With Me,” and pretend I am having a ball up where the air is rarified. Sometimes it helps. Fake it ’til you make it.
So I thought it might be useful to hear from knitters and crocheters who find joy in repetitious work, even if not to the extent of knitting the same mitten 100,000 times.
I put the word out and found that People Have Opinions About This. Mind you, people who knit and crochet have opinions about everything; but I was nearly carried into the next state by the flood of comments.