A growing obsession overlooked by the mainstream is plaguing suburbia at an alarming rate: knitting. I guess it begins harmlessly enough, darning a sock when nobody’s there like Eleanor Rigby. But then it grows into a debilitating illness. Take for instance Deloris Clark. She’s 52 and her cats have a bigger wardrobe than most American children. Or take Norris Berkowitz who is allergic to wool but can’t stop knitting. His hands and face swell up every day beyond the point of recognition. These are just a few of the stories I uncovered as I delved deeper into the corrosive world that is knitting. It’s not just for your Granny anymore.
Knitting carries with it a nice façade. When I picture it I see an older woman sitting in her living room with a cup of tea, knitting a warm cap for her newly born grandson. Lovely. But a little research wipes away that facile image. Look at the example of “Bookfaery,” a poster on the forum “Knitter’s Review.” She claims that after only ten months of knitting, she “drools over sock yarn” and is going to “trade in her librarian degree for a couple of alpacas.” Unbelievable. After only 10 months she is going to trade in her lucrative career as a librarian in order to raise a few llamas in her back yard so she can turn their fur into stuff. You’d think there would only be a few examples of this madness, but this is just the beginning.
“Hipknitizer” is a lady who has her own knitting blog. It’s seems docile enough until you search for the tag “obsession.” There you will find a list of justifications for her addiction. She claims “knitting has kept her from weighing 300 pounds.” You’d think, how wonderful, until you find out how she’s keeping the weight off. Instead of eating stuff that is bad for her, she is knitting likenesses of it such as a cheeseburger, a cookie etc. and eating that instead! I am no doctor but I’m sure the side effects of eating woolen burgers cannot be very good. It may in fact be better to weigh 300 pounds. Here’s to hoping she gets the help she needs before it’s too late.
A common argument these addicts make is that “knitting is the only addiction they will not apologies for.” Well, I would say that apologizing for all that junk you made people they didn’t want is the first step on the road to recovery. A blog called “The Maine Page Turner” is like a procurer for these poor folks. She provides reviews of books on knitting so they can further their addictions. She even says that after reading these books, “their needles will be on fire.” I’ll tell you what’s going to be on fire, Deloris Clark’s arthritis.
Arthritis is one of many side effects of knitting addiction. A common affliction that plagues the knitting community is RSI or “Repetitive Strain Injury.” This illness mainly affects 12 year-old boys and obsessed knitters. I came across a tip sheet for avoiding this injury on the creatively named website “The Knitter.” I, of course, would offer the advice “stop knitting,” but since these addicts so blatantly refuse treatment I guess the community needs tip lists like this one. One tip is to “sit with good posture.” Yeah, that’ll help the lady whose needles are on fire. She also argues that “if you knit all day,” avoid RSI by placing your “needle, yarn and pattern in the proper place.” I hope she means the garbage. She does provide a disclaimer at the end of her post about making sure you see a proper doctor for advice because she is obviously not one and you should not take advice from knitting obsessed advice givers. But she does include in the disclaimer that “you can knit in the waiting room.” I told you, it’s an illness.
I understand that most people don’t fall into the category of the obsessed, but would they admit it if they were? Curing these knitters isn’t exactly a popular cause. No one is “fun-running for cramping hands.” But I think that we as a society owe it to these people to pay more attention to their plight. In the old days we would turn a blind eye to this phenomenon. Accepting ugly, poorly fitting sweaters with a smile and then burying the unwanted garment in the depths of our closets. Well, I say no more. Confront the crocheter. If you don’t, before you know it, your grandmother will be out back feeding her llamas.
You can’t know when the addiction will begin. It could start as simply as sewing the button back on your fat-ass husband’s shorts. Or it could be a curiosity that turns into drooling over sock yarn like that message-board person. Either way, silence is not the answer. Hopefully, this post will act as the spark that leads to a cure for the knitting obsessed. Until then, keep an eye out America; you never know when a hobby is going to take over your life.