Humor

Devils and Details: America’s Knitting Underbelly

A growing obsession overlooked by the mainstream is plaguing suburbia at an cat-wearing-sweater--large-msg-130592658314alarming 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.

grannyKnitting 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. cheeseburger-paradise-11Instead 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.

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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.

215 thoughts on “Devils and Details: America’s Knitting Underbelly”

  1. My wife was once held hostage on a road trip with her friend (in her friends car) as this woman planned her entire 3 state trip around the availability of yarn stores. Alas, my wife was not privy to her friend’s bizarre navigations before the ride. Lunacy on wheels! Great Read. Good laugh!

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  2. LoL … ‘confront the crocheter’ … you mention that “C” word in a post about knitting? And you didn’t get stabbed with knitting needles? Hilarious … my hubby would agree with you … and no, I’m not addicted to knitting or crocheting … well … maybe to yarn. And thanks for following my blog … it must be all that knitting and crocheting on it, right?

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  3. Hilarious! As to what a knitter looks like these days, well, if you’re ever in San Francisco you should come to one of our craft nights and see the collection of rather hot young ladies and gents, tattoos and all, knitting socks and whatnot. By the way, we call people who crochet “hookers”.

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  4. oh oh…will koamist be fodder for further knitting hysteria posts? Back! back! I am armed with pointy objects…if I could find them in the piles of wool and other random craftiness….
    But fyi, some of the projects are quite likely covered in beer as well. : )

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  5. Things aren’t looking good for me. I crochet and I have a cat…. I’ll have to bookmark this post just in case I never get married, accumulate 13 more cats, loose all my self respect and make the poor decision to crochet my cats sweaters and pants.

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  6. Thanks for the follow! There is such a thing as a ‘selfish knitter’ we don’t all foist things upon our hapless relatives and friends. Usually it’s requested and sometimes it’s even paid for!

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  7. Thomas – I’m sad to report, it’s taken over younger women on the bus (to/from NYC no less) while (yes, it gets better) she complains how hard it is to meet men. Errr… I’d say putting down the needles would be the first step… #justsayin

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  8. Ah – how sad for these obsessed knitters – but how good for us to get to read this great post and feel so much better for being somewhat normal…although come to think of it when I had a bad break up when I was 19 I did cross stitch like that hamburger lady…thankfully the obsession disappeared when i met my husband…maybe that’s the cure lol.
    Thanks for the follow on my blog – and the good laugh 😉

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  9. Come over to the dark side and knit a toque. Play some Mozart while you’re learning to cast on, and then when you’ve conquered shaping techniques for the crown of your hat, you can move up to Baroque music and knit yourself a dog cardigan.

    I know you want to.

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  10. Oh Lord. Just this afternoon I had to get a splint for my wrist that is in danger of carpal tunnel syndrome. And my supply of sock yarn is larger than my supply of socks. And I haven’t even finished a sock yet. I must be ill. Someone save me!

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  11. Tee hee! 🙂 I enjoy knitting, and this made me giggle like mad. Reminds me a bit of the “Hell’s Grannies” sketch from Monty Python…

    “I mean, she used to be happy here until she started on the crochet. Now she can’t do without it. Twenty balls of wool a day sometimes. If she can’t get the wool, she gets violent. What can we do about it?”

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  12. Hello thank you for Liking some posts.. Glad I don’t care to net .But that burger was cool and so is Monty Python. . I like some of it. I like British Humor:) Have a nice day..

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  13. There’s a group of knitters where I work, and they’re always trying to bring people in.
    “I’m just not good at this sort of thing,” I told them when they approached me, much like one of those zealous religious groups you used to find at the airport.
    “No, really, you can DO this!” they said. “Come on, try it!”
    I walked away – bold at the moment, but fearful I might succumb the next time.
    Thank goodness I found this post soon after. Kind of like therapy – but a lot cheaper.

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  14. Idiots on the internet unite! This has given me such a laugh. What is currently an idle fetish for me, to be picked up and dropped as and when, may become an obsession too someday… 🙂 I will view this post as a timely warning…

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  15. This is one of the funniest posts I’ve read in a while! And the video was class! Thank god, this is never an affliction I will suffer from – you can’t knit and hold a glass of wine, at least as far as I’m aware! 🙂

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  16. I will plead guilty I’m a yarnoholic. but the only people i inflict my creations on are my own children. you dd however miss one aspect of knitting addiction “The stash” and thank you for following my blog.

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  17. This post made me laugh out loud as I have many friends with incredible yarn stashes. I’m sending the link to this post to a few of them as I’m sure they’ll get a kick out of your post.

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  18. Hilarious!! I started following just based on this post. My husband recently took up knitting and is NOT obsessed, but some of our relatives are. . .they even have knitting parties. Thanks for the laugh 🙂

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  19. Well, what can I say? I’ve no grandchildren, no alpaca (yet) and no plans to knit a suit out of my own hair (although I could) – and there is no way I would give one of my hand knit sweaters away to an unwilling recipient. Or any recipient, for that matter – there’s a whole new breed of ‘selfish’ knitters out there, and I am proud to be one. All the yarn is MINE, I tell you, MINE. Me? Addicted to knitting? Erm, guess so!

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  20. Haha! I’m definitely one of those obsessive knitters! I knit and crochet so I guess it’s a double whammy for me! I started when I was eleven to “teach patience,” and just never stopped. I thought this was funny, regardless of the fact that I’m one of the “crazies.” I don’t think I would like to own alpaca’s though…

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  21. I’m glad you called by my blog today, I love what you write, it’s so funny. I confess to having a stash of wool, a stash of many colours, yet I hate knitting. I also have a stash of cross stitch projects , but can’t see well enough to follow the patterns and can’t concentrate long enough to do the counting. And sewing has taken over my dining room, complete with a huge stash of fabric. I sew almost every day but hate using all my beautiful materials. Obsessed? Probably. Hard up? Definitely. Happy? Ecstatic. And I save the NHS a fortune that would otherwise be used to house me in a safe environment, under the care of a psychiatric team. I’d recommend it for everyone. Might even get a cat this year.

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  22. Reblogged this on Crazy Purls and commented:
    So I gained a new follower today and as usual when this occurs I checked their blog to see if I’d like to return the favor.

    Check him out, I think my fellow obsessed knitters will appreciate the humor in the post I’m reblogging!

    I was left amused and obviously hit the follow button. This is unusual because I only follow other knitting blogs. I hope you enjoy his humor as much as me.

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  23. LOL- great post! I must admit I quickly fell in love with knitting once my best friend taught me how. However, I will proudly declare that I’ve never knit my cats a sweater! I have knit stuffed cats though and even learned how to create my own knitting patterns to create other stuffed animals. I suppose there are worse addictions out there 😉

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  24. Great blog and this particular post was hilarious. I plan to share it with my knitting-obsessed friends. Thanks also for following our blog at ianmooremorrans.com. I hope we can keep up with each others’ writings.
    Gayle Moore-Morrans

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