Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Joys of Knitting

Knitting isn’t a hobby, it’s a post-apocalyptic survival skill.

Over the next several Fridays, I’ll explain the above sentence. Meanwhile, what do you think it means?

A couple of years ago, I came across an advertisement for a shirt with that motto on the front, along with images of a skull, crossed knitting needles and a couple of balls of wool. I couldn’t resist. When I wear it to sci-fi conventions or meetings of knitters, the first thing people do is give me a thumbs up, although some will add, “and crocheting.” The second is to ask where I got the shirt. Unfortunately, the company that originally made it doesn’t have it in their catalogs anymore, but there is another site that has a similar shirt without the skull. I have a long-sleeved version from the second site.

I’ve been knitting since I was five or six. In that time, I’ve made all sorts of sweaters, scarves and hats. In fact, when I left my first job after college, the people I’d worked with gave me a gift certificate to a near-by knitting store because they knew I’d enjoy that more than a plaque.

A few years later, when four women I knew were pregnant at the same time, I made four different baby blankets in less than six months.

So I’m a knitter. Next week I’ll tell you some advantages to knitting that you may not know. Another week I’ll talk about the trends in knitting today. I’ll even describe the fun a friend and I had on a train/knitting trip last February.

Getting back to that first sentence, I’m also a writer and one of the stories I’m working on takes place after a disaster of unknown origin or extent. Folks traveling on a train become stranded near a very small town in August, some with only the proverbial, but true, shirts on their backs. They take up residence at a motel. A few of the women, and men too, collect any yarn available in the town, and get to work making whatever they can for themselves and the others: hats, scarves, gloves, socks and sweaters. That’s what we’d have to do if there ever were such a wide-spread apocalyptic event.

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