Erma Bombeck circa 1970
All Knotted Up? Just Try Knitting
I knit as if I am pitted against a Russian and the prize for finishing first is unclear control. I don’t communicate. I don’t take time out for frivolous things like eating and sleeping. I don’t cook and I don’t clean house. I just knit.The other week I saw instructions for a knitted dress that I couldn’t wear and couldn’t resist. I said to my daughter, “Would you like Mother to knit this dress for you?”“No,” she said, “it looks like a pencil wearing a turtle neck sweater.”“You’ll change your mind when its finished,” I insisted, and began to roll the yarn into a ball.I knitted in the mornings while the kids ate dry cereal and sang a cappella, “There’s Nothing to Wear.” I knitted afternoons right through the TV soap cycle. Marriages, divorces, miscarriages, rape, murder and other game shows could not deter me from my commitment. I knitted at nights. “Aren’t you coming to bed?” my husband yelled down the stairs.“Did Betsy Ross go to bed on the flag?” I yelled back. “Did Sophia Loren try to build Rome in a day? Did Nixon quit politics to sell Tupperware” I am fulfilling a woman’s need to be creative,” I shouted. My eyes rolled back until the whites showed, perspiration dripped down my cheeks, and my hands shook unsteadily.“Everyone needs an outlet of some kind away from the dreary routine of housework. This is my way of relaxing…do you hear me? RELAXING!” I sobbed hysterically into a sleeve.This week, the dress was finished. My daughter tried it on. “I was wrong,” she said. “It doesn’t look like a pencil wearing a turtle neck sweater. It looks like a turtle neck sweater wearing a pencil.”Silently, I put the dress on a hanger and exiled it to an end of my closet that I call Napoleon’s Elba. It hangs next to a baby sweater I knitted (size 38), an afghan with set-in short sleeves and a sweater with two neck openings.“Why do you waste money and effort on something that physically wrecks you?” nagged my husband. “Why do you make things that no one wears when you’re finished?” persisted my daughter. “Why do you do things that make you crabby?” piped in my sons.None of them understand. Knitting is like a love affair. It’s not fun if you have to explain what you’re doing.
courtesy of Pat Reece :o)