I love knitting, but it highlights many of my character flaws. Last year, I joined a knitting group; now, once a month, much of my crazy is on public display.
So I may as well tell you about it, too.
Yesterday, I learned to steek. It’s a traditional knitting technique that involves cutting your own knitting. Many knitters are nervous about steeking because they could easily ruin something they’ve worked on for weeks or months.
That is not why I’ve avoided steeking for years.
I’ve avoided it because I am cheap in all the worst ways. Chiefly, the imaginary ways. Not the ways that would save real money by eating at home more often or not making impulse buys at Ikea.
I like to think that if something does not turn out well, or I get tired of it ten years from now, I will re-use the yarn by unraveling it.
Have I ever done this? No.
Despite the mental image of myself knitting mittens and a hat from an old well-worn sweater, perhaps while sitting in a bomb shelter, speaking with a British accent, I have not reused old wool for new projects. (Over active imagination may or may not be one of my many other faults.)
The only items I’ve unraveled for their yarn were partially finished sweaters that were given to me by other knitters, or relatives of knitters, who just wanted the decade old unfinished projects out of their own home.
When I received those, they leapt ahead of all other projects, to become my top priorities. Both of those hand-me-downs involved colour changes, and both resulted in tiny little balls of the different colours, because, unlike me, those knitters had Cut Their Yarn.
Undeterred, I knit those little balls into hats for soldiers and chemo patients (depending on the fiber – soldiers need wool, chemo patients need soft). It felt so virtuous, not because it was charitable, which describes a lot of my knitting, but because I was being Thrifty, with a capital Tremendously Thrifty T.
So I know I can re-use yarn, even when it is cut, but I don’t want to make imaginary work for myself, when I re-make old sweaters into something new. (I’m lazy even in my imagination!)
You’d think I was using expensive yarns, the way I conserve them, but I’m not. I can’t convince myself to spend $75 on yarn for a sweater when I know I can buy a sweater for a fraction of that.
I don’t often knit sweaters anyway, because – here comes another character flaw – I like more immediate gratification, so I prefer to knit hats or mittens or baby sweaters or elephants or dog sweaters that Trixie doesn’t really want to wear.
Besides being less time consuming, there are fewer fit issues with those. That’s another flaw – lack of planning to ensure things fit. I’d rather knit a blanket than try to figure out if a sweater will fit me. Or worse, finish and discover it does not. If a hat doesn’t fit one person, it’ll fit another.
See what I mean? So many character flaws displayed in one hobby. Why do I enjoy something that makes me look so bad?
Am I the only one with hobbies that put the crazy on display?