Knit for brains
Have you ever sat at a kitchen table or bench and absent mindedly started typing out something invisible with your fingers? This tends to happen to me when I'm on holiday and away from the trusty laptop: my hands yearn to get at a keyboard and write.
Sadly, my digits are aching for another activity that is far less commonplace in our techno-geek world. They want to knit. All the time. Even now, as I'm typing, my two pointer fingers are still both tingling from the woolly work-out they got at lunchtime. Yet those sixty minutes of needle-clacking bliss is not enough to satisfy them.
I blame my daughter, Sapphire, for introducing me to this world of annoying addiction. Her class recently made their own sets of wooden knitting needles and the inevitable newsletter was put out to parents to donate some wool for their learning efforts. This I was happy to do - I just threw a dozen balls of brightly-coloured wool into my basket when I was last at K-Mart (buying shoes, but that's too shameful to write about right now).
A week or two later, she brought hers home to show Love Chunks and myself. It wasn't bad for a seven year old and I innocently asked: "Sapph, I remember my mum teaching me how to knit when I was ten or so, but I've completely forgotten how to now. Would you mind showing me?" What fateful words they turned out to be. I sat there, enthralled, as she showed me how to start - something I'd never learned, my mum always had to kickstart my woolly creations - and it felt like getting back on that proverbial malvern star (bike to non-Aussies).
Perhaps my nimbleness can be attributed to years of keyboarding and associated dexterity, but for some reason my hands took to knitting like starlet to a boob job. Even Love Chunks commented about it: "Quite the handy little knitter, aren't we?" as I sat next to him, needles clacking during the Crows vs St Kilda. Ignoring his sarcasm, I actually said these words in response: "It's nice to keep my hands occupied in front of the telly." What have I become, seventy five years old with an arthritic poodle and matching chin hairs?
Sadly, my actual product resembles something that a seven year old would do, no offence intended to Sapphire and her class. Like my efforts in 1978, I still tend to lose a stitch or two if not fully concentrating, so I remain in awe of all the nannas and hemp-wearing yarn-spinners out there who can knit without looking down. Consequently, my 'scarf' (for want of any other reason to make anything not requiring any purl, casting off or knowledge of patterns) mostly looks as though it's been crocheted. Perhaps it's an opportunity for to me to claim that it's a deliberate attempt to make it neo-punk-post-grunge design, but even Sapphire is looking less and less enthusiastic at the idea that the 'scarf' might be destined for her.
After our freezing camping weekend recently (http://blurbfromtheburbs.blogspot.com/2006/06/no-sex-please-were-camping-its-been.html) I'm even thinking about knitting squares that can be sewn together for a warm blanket. Love Chunks is likely to mutter: "Why don't you just go out and buy a blanket", but where's the fun in that, where's the wool-workin' fine-motor-finger action? Sure they might look a bit wonky and have a few holes here and there, but I'm sure we'll be pretty grateful for them on the next occasion our boogers freeze in our noses in the Flinders Ranges.
It's either that or Love Chunks will end up with a scarf that he'll be forced to wear out in public....