Many many moons ago, when we lived in Memphis, my dear husband got me involved in a horrible, consuming, addictive thing: Hockey Playoffs. I don’t really care to keep up on any hockey teams or regular season nonsense, but playoffs are exciting. And who are we kidding? The playoffs are long enough to be a regular season unto themselves. I digress.
During that first entry into hockey playoffs, I found that I’d reverted to an old, bad habit I’d picked up during college football days: wringing my hands. You might have to know the long and sad history of Kansas State University football to understand why I’d have developed such a habit, but trust me…the occasions for the wringing of hands over the Wildcats have been legion. The day after a game, my hands would be so cramped and sore that I’d feel sympathetic toward toddlers who can’t seem to get their paws around that Cheerio no matter how many hours they try.
So, back to Memphis. In desperation, I picked up some yarn and a crochet hook and started working on a baby afghan during the playoff games. I was astonished at how productive nervous energy can be! That afghan didn’t last through the whole playoff season (seriously…it’s THAT long), so I started another. Isn’t it lovely to reflect back on the origins of habits? And obsessive compulsive disorders?
The next college football season came around, and I figured what worked for the Red Wings might work for my Wildcats, and so I made sure to have a project ready-at-hand for every game. Then I found that I felt antsy when I’d watch a movie at home. My fingers needed something to do. At some point I turned to cross stitching. I’m pretty sure it was about the same time that I discovered the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. I think I stitched an entire four seasons wreath for my parents with that movie on a loop.
Soon after the Autumn of the Four Seasons Wreath, I discovered knitting. Mercy me.
Now I find that certain knit pieces have certain associations. I just finished a pile of soakers that were knit almost entirely while sitting through sentence classifications (times 3) and reading instructions for math and phonics worksheets for my youngest student. That fair isle skirt over there in the picture might as well be called “The North and South Skirt” (Gaskell, not Swayze!), as I made several copies of that skirt while I was being introduced to and entranced by Margaret Hale and John Thornton. There’s a pile of dishcloths on a bookshelf in the TV room that scream “van time” and “soccer games.” Those little things are so portable and mindless that it’s perfectly manageable to work on one in 30 mph wind gusts while screaming for your little girl to TAKE THAT BALL AWAY FROM HER!!! I actually asked Sean if it would be OK to knit during Sunday School last week. Good man, he said “sure.”
The second sleeve of the eggplant cardigan is still undecided about what it shall remind me of when it’s done. It’s currently a three-way tie between college football, schooling, and Last of the Mohicans.