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Monday, January 2, 2012

The Other Side of the Needles

Guest Blogger!! 
My boyfriend was kind enough to write this article for the shop's newsletter. The theme was "Men and Knitting". To sign up, visit the website: Knit and Caboodle

photo: Ambler

Relationships are all about give and take. For example, I pretend to care about my boyfriend’s video games and he pretends to care about my current knitting project. I sympathize when he is bludgeoned by a hoarde of killer zombies and he sympathizes when I have to frog an entire sweater. Here is the perspective of one man who struggles with co-habitating with an obsessed knitter...

"It seems to me that there are two types of knitters in this world: the casual knitters, and those for whom knitting is a lifestyle. A casual knitter, like my mother, picks up her needles for an hour here and there until her project is done, and it could be weeks or months before she starts the next one. On the other hand, more dedicated knitters, like my girlfriend, only put their needles down long enough to make a meal, change a diaper, or pour a cup of tea. By the time they have started working on one project, they have already planned out the next three. Passionate knitters are great multi-taskers, able to knit at the same time as walking, talking, eating or watching T.V.

In my experience, living with a "yarnie" means yielding your share of living space to an ever-expanding, sprawling stockpile of fibre. To cross the house I have to navigate my way through a labyrinth of baskets of balls and bags of half-finished, long abandoned projects. It also means finding balls of yarn in unexpected places like kitchen cupboards, behind rolls of toilet paper and in dresser drawers. Knitting needles pose an omnipresent risk, especially when they are poking out of the couch cushions or when they come flying at my face while a certain knitter is wildly gesticulating during a heated rant (most likely about the injustice of a poorly plotted colour chart or the like).

In our case, her knitting enthusiasm is not just confined to the house. It’s impossible to take her out for a romantic dinner without at least one project in her purse, “just in case”. Being out in public with her means strangers clad in handmade sweaters aren’t safe from her barrage of friendly questions: “Oh! Did you make that yourself? Is that angora?” I have come to terms with the fact that there might be a hobby farm in my future...but only one that has llamas, alpacas and angora rabbits. Also, you know that your girlfriend is fanatical about yarn when she is on a first name basis with the yarn shop employees.

Now, it’s not like she’s not totally selfish with her hobby; I do get to share in her love for knitting, but usually it’s to help wind a skein (hands up!) or to give my educated opinion on which buttons to choose. Mind you, while she is focused on a complicated pattern, it does afford me time to devote to my own interests (zombies). I never hear complaints about playing too many video games while there is a crochet hook in her hand. Obviously the best thing about dating a knitter is the handknit socks and toques I am often lucky enough to receive.

I’m sure there are many other significant others out there who can relate to these experiences, whether your knitter is kind of casual or more devoted to knitting. Anyone interested in a Boyfriends of Knitters Support Group (BOK)?"

Thanks so much for those words from my loving boyfriend! Kinda unrelated, but here are some graphics from the same issue to make you smile: 

As my boss would say, Don't you love his "come hither" look?