just words

[written 06/13/05]

such a tease. i promised pictures, especially ones of orangina, but still nothing nada zip. school ends wednesday, my computer is still at the computer hospital, and i’ve become a reading freak again. ah yes, reading – what i used to do with all my free time until knitting and the internetS came around. and this shift back to reading got me thinking last night.. really, i always knew i was being shaped by all that reading, by all the computer learning and internet browsing, but i never really though about what effect knitting was having on me. granted, i could make beautiful things, and i could spend my time happily knitting for hours without even realizing it. but there have been some serious and mostly great effects. in no particular order:

  • ~ i can deconstruct clothing much better – even though i haven’t finished a single sock, i understand the heel flap, the gusset; i also get why seaming in fitted garments adds need structure sometimes, why one type of yarn/knitted fabric is too heavy for some patterns; how proportional the body truly is, including mine! ;)

  • ~ i can now listen to an audiobook all the way through. this is quite an accomplishment because no matter how i try, unless it’s a big old hardback, i just can’t get into reading while knitting – i would love love to, but it just hasn’t worked yet. but audiobooks – wow, that works. i agree with others (great link, check it out, really!) to not overburden yourself while listening, and knitting is perfect for that – or at least knitting the miles of stockinette we encounter all-too-often in our knitting projects.* i just listened to david allmond’s kit’s wilderness and the old agatha christie murder on the orient express and both were excellent and perfect for knitting. or washing dishes and mopping the floor, too, i might add.

  • ~ because of knitting, i’m not as lazy as i used to be. i used to be able to just sit there and totally be that couch potato for hours and hours – now though, even if the movie is good, i tend to get antsy and can’t concentrate unless i have knitting in my hands. it’s like the old “idle hand’s are the devil’s workshop” – i’m all for just sitting there and contemplating things and just being still, especially in nature, but tv-watching is never and i mean never that. now, though, just like that, poof, the guilt is gone: i’m not a couch potato, i’m a multi-tasking knitter ;)

  • ~ i’m more aware of how fragile and dependent i am on my hands and wrists – after some itty-bitty fidgety cotton knitting, i always get worried and wonder. both of my grandmothers had problems with osteoporosis and my dad’s mom had pretty severe arthiritis. i remember her during the last years, her hands were just permanently all curled up.. that’s really messed up, isn’t it? i’m hoping knitting will keep my hands flexible and limber and all that, but there’s the extreme where i’ll develop some carpal tunnel syndrome kind of thing, especially combined with my computer use and bad ergonomics both at work and at home. (laptops will do that to you faster, i think – one definite negative.)*

ah, there’s more, but work calls. ;) any you wish to add? (check this out too – i’d add a few things for sure, but it’s a great starting list..)

*(if you did see the link, though, i disagree with what he says about listening to harry potter on tape – that’s why i see the movies, to get someone else’s version of the book, but sometimes i just want to hear the words in my head, in my voice, with my imagery – yup, sometimes it’s just all about me.)

** (i’m always horrified to see knitters wearing those wrist braces – i understand often it’s a preventative thing, and that’s good, but still, man, that’s pretty extreme and i don’t want to go there. i’m convinced computers will get better because there’s just wayyyy too many people out there with already-long-term carpal tunnel syndrome issues, so that voice-recognition software will just get better and better and even, hopefully, replace mouse clicking and even typing at some point.) *