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Nov 30, 2011

Yarn | The Gateway Drug


My mother taught me to knit when I was very young, three or perhaps four years old.

I’m using the term “knit” quite loosely, of course, but I do remember the occasion. I was sick and miserable and perhaps a bit fussy, because I – the kid who was willing and able to sleep any time, any day, any where – would not go down for a nap.

So she pulled out her knitting basket, handed me a blue steel DPN and some heavy gray wool, and showed me how to knit.



Well, actually, she taught me how to do a finger cast on, a technique I still use today when I’m in a hurry to test a new stitch or cast on something small.

I spent the rest of that day and many days after casting on as many stitches as the needle would hold. Then I’d pull off the stitches, rewind the yarn and do it all over again. Cast on, pull off, rewind. Cast on, pull off, rewind.

I remember the experience so clearly, I can still feel that scratchy wool and see my little hands struggling to hold the needle, wrestle the wool into position and get those stitches in place.

Little did my mom know that she was introducing me to a lifelong addiction, one I struggle with still.

Consider this a public service announcement: Whether soft and cushy or thick and scratchy, yarn is a dangerous gateway drug.

I could just say no. But how can I, when the voice inside my head is whispering, “Wouldn’t it feel soooo good to cast on for another project?” 

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