I've been thinking about my knitting addiction this week. It is my only obsession that I don't feel somewhat apologetic for. I will admit I am ashamed of my sugar cravings (damn those gummy worms, chocolate parfait Nips and pumpkin spice Hershey kisses) and blatant caffeine addiction (hello Starbucks and my daily mega coffee consumption). I feel bad about my periodic cheeseburger attacks and frequent BBQ Pringles weaknesses.
I would even admit a little guilt about my love of Reality TV, Mad Men, Soup, Project Runway and TMZ... I watch way more tv than anyone I know, but justify that since I currently live alone, don't necessarily have to eat on a schedule and am knitting almost every minute I'm not asleep or at work. I won't even go into my reading, computer and secret obsessions with Jon Bon Jovi and John Corbett...
Here's my list of why I justify any and all aspects of my knitting fixation:
1) It has probably kept me from weighing 300 pounds. I'm not a small person or particularly fit, but I'm weird about making sure my hands are super-clean when I knit, so simultaneously eating ice cream, cookies or chocolate just won't work. These are two completely separate activities in my world. I've also been known to skip a meal or two on the weekend when caught up in a knitting project (who has time to stop and rustle up something?)
2) I truly feel like I am hypnotizing myself when I get into the rhythm of knitting. The repetition opens up my right brain (as I mentioned in a previous post), I feel my blood pressure dropping and I slip into another place, like a trance. I can't get that feeling from anything else I do and I'm definitely hooked on the feeling.
3) All my tv/movie watching is justifiable when I'm knitting something useful, creative and sometimes lucrative. I have never been able to sit and stare at a screen without doing something simultaneously that accomplishes a goal. Thanks to knitting, I am never bored, ever...
4) I have found a creative outlet that meshes with my talent and background. I was working on quilts during my high school classesl, sewed many of my clothes from a young age and earned money in college doing alterations and custom sewing. I always loved creating things, good design and fashion. Designing my own knitting patterns and customizing someone's pattern is right up my alley. Continually expanding my knitting skills and knowledge is challenging and addictive in its own way.
5) I've never been a collecter of things people usually collect, like thimbles, cats, shoes. But I am a huge collecter of yarn and it makes me very happy. My obese yarn stash is so large that it has its own rooms in both my residences. Collecting yarn gives me something to search out anywhere I travel, from the handspun Amish Corriedale yarn to hand-dyed Blue Moon sock yarn in the "Siren Song" colorway from the Flock & Fiber Festival in Canby, OR. I'm always on the search online and offline for good deals on beautiful fibers. And knitting with my finds reminds me of when and where I found them, like a good souvenir should.
6) The first place I go when I get online (after checking my email and this blog) is Ravelry.com. I love that knitting community more than I can express and would've never been a part of it if I wasn't a knitter. The comments, shared obsession and information from that website are an integral part of my life.
7) The pure pleasure and satisfaction I gain from knitting something awesome for a friend or family member that is loved and appreciated. How better to show people you care about their importance to you? The finished project is proof enough of that, but also the hours and hours of knitting time I spent thinking good things about them while working on the project certainly counts for something, like the Prayer Shawl phenomenon. That positive energy is worked into everything I knit.
8) I always have something portable to keep me occupied in any situation with my knitting projects. Doesn't matter if I'm facing a long plane flight, long phone call or traffic jam. I have a small project tucked in my purse (usually a sock) for any emergency. Time flies when you're absorbed in a fun knit.
I could add dozens more reasons, but I would like to hear other peoples' opinions. Why are you obsessed with knitting and how has it added to your quality of life?