Monday, August 3, 2009


The devil makes work for idle hands. Which would explain the impending sense of doom I feel when doing nothing. Doing nothing leaves one wide open to bursting into a state of sin. Hubris, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth – all lined up and waiting for the hands to be idle in order to possess the doer-of-nothing like an airborne virus. Before you know it, there she is - a boasting, money-grabbing, decadent, fornicating, green-eyed, angry, lazy monster; but that’s enough about Western Suburbs women, this is about ME.

In spite of the enormous amount of doing being done on my part, there seems to be a confounding amount of nothing getting done. Everything I did yesterday needs doing again today, it never stays done and I wonder if there is some Big-Cahuna-God-type-entity watching me with bemused fondness, like me watching the dog chasing its tail, wondering when I’ll work it out, when I’ll stop, curl-up on the spot and lie down for a guilt-free snooze. As long as there is Catholic on the nucleotide sequences of my DNA, it’s never going to happen.

It was inevitable that somewhere along the way something attractive would catch my eye, distract me from all this doing, offer some sort of respite, it would give back to me what I put into it, and that one simple fact would render me hopelessly, passionately, irrationally, head-over-heels in love with it. It did…knitting.

Knitting is a way of doing nothing while actually doing something, which wards off the devil. What’s not to love? While all hell breaks loose about me and the young complain that their stomachs have been stapled to their backbones for lack of food, I sit, blithely knitting.

I blame it on the gravitational pull exerted from the best wool shop in the world, Calico and Ivy, which is around the corner from my house. I blame it on Lynne, who works behind the counter and tolerates my incessant questioning and flapping of patterns printed from dodgy Internet sites. “Well”, she intones in her Northern English lilt, with patience bordering on the saintly, “this pattern is American”.

I nod gravely. How could anyone possibly decipher anything American? I screw up that awful American pattern and resolve to never subject Lynne to such an ordeal again. I want her to adopt me.

Malcolm McLaren, speaking on Enough Rope, described the Anglo Saxon desire for order as driving out the potential for “the streets to become a really exotic, amorphous, chaotic, organic place where ideas can ... develop” and then corrected himself, the streets were there for anyone wanting to hang out on them, on the internet. You should SEE the knitters on those streets. There are knitters against Bush, there is a woman who knits her own breast prosthetics and there is a pattern for a knitted uterus. I have found my tribe.

And so, with a contented sigh, I have stopped chasing my tail. My hands may not be idle but the rest of me is. And the rest of me is loving it.

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