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Why So Angry?
Sunday, December 05, 2004

I never really wanted to learn how to knit. If I had, I could have asked my Aunt Nay to teach me. She's been knitting and crocheting since the year of the flood. I've seen countless baby sweaters, christening shawls and afghans flow from her needles. Aside from one short period of my life, right after she crocheted me a family of pink acrylic pigs, I was never interested in learning the craft myself. My experience was confined to an uneven length of chain stitch and countless knitted tubes I cranked out on my Barbie Knitting Machine. I never understood why my aunt did it. She never made sweaters for anyone over 18 months. She never even made sweaters for herself.

A few years ago, knitting became "hip". I hate "hip". I don't know why. I hate that label. It reeks of "Look at me -- jumping on the bandwagon!" So knitting became hip and twenty-something Williamsburg hipsters started doing it on the L train. And I still had no desire to learn. Actually, I had even less.

Then my friend Alison told me she was going to take knitting lessons. I said, "Oh, that's cool" or something to that effect. The next time I talked to her, though, she seemed to think I agreed to sign up for knitting lessons, too. I don't quite know how that happened but I figured, "Oh well, it will get me out of the house."

So I signed up.

I'd heard that knitting was relaxing. It was the new Zen. My first lesson was so fraught with tension, I couldn't believe I'd paid money to be put through this torture. I'm in my thirties. Most of the things I do day in and day out I'd learned a long time ago. Walking, writing, talking, tying my shoes, drawing – All of these things are difficult, but I'd mastered them so long ago they were second nature. Casting on was not one of these ingrained skills. Neither was knitting. Forget about purling. Just holding the needles was foreign. You mean you don't hold knitting needles like a pencil? Huh? I felt so stupid, like I had no control over my now useless limbs. I felt like a baby. A really cranky baby. And as soon as I got home, I forgot everything I learned.

The next session was better. But not by much. My stitches were so tight I had to dig them out with brute force. Garter stitch was my enemy. How many stitches were there supposed to be? Did I drop one? Why did I pick out this day-glo orange yarn? Isn't knitting supposed to be relaxing?!?

But then I got the hang of it. The other woman in our class began to insinuate that I already knew how to knit. I must have learned as a child and just took this class to brush up. But that wasn't it. Something clicked inside me. The knitting began to flow.

And it's been flowing ever since.

I love to knit. I do it every day. I'm obsessed with it. I have yarn to last me a few years, yet I'm always buying more. I have a zillion knitting books. My husband thinks I have a serious problem. Hello. My name is Angela and I'm a stashaholic.

But why "The Angry Knitter"? Don't I knit to relax? No. I knit to knit. It's a compulsion. And I'm meticulous. Nearly every night my husband laughs as I mutter "SHIT!" when I discover a mistake five rows down and I start to rip the stitches. He's the one who christened me the Angry Knitter.

And so that's what this site is about. My obsession. Knitting.

posted at 9:02 PM . link . . (7) comments

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By Blogger Unknown, at 2:13 PM  

I can't believe how fast you can churn out drawings. Very cute.


By Blogger ShawnGraham, at 7:54 PM  

I love this site. I'm a fan of your other site - spacegirl.org

I love your journal on here and the pictures of projects. Your lacey sweater is gorgeous.

I watched my grandmother knit as a child and attemped my own Barbie blankets a few times. I got suckered into knitting when my mom picked it back up a year ago after finding this amazing yarn store. who knew that yarn could be so pretty and in the coolest colors. I picked up some chunky purple yarn and knit my friend's mom a scarf. Then I started knitting these adorable and easy flower pins. I was addicted.

Have you tried beaded knitting? It's knitting with needles that are so small they look like sewing needles.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:01 PM  

I know what you mean. I never thought I would knit, but here I am, addicted to yarn and growing a stash so large we had to buy more furniture at Ikea to store it all. I haven't done any of that beading stuff. It sounds insane!

By Blogger Unknown, at 2:08 PM  

Mr. K laughs–sometimes–at me when I make a mistake five rows down and have to rip, but you know what? I KNOW it's there.

But, I have this nagging feeling that, with my luck, I'll run into the only knitter somewhere, who will notice and say "damn, she's lazy; I woulda'ripped it out and fixed that.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:48 AM  

I stumbled upon your blog while looking for some specific patterns about a year ago, and now I've done it again. It's funny because I am an angry knitter...It is not relaxing for me...it's more like you said, a complusive behavior like tapping my foot or bouncing my knee, except when I'm done I have something to wear, or give to someone else.

By Blogger Lindsey, at 11:44 AM  

love your site can not wait to read more I to have to knit

By Anonymous rosemary, at 2:35 PM  

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