Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Knitting, Crochet and Lefties.*

Sewing, knitting, eating and sleeping are very important activities in my life. Knitting, or clicking with sticks as it's known in other circles, is particularly vital for me. It's a nice, repetitive activity, kind of like pacing. My older brother used to walk back and forth, forth and back in the family room of my old house on Washington Street. Knitting fills that need for me. Instead of nervously ambling, I'm exercising my finger joints. Down one row, back again on top, and then down that row again, I add another monotonous row of stitching. Suddenly, I have something to show for all my anxiety. I have the makings of a sweater (one that may or may not fit). It's an amazing thing. Instead of worrying for nothing and having emptiness to show for it, I actually have something tangible. Not only is it real, it's soft, much more so than my latest nephew's hair, cushier than my living-room couch. Then I want to snuggle up with this thing I made in a period of stress.

Sewing isn't quite as soothing as knitting. It lacks that repetition of stitch after stitch in knitting, although you do that on a sewing machine. Now that I've knitted much, I can see the appeal of saying the Rosary over and over, again and again. Fifty Hail Marys (all 5 decades of the Rosary) can swiftly put you to sleep. And if you fall asleep, you can probably continue to count those prayers in your dreams instead of sheep. Although I think it's a little more boring to tabulate prayers than fluffy animals, but that's just me. Crocheting is right up there with the Rosary and knitting. It's got the repetition thing going. Like the aforementioned heavenly petitions, you can crochet with one hand. Knitting, on the other hand, requires two paws. Woe to the person who wants to knit but can't because he or she only has one hand. I feel sorry for that human being. You can't make thick, shapely sweaters and are doomed to to the Rosary and lacy, airy, shapeless pieces of crocheted apparel that necessitates some underwear underneath. I'm glad that I have two hands so I can have the option of to knit and/or crochet, and to say the Rosary when I feel like it. At least I know what to do if, heaven forbid, I lose one hand. But if I'm going to lose one hand, I'd prefer it to be the left one, because I'm learning how to knit and crochet with my right hand.

Who was it that said it's good to be ambidextrous? I don't know who, but it's just practical - never know when you're going to lose a hand. So I want to be prepared. That said, I haven't started writing with my right hand, and I should because my left hand is getting tired of writing, and I haven't even hypnotized it yet. What's more, it's a little before lunch time and it's too soon for a nap and my southpaw knows that. Why is that hands don't listen to you when you talk to them? My hands have a mind of their own. Wait. That really is true. I forgot. I have a brain that powers my limbs. Truly amazing. I might not have mentioned this earlier, but I also eat with my left hand. Not good, especially if I get spaghetti all over it and I can't clean up right up away. I need to work on feeding myself with my right hand, though I do tend to cut cooked meats with that part of my body. That's a start, left? I wonder if I would think differently if I would do more with my right hand. Perhaps I'd become more mathematical, analytical. I'd see dollar signs everywhere I go. Step in a puddle, instead of fretting about my wet socks, I'd see greenbacks. Miss that bus? I'd be happier than a skylark because I'd "see" dollar bills. Maybe I'd eat a new set of foods if I ate exclusively with my right hand. I'd reach for more fruits and vegetables instead of sandwiches (carbs) and gnocchi (more carbohydrates). My right hand would spontaneously search for Granny Smith apples, Bosc pears and ruby-red tomatoes and stuff them all in my mouth (not at the same time or I might choke. I can't have that while I'm retraining the brain cells.) That said, I do tend to drink a cold brewski with my right paw now that I ponder this topic. I wonder why. It might be that my right hand likes the feel of an icy glass. Maybe if the southpaw would quench my third, I'd stay away from Guinness. I'll have to try this out next time I'm in a bar. I'd tie a piece around my wrist to remind myself of this experiment.

I just looked up all the synonyms for the left hand. None of them are good. A left-hand compliment is back-handed. Left is also ambigious, equivocal, double-edged, dubious, ironic, sardonic, insincere and hypocritical. Gosh, aren't there any good things about being a leftie? I'm worried. Left-hand itself is sinistral. Does that make you think of sinister? In boating, left is port or larboard. The antonym? Right, starboard. Remind not to board a canoe anytime soon. I don't want my southpaw tendencies to work against me.

Are any of you left-handed?

* The crochet skirt above? I made it. It's the Violet Beauregard from Stitch N'Bitch Crochet: the Happy Hooker. I'd show you my legs but I need to put some a fake tanner. I also need a pedicure. Badly.

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