Secret Mojo Dumbs It Down for You

July 25, 2006

Knit fu: a sock-wearer’s perspective

Filed under: Blogroll,Knitting,Random Thoughts,Uncategorized — secretmojo @ 12:23 pm

I don’t knit. I have knitted, but only enough to discover how much I didn’t like doing it. I won’t knit in the future, and probably won’t wear any knitted clothes by choice.

But that doesn’t stop me from digging knitting culture. It’s punky. Filled with smart, iconoclast chicks (yes, mostly chicks) knitting everything from book covers to penis covers, the knitting culture—at least the part of it I like—sticks it to the man who dares call them “frumpy”, with fingers ablaze and, well, sometimes a potty mouth.

The first thing to understand is that everything can be knitted. Sort of like everything can be turned into a bong. I’ve been told tales of bikinis, iPod cases, steering wheel covers, mouse covers, floor mats, washrags—just about that anything can can be covered, held, worn, displayed, or played with is a knitting candidate. And these chicks can do it without a pattern, at will, while chatting on the phone, drinking at the bar, or I presume driving a motor vehicle. Give them a couple skeins, two pointed objects, and lock them in a room with a boring movie playing, and you can come back in about a half hour to claim your brand new backpack with matching socks.

About the only thing that cannot be knitted is machinery. If this were true, we’d have colonized space by now, and have been cozy warm whilst doing it.

The second thing to understand is you don’t tease a knitter about knitting. I don’t make fun of your children, do I? Nor do I giggle about how silly your God is. You don’t pull the mask off of the ’ol Lone Ranger (which can be knitted, by the way), and you don’t tease a knitter. Especially when they are knitting, which is particularly dangerous because they may take time out to “talk with their needles” if you get my drift. They’re serious. They can crack jokes about knitting, and even knit gag items for the hell of it. But you aren’t in the club, buddy, so don’t be saying shit like “hey, could you knit me a surfboard? Ha ha!” because two weeks later, they’ll have that knitted surfboard, and shove it, painfully, up your butt.

Third, unless you’re extremely interested, avoid talking about knitting. Knitting is a social device to begin with, a way to showcase impressive needle fu while bitching about politics, talking music, or bragging about your pets. So it’s very easy, unlike it is with, say, programmers, to find a knitter who can talk something other than knitting. But if you do dare to go into those waters, be prepared for a lot of enthusiasm in response. And I mean a lot. For instance, only sissies use those needles with the connected wires to knit socks. The real way to do it is with many double-pointed needles, one floating, and make your way around the circle transferring from one needle to the other until it’s done. Otherwise, why knit? Why not just buy the damn sock? Oh and please, don’t brag about your crocheting skills to get on the good side (I’ve tried it). It’s an impressive skill, of course, but so is being a mime, and that ain’t knitting, either.

Fourth, knitting is hip. It may not be “cool,” but it certainly is hip. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you sit down with one of these knitters and watch their blurry needles do an Edward Scissorhands all over the place while a ball of worsted deteriorates before your eyes. All while comfortably relaxed, as if there weren’t an armageddon going on in their hands. Further, the knitted items today aren’t your granma’s scarves: they have style, especially the hats and the shawls, and despite my prediction in my first paragraph, are actually worth wearing.

Finally, it’s not about knitting at all. This one is the hardest one for me to grasp. I mean, if I talk to a comic book junkie, it’s about the comics. If I talk to an exercise freak, it’s about the pecs. But if I talk to an avid knitter, or read the blog of one, it could be about anything. Or maybe it’s about all the stuff you can knit for other people. It’s about spreading the word. Using it to do things you’ve been wanting to do. They’ll have a story behind nearly every knitted piece. They’ll remember everyone they ever knitted for. And, I’ve found, they can describe the first thing they ever knitted, including the type of yarn, size needle used, and who they gave it to.

So it’s about life, I guess, recording it in miles of yarn—if I wanted to get schmalzy about it. Life at the barrel of two pointed rods. They knit to live, rather than live to knit.

Okay, they actually do live to knit. I lied about that part.

[ if you’ve enjoyed this post, and are one of the aforementioned knitting- or chrocheting-obsessed, please consider whipping out a hat or two for chemo patients in New York. The drive ends October 31, 2006. (thanks, Kis*Knit!)]



  1. There I was, about to bring up my vast experience crocheting, as a guy, and you disposed of it neatly. But I still say those coils piling at the floor at one’s feet as a child, soon to become a wonderfully thoughtful rug gift for an aunt who smells like tobacco smoke is an authentic experience too.

    I notice you haven’t mentioned knitting machines. Friend of my mother’s was a mad knitter and had one. No idea how they work, but they look cool and serious.

    Wow… I admire your prolific blog. How do you get the time to write so much and so well? Great stuff!

    Comment by fencer — July 26, 2006 @ 7:56 am | Reply

  2. Right on.

    Comment by Anna — July 26, 2006 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

  3. Fencer, I’m not sure about the avid knitter’s opinion of knitting machines. You’d have to ask Anna, who I believe IS a knitting machine 🙂

    Comment by secretmojo — July 27, 2006 @ 2:29 am | Reply

  4. I’ve never had opportunity to play with a knitting machine, so can’t really comment. Aesthetically I’m all about hand work though, so am theoretically opposed to them.

    Of course, I was also theoretically opposed to food processors until someone gave me one….. 😉

    Comment by Anna — July 27, 2006 @ 10:37 am | Reply

  5. You nailed it … well done!


    Comment by firefly8868 — August 5, 2006 @ 6:24 pm | Reply

  6. Thanks for the call out at the end on our Made By Hand project. You Rock the Casbah!

    Comment by kisknit — August 14, 2006 @ 2:06 pm | Reply

  7. Happy to oblige, kisknit. This is by far my most popular post, beating out one with “Boob” in the title–figure that! I say: if ya got the muscles, put ’em to good use.

    Hmm. I wonder how hard it would be for a dweeb like me to knit a cap…

    Comment by secretmojo — August 15, 2006 @ 2:28 am | Reply

  8. Hi, I surfed here from another blog. I loved reading this post! I’m off to check out the hat drive.

    Comment by Cathy — August 15, 2006 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

  9. […] First, a quick thanks to Secret Mojo who put some word out for us on his hysterical (and sadly true) entry about knitters. That was a complete surprise and a wonderful thing to do. We all love Secret Mojo around here. Let’s have a moment for the love. […]

    Pingback by Made By Hand » Blog Archive » Trucking Right Along — August 15, 2006 @ 3:32 pm | Reply

  10. Thanks for the heads up on the hat project!

    Comment by Anna — August 15, 2006 @ 7:10 pm | Reply

  11. Anna and Cathy: Yay! The more, the better. I’m thrilled I’ve had some effect.

    Comment by secretmojo — August 16, 2006 @ 12:53 am | Reply

  12. […] Whilst surfing the blogosphere, I happened across this post on knitting. While I have never analyzed the reasons why I knit, or the interactions I have, this post explains it all. A lovely read. […]

    Pingback by Gypsy Coins & Peacock Feathers » Amen, Secret Mojo — August 16, 2006 @ 4:20 pm | Reply

  13. As a newcomer to the underworld of knitting – I found this post to be absolutely on the money! Even the non-knitting husband (who is probably gonna be waiting for a sweater for a small eternity and is happy with a scarf for now) enjoyed it 🙂

    Comment by Jen — October 25, 2006 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

  14. hello. it’s a nice day for your ideas and our money

    Trackback by swissreplica0 — January 15, 2007 @ 11:51 am | Reply

  15. […] SecretMojo Gets It. Filed under: Knitting — Anna @ 12:40 pm SecretMojo on Knitting. […]

    Pingback by SecretMojo Gets It. « Knit-Write — October 2, 2007 @ 11:51 am | Reply

  16. […] doing a little bit of “googling” this morning, and came across this.  Totally random, but it sure as hell is […]

    Pingback by Rosie Knits » Blog Archive » Hilarious! And Oh Too True! — February 11, 2008 @ 11:50 pm | Reply

  17. […] doing a little bit of “googling” this morning, and came across this. Totally random, but it sure as hell is […]

    Pingback by Hilarious! And Oh Too True! | Rosie Knits — May 1, 2008 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  18. ods 3500fl+ + +

    Comment by Larcik-ge — February 4, 2009 @ 10:44 am | Reply

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