Knitting as physiotherapy might bring more pain than it cures.
| KNIT AND RUN
Winner of Writer's Cramp for 2021/07/01 "Winner and New prompt - Due Sat. July 3rd"
After my accident, my physiotherapist suggested it would aid my recovery and manual dexterity if I were to learn how to knit.
"Knit. An activity that involves long needles and yarn, which you manipulate with your fingers. It will help with the stiffness, increase your range of motion. Keep doing your exercises, but add knitting to the mix."
So I went to the library. "I'd like a book about how to knit, please," I told the cute young librarian.
She gave me a strange look, pointed at a shelf, said, "Over there," and fled before I could explain. What, guys can't knit?
I studied the shelf. Holy knitting needles! There must have been a hundred books there. Most of them titled, appropriately, "How to knit." I picked six that looked to be aimed at beginners.
"You can only check out three books at a time," said the librarian, with a withering look. She no longer looked quite so cute. I left three of the books on the counter and pushed the rest towards her.
"Your library card has expired. Please go to the membership desk over there. LEAVE THE BOOKS HERE!" What, she thought I was stealing them? Not cute.
After waiting behind five other people, and paying $15, I had my renewed card. I went back to the desk where I had left my books. There was a new girl behind the desk. "May I check out my books on knitting, please?"
"I had left some books here while I renewed my library card."
"Oh, they must have been taken to put back in the stacks." Right, and I could guess who took them.
So I went back to the stacks. My books weren't there. Nor were the other three I had chosen. Oh, well. I picked three more, checked them out, and walked home.
The first book I opened explained exactly what I needed to get started: knitting needles of various gauges (thicknesses), yarn of various colors and thicknesses, sharp scissors (the ones in the book looked like a bird), and a tapestry needle, whatever that was. I skimmed the rest of the book. Sheesh, knitting looked complicated.
Anyway, I figured it was too late to start that night, and my hands were sore, so I took my meds, did my hand exercises while I watched some TV, and hit the sack.
When I got up the next morning, I looked all over for my books, and couldn't find them. I texted Todd, my roomie, who had an early shift and had already headed off for work.
"Dude, did you take my knitting books?"
He says, "Dude, YOUR knitting books? REALLY??? I though Marnie must have left them, so I dropped them off at her place on my way."
Well, phoo. Marnie is Todd's girlfriend. Probably she'd take them back to the library. I wasn't looking forward to more ribbing from Todd, and turned off my phone.
After work, I stopped at the library for three more knitting books. There was a nice old lady librarian (the young, cute one still looked at me funny) who warned me that there was a limit of ten books at a time and I was over half my limit. She was kind enough to send me to a craft store where I bought a beginners knitting set (needles, scissors, funny-looking prong thing) and some pretty yarn recommended by the clerk. I came home, got everything set up, then went out to grab a burger 'n' brew.
Okay, more than one brew. I delayed going back to the apartment to give Todd time to head out with Marnie. I mean, who needs that crap from a roomie, right?
Anyway, I sort of staggered home and since it was a nice night decided to start my knitting hobby out on the apartment balcony. I set all my stuff on the little table, along with another cold beer. I undid my belt and pants, which felt tight after supper, and settled down to work.
My first lesson was Casting On. Okay, I had 10 loops on the needle and was ready for Knit (Purl, it seems, is more advanced). I I had just put on my very first Knit stitch when the wind blew the yarn off my lap, across the table, and over the rail.
I leapt up in alarm, nearly emasculated myself with a knitting needle, and sprayed cold beer all over. I hobbled over to the rail and watched the ball of yarn diminish as it dangled ten stories down. It snagged on a passing bus and pulled at the needles. One ripped out of my hands and left a nasty gash. The needle that had somehow found its way down my pants almost finished its job on the way out. I grabbed frantically at my groin with one hand and at the rail with the other to keep from following the whole mess into the air and onto the street below.
That was the end of knitting for manual dexterity. I was out thirty bucks for the knitting set and yarn. And when I took my books back to the library, I learned that Marnie's books were still out. "I didn't know whose they were, so I threw them out," she texted in reply to my query. Right, another $96 in fines for lost books. Who knew knitting books were so expensive?
On the plus side, it turned out that the cute librarian had decided knitting was "a wonderful example of a guy getting in touch with his gentler side". I took her to the pub, which gave me a chance to play for sympathy about the accident and my physiotherapy, and to explain my stab (it still hurt!) at knitting.
"It is not that I ran out of yarn," I told her earnestly, "I just ran out of ideas of what to make for myself."