"Why knit? Shouldn't you be reading or grading or something?"
Well, it's true the pile of books on my desk threatens to rival the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in height and precariousness, and my professors and students don't expect me to offer presentations on lace instead of the Russian Revolution, but knitting is an important activity in the life of this young aspiring historian. Perhaps I can make my position clearer by describing the siren call of knitting.
Reasons I knit instead of reading:
- I can create beautiful things with my hands.
- It can be as challenging or as simple as I choose.
- Knitting gives me a sense of visible progress and accomplishment. (Something difficult to find at this point in my academic life.)
- Yarn is pretty.
- Social knitting offers both playful and intelligent conversation, and it furnishes opportunities for meeting lovely people who don't judge me for knitting instead of preparing for my upcoming qualifying exams.
- Historiographical essays don't keep my neck warm, and my loved ones never ask for book reviews as birthday gifts.
- It offers a different kind of puzzle.
"And," you may ask, "why are you—knotty historian that you are—writing a blog about knitting? If you have time to write shouldn't you work on your research?"
Your point, dear interlocutor, is well taken. I am often behind on my written academic work, and my dissertation proposal will probably have a larger impact on my future than a blog about knitting. Also, on the other hand, I am not a fabulously experienced or productive knitter. I am not an expert in knitting techniques or design. No, I am simply a dedicated amateur.
Yet, I am determined to create this blog. Reading knitting blogs is my secret (not so secret any more) addiction, and now I feel a strange compulsion create my own. This compulsion has driven me to forsake my studies, borrow a digital camera, and write this apology in order to make my position clearer for others. One cannot study all of the time. Blogging about my knitting adventures (and misadventures) will give me opportunities to exercise my creativity, play with low-stakes writing, assume a place in the online knitting community, and, on top of it all, it will furnish additional motivation to knit more! (and more... and more...)
Thus, I lift my head and sing out: I am a knitter! History can wait!