Wednesday, November 16, 2011

stuff I can't do

Lately, I've been especially wishing I had the ability to sew, or knit, or do something crafty with my hands. This is for a couple of reasons, besides the obvious awesomeness of being able to make clothes, gifts, and other cute and useful items by myself.

One reason is that it would let me get out of my head a little bit. I spend around 10 hours a day inundated with text, and virtually all my interests and abilities are somehow cerebral. It would be so nice to use a different part of my brain for once!

Another is more mundane: if I carried knitting projects with me everywhere, it would help smooth over many an awkward social encounter. Imagine being able to focus on knitting something, instead of worrying about where to focus my eyes or what to do with my hands during a casual conversation! It sounds liberating.

However, I am  not too hopeful about a sudden gift for needlework manifesting itself. I'm not sure if it's the fine motor skills or my poor spatial reasoning ability, but every attempt to learn sewing has proven a tangled failure. If you hand me a needle and thread, I immediately become clumsy and bewildered. No matter how carefully I watch what's demonstrated, I can't seem to replicate the steps myself. Until eleventh grade physics, my worst grades in school were in classes requiring me to make stuff out of fabric or wood. If I were a frontier woman or Amish, how would I survive?

So, I am definitely NOT making an appeal to family and friends who possess this enviable talent to attempt to teach me. I'd much rather save us both the agony.

In the meantime, maybe I'll discover some pleasantly non-intellectual hobby soon. As much as I'd love to think I could excel at something besides words, it doesn't have to be something I'm remarkably good at. Just something I could enjoy. If you have any ideas, let me know. I will probably be reading.


  1. This is one of my favorite posts :) It's fun to hear your humor. You could make greeting cards. . . it's just cutting and gluing :)

  2. When I was stressed out studying in college I used to go to the dollar store and buy a coloring book and crayons and take half an hour to color. It was mindless, and wonderfully relaxing.

  3. I'm with you! I love having something of my own going on during social awkwardness. I usually choose reading, but you can't exactly read and talk. Knitting has proved helpful several times, but I hate when people ask me what I'm making... "Oh just a toy. I just started knitting about 2 seconds ago. Don't look at it because I made lots of mistakes." Of course I don't say this out loud. :)

    I remember my clock- 7th grade was it? You can't exactly call those shop teachers the best instructors on Earth...

  4. I know you said you weren't hinting, but if you want me to show you a few basics about knitting when you visit I am a patient teacher and I have a lot of spare yarn and needles. :) I have found that bringing my knitting places has served as a liberating thing and even a good conversation starter.

  5. Quickpoint is pretty much idiot proof, and crossstich is not much harder. That could be a place to start. I've always been fairly hopeless at knitting also. It will go okay for a while, and then I get it all tangled up and become frustrated and give up....!