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What to do when a knitter can't knit

What to do when a knitter can't knit

When I was a teenager, one of my favorite Kurt Vonnegut quotes was, “peculiar traveling suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”

Now that I am older, another one of my favorite quotes is from Robert Burns: “The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley,”  which is how the Scots say “stuff happens.” Only they don't mean “stuff.”

All of this is to say last month, I tripped over a curb and turned a visit to YarnCon into a visit to a Chicago emergency room - the most peculiar traveling suggestion I could have imagined that day. Surgery is scheduled on my broken finger and needless to say, I really can't knit. I tried.


If there was ever a time a girl needed an emotional support chicken that would be now. Luckily I knit one already. It's good to be prepared. (Life is uncertain; make yours today.)

So what does a fiber arts fanatic do when life circumstances prevent her from taking up needles and yarn to relax? Well, I'll tell you.

First, a big temporary cast on my right hand doesn't stop me from reading. I'm diving into my stack of unread books, which includes some great knitting books. I've long been a fan of Elizabeth Zimmerman, and re-reading her old books, with her distinctive, humorous voice, is definitely giving me a lift. I have a pad of sticky notes so I can flag the interesting patterns I’m finding, too.

I'm also daydreaming and scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram and Ravelry. Just because I can't knit right now doesn't mean I can't think about what I'm going to cast on when I can knit again in a few weeks. I've been saving some yarn to make a striped cardigan. It's going to be royal blue with cheerful, colorful stripes and so I turned to this book in order to get some ideas.

Another thing that I can do one-handed is sort through my stash. I'm taking a little time to look at some of the yarn I've bought over the past few months and match it up with patterns I like. My computer has voice dictation enabled, and so I can make notes and put ideas in Ravelry. Some skeins are destined for String Theory’s stash sale, which is coming up later in May.

None of this is ideal, of course, and I really miss the feel of yarn moving through my fingers. I was making some great progress on some unfinished projects, and my dreams of a cicada stuffie to honor this year's great emergence in the Midwest are going to have to wait. 

Maybe the first thing I should knit once the doctor clears me to take up yarn and needles again is this little guy , just to remind me of how even the best-laid plans can go awry with a mistimed step. 

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