Gnarly knuckle finger yoga

Knitting trend has finally made it to Off The Couch.

Knitting trend has finally made it to Off The Couch.

Published Feb 18, 2024


Durban — Once it was a snuggly refuge for an on-the-run, blind-in-one-eye pet brown house snake called Curly.

Luckily, he didn’t have to wait to be “found” and was nabbed nestled in there a couple of days after we realised he had escaped.

He could’ve been trapped in that knitting bag for 14 years. That’s how long my one and only foray into knitting lasted. Thankfully, he didn’t poop in it. Snake poop is slimy, big and smelly.

The knitting project wasn’t complicated; no cable stitch or fancy colour patterns, just two extremely long plain and purl rectangles of bright yellow which were to be sewn halfway for the back and the two loose bits draped over shoulders, wide enough to drop down the arms to form a shawl/jersey. I loved the original on display in a fancy shop window, accompanied by a very hefty, ridiculous price tag. “I can make that. How hard can it be?” Never, ever, ask that.

There was much familial ribbing and celebration when the last stitch was done more than a decade after the first one was cast on. And, while it had an obvious home-made look to it, it was warmly praised. I don’t recall ever wearing it – my very slim, always-freezing-cold sister, Jan, was the happy beneficiary of a wrap that engulfed her.

When the knitting trend went global, I was immune. I’m sort of the anti-trend: if something is in fashion and everyone is doing/ wearing it, someone out there is manipulating consumer demand and reaping the benefits. Never mind that many times, I look like the halfwit who has “followed” a trend 10 years after the fuss faded and I’m the loser late-blossomer.

Like a television. For decades, I never owned one. Then, when I did, it was for other members of the family – I was in the bedroom or “sun” room, smugly reading books. Now, unless I have a 10-million-candle-power light illuminating a page, reading is a bit of a challenge. The light is there, but if it’s on, none of the dogs will sit next to me because they don’t really do solar storms.

The TV is where it’s at on the couch. Watching 20-year-old movies and series that I missed when they were all the rage and now no one wants to talk about this movie I “found”. But what to do with the hands? They used to build and paint, clean and create and make. Now they twiddle and get bored and frustrated.

I have bought some needles and loads of wool (okay, yarn – who can afford “wool”?) in all the sea-shades of blue I could find. The aim is to make more long, rectangular plain and purl strips that may one day be sewn together to make an ocean coloured throw. For the bed or couch or something.

Of course, there’s the need to overcome dodgy eyes and gnarly hands. It’s yoga for the fingers. Not sure if that’s a thing but I did see another “life tip list” for making long days behind a desk healthier by doing toe yoga. Don’t know what it said because the eye-roll that happened resulted in black space and pulled muscles. But the headline stuck and that’s how I’m selling it.

Now I’ve just got to live long enough to finish it – 14 years is a long time and this is more than two panels – and make sure a venomous unfriendly “Curly” doesn’t decide to make it home.

Independent on Saturday