This week I had a strange affliction hit one of my most used knitting fingers. I'll spare you the gory details and photos, but it was basically an infected hangnail or other kind of cut that swelled up quickly and hurt so badly it kept me up all night. I had to go to the doctor for her to lance it (gross) and she put me on antibiotics to make sure it didn't spread. For such a small thing, it hurt like the devil and still isn't happy. (Sidenote: I said that to my son and he said only old people say that. Whatever, it's my grandma's phrase I'm keeping alive. It's an accurate description!)
The sad part is, it's my right middle finger which happens to be the finger where I hold and wrap my working yarn. I'm a thrower and this is my throwing finger. Perhaps the sadder part is, I'm just inches away from finishing a sweater I started in November. Sleeve inches! Just a few good hours to go. But, alas, I can't knit for very long and when I do I'm afraid my gauge is off because I'm favoring that finger.
I realized I felt kind of out of sorts without my evening stitching time so, I spent the time looking at Ravelry for the next pattern and my queue got re-shuffled a few times. I may spend my knitting time tonight weaving in all these ends to get me closer to finishing. It's all part of the end game, right?
In preparation for another post, I stumbled on this article: The Dark Side of Knitting. (Play ominous music here.) The author uses a few anecdotes from bloggers and light psychology research to say maybe you can be addicted to knitting. Because knitting releases calming chemicals in the brain like serotonin and dopamine, perhaps you can feel a need to release those chemicals. Many addiction recovery centers use knitting to help people get over another addiction, so those people may be simply replacing one addiction for another (although knitting is certainly less harmful than a drug addiction).
But, it does have me wondering. When does it become too much? I told Staci in a previous podcast episode the desire to start a new project is almost physical. Of all the addictions in the world, it seems the most innocuous, but it does make me thinking it could cross the line to a compulsive behavior. We all hear stories or maybe have done it ourselves - to start and not finish, to buy so much yarn you have to rent a storage locker, to hide yarn purchases from a spouse or other family member, or to stay up until the wee hours of the night to finish something? When does it move from hobby to problem? Is it when you're dreaming about knitting or thinking about knitting when someone is talking to you instead of what they are talking about? (Guilty.)
I don't think I'm at addict levels yet. I'll be fine while my finger heals and I'm not buying any more yarn to add to my stash for a while.... today.