10th February 2014

I swapped Facebook for knitting and won’t ever look back!

Arts Editor Abbie Roberts on the addictive procrastination alternative to social networking and its hidden associations with crime.

So the exam season’s finally over and with it ended the obsessive compulsive procrastination that grips each and every one of us– the endless refreshing of newsfeeds, the sudden onset of urges to go on a jog and hoover our room– “The oven’s dirty!”, “The pencils aren’t sharpened!”, “The cereals aren’t in alphabetical order!” For most of us, by the end of exam week, our accommodation has never been so clean, our shelves never so organised and our Facebook friends never so thoroughly stalked. But this year I took procrastination to a whole new level – more extreme than cracking open a brand spanking new box set with the familiar “just one more episode” resounding in my ear – instead, I learnt to knit and “just one more row” haunts my pre-results-day dreams. Instead of walking out of my final exam feeling purposeless because there were no more seasons of Breaking Bad to curl up with, I was twitching to get to town and into Poundland (yes, Poundland!) to further fuel my knitting addiction.

Now don’t be fooled by the innocent reputation knitting has – once you get the hang of basic knit1-purl1 and you’re producing endless reams of woollen delights, you start to see the world in a completely different way. Before you know it, everything you see can be improved with a bit of wool. This starts off fairly harmlessly – that jacket of yours never did have enough pockets – but then it changes, you change – that man’s head really is bulbous, why not quickly fashion him a nice beret right there in the queue to the self-checkout?  But there’s no stopping you then. It gets darker. Knitting is a gateway drug to crime itself – that park bench really could be spruced up a bit, oh and that pothole does need covering over, knit1-purl1-knit1-purl1.It’s not vandalism you’ll tell yourself, it’s art. But deep down you’ll know it’s wrong, but it’s done now and the only way to remove your knitted work from the handlebars of that stranger’s parked bike is to cut it off and you know that to apply scissors through your own knitting is the greatest pain you could possibly inflict upon yourself. But it’s ok, you checked for CCTV beforehand, just walk casually away.

Of course I wouldn’t want to put you off, knitting is a wonderfully relaxing hobby and not everyone goes into such a frenzy – you could just become one of those ‘home-made gifts’ people. Everyone loves homemade gifts or at least everyone says that when really they’d rather have a professionally made hole-less scarf that they’re not obliged to wear every time they see you, but it’s very easy to ignore that little fact. After all, you put a lot of time into it and it’s the thought that counts.

To conclude, knitting instead of going on Facebook does seem like a more productive alternative to the inevitable procrastination of January exams, but that argument probably won’t hold up in court.

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