Grits and Purls

Spinning yarns about the grit of life

I had my first knitting nightmare Wednesday night. Since picking up my yarn addiction four months ago, knitting has found its way into almost every facet of my life: my writing (my blog now has a dedicated knitting page.); my closets (my yarn stash grows daily); and my bookshelves (what bibliophile could resist the beautifully illustrated collections of completed sweaters photographed against idyllic countryside backdrops?). My internet browser bookmarks are filled with pages about knitting: knitting blogs like Yarn Harlot and Keyboard Biologist, knitting communities like; charity knitting sites; and free pattern pages. So I suppose it is inevitable that knitting has invaded my nighttime slumbers as well.

When I mentioned my knitting nightmare, one of my colleagues, who is herself a knitter and hails from Scotland where knitting is in the blood and the head, immediately guessed the theme of my nightmare.

“Did you have a ripping out dream?” she asked

I was astounded. For indeed, I had a ripping out nightmare. In my nightmare, I was sitting in the asphalt parking lot of a drive-in diner with two friends, one of whom had a shiny black VW bug. I had a piece of fabric knit from variegated purple yarn that measured 8 feet by 3 feet. (Now why I would knit a variegated-purple, 8-foot wide piece of fabric beats me.) For some reason, that I also did not know, I was going to have to frog (rip) the project, and the thought of the ripping and the winding of all of that yarn into a great big ball made my arms and hands ache. When I awoke, my arms and hands did ache. I got out of bed and took some ibuprofen.

In discussing things further with other knitters, I discovered that there are a common set of knitting nightmares. The same colleague who asked if I had a ripping out nightmare also mentioned being chased by giant knitting needles. Now that could be a scary dream. Chased by double-pointed needles into the waiting trap of circular needles? Scary.

Another knitting friend said that she has never had a knitting nightmare, but if she did, it would be one in which she would slip the needle into the waiting stitch, wrap the yarn around, pull the needle out, and…no stitch. No progress. Over and over. Those are the kinds of dreams she has.

Another standard knitting nightmare that comes to mind is the hopelessly-tangled-up in-yarn nightmare. I can imagine a scenario where the yarn comes alive with a vengeance and refuses to stay on the needle and instead winds itself around me and my chair, leaving me hopelessly tangled up.

Apparently, there is something to the yarn-with-a-vengeance theory, at least from the feline point of view. Reading a discussion thread on, I discovered that cat companions of many knitters fiercely protect them from dangerous yarn by chasing the yarn from baskets, bravely searching dark closets for any balls of yarn lurking in the corners and even attacking yarn that is sitting in their owners laps, if it is looking particularly dangerous.

At any rate, it looks like that my knitting addiction is thoroughly established now. Now I just need a cat to protect my family from all this dangerous yarn I’ve stashed around the house.

© 2010 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “Knitting Up A Nightmare

  1. Aunt Liz says:

    A Scottish co-worker, it is amazing what stands out in my mind when I read……

    Saffron is waiting on her new jacket and hat from Aunt Michele. A Scottish plaid woud be nice…McCormick tartan colors please.

    Just think of all the wonderful pictures I could take with Sassy in her new jacket and matching hat.

    1. Michele Arduengo says:

      But, Aunt Liz, weren’t the McCormicks Irish? At least in Mom’s mind?

      Knitting in the McCormick tartan…I’ll have to figure out how that is done.


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