Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hobbies and Mental Illness

There is a very fine line between
hobby and mental illness.
-Dave Barry

I realized I'm crossing that fine line between hobby and mental illness when I disembarked from that cruise ship. I took three bags aboard, after all: one for clothes, one for hair, makeup and toiletries, the other for books, magazines, and knitting/quilting projects. Seriously. One-third of my "embarkation" stuff was brightly-colored yarn and fabric.

It gets worse. My friends and I were on our way to the deck late one afternoon, so I had this cool brown sequined cord I'm crocheting into a belt. Anyway, we got sidetracked by a guy from the Czech Republic who was making pina coladas faster than folks could drink them. One by one, we plunked down on bar stools, and as we talked I began fiddling with my yarn. Before I knew it, I'm sitting in the Atrium of a cruise ship drinking a Dirty Monkey and crocheting. The saddest part of this story is I didn't think a thing about it until this handsome guy found the bar stool to my right, sat down, and started up a conversation. "What are you doing there?" he asked after a minute or two of introductory conversation. "Crocheting like a grandma," I deadpanned, without even looking up.

He invited me to the Dance Under the Stars later that night and said I could even bring my "string and hook thing". I knew, right then, that this 'crafty addiction' is slipping into the mental illness stages.

But look what other cute things I've found! I bought this book, Knitted Toys, at my favorite local yarn shop. It has dozens of the most adorable, squishy knitted animals I've ever seen. The patterns are fairly straightforward, too. Like the one for this butterfly...

... and these Goldilocks and the Three Bears finger puppets....

I think, as I prepare for my Big Adventure, I'm going to tuck in enough yarn to complete a menagerie of these animals while I'm gone. I can just see me now, clamoring my way back into Freeman House next spring dragging a trail of yarn elephants and monkeys behind me....

Oh well. Since I don't have children, I'm pawning these plush lovelies off on our church's new nursery. A girl could have worse hobbies (illnesses?), right?

(Quick by the way: I left the story unfinished, didn't I? The guy, my friends insist, was married, but I can't say for sure as he either had his arms crossed, hands in his pocket, or a bare ring finger every time I saw him. Hmm. Perhaps he was a sad, cruising widower looking for a brown-haired, watery-eyed, crocheting friend. :) Good thing I turned him down for the dance. Oh, and knitting is in the air today, apparently. See Alicia's post for today.)

11 comments:

betty r said...

Hey the guy looked past the "hook and string thing" to a beautiful you!
Love the finger puppets, my son used to get those all the time when he went to the lab for bloodwork..it was a great distraction! Nice of you to donate that to the nursery at church..those little kiddies will love them!
If what you have "what's going on with all that yarn and making pretty things" is a mental illness then we all need a little more of it. Amen?

Terri and Bob said...

I am really impressed with this guy! Oh, and your great hobby, too. I think the nursery is one lucky place. I think that being creative is a great outlet, so I will bet you are less crazy than the rest of us!

JMount said...

It is not an illness, it is relaxation. However, when you knit as tightly as me, it could be an illness especially when asked if the needle was a 4 instead of a 8. My first project was an Icelandic sweater, I now live in Tucson. Your work looks nice, keep it up and I will pass the ideas on to my daughter.

KJ said...

"Seriously. One-third of my "embarkation" stuff was brightly-colored yarn and fabric."

LOL! I do this, too, and then find I barely look at my to-do bag. Alas, I discover that I needed a break from EVERYTHING!

KJ

Sue said...

Spring!! Oh no!! I'm going through withdrawals aleady!!! I do believe hobbies are what keep us from metal illness, being creative is a outlet for the soul, and hey, if it makes us crazy, I'm there! lol I love the knitted toys, just wish I knew how to knit!! The church nursery will love them, so cute!!

Anonymous said...

those are adorable, 'specially the snake. did you do the snake? my mother-in-law is in a crazy knitting group. it's a great outlet apparently. i love your stuff. auntie m

Tales from Goshen said...

I love stumbling onto blogs and finding kindred spirits! I just had time to sample a smidgen of your blog, but I love what you've done with the place! I think you and I would be great friends. Check out my blog if you have half a sec. And keep up the good work!

Robyn said...

Did my comment post? Hmmm...if not I loved the chuckle I had once I read your post!

Jen@The Cottage Nest said...

Okay, clearly you do have a problem. But I can totally relate. Thanks for the recommendation on that book. It just went on my ever-growing wish list.

jimr75 said...

Oh well. At least you'll have a funny farm's worth of little crocheted animal friends when they come to take you away!

Excellent quote with which to lead. Dave Barry has been a favorite of mine for years. My favorite quote: "We, in the newspaper industry, are just like any other industry, except that we hire English majors."

Deb said...

Hi Brin
What a cute book! I especially love the little elephant. My husband collects elephants & I am thinking that would be really cute to knit for xmas and have peeking out of his xmas stocking :-}
Thanks so much for the Holiday House Keeper Pattern. I made a couple last night - the pattern is wonderful!
Hope you have a great weekend.