Knitting. Obviously every knitter has their own personal “design” on how, when and where they do it – and what they knit. For me, knitting is usually a nocturnal affair, in my preferred chair within easy reach of Projects and accessories. Or in the car (yes Husband: Bring on those magical mystery tours!). On those rare occasions that I’m without Son, I’ll knit anywhere: The bus, cafes, waiting rooms…. Most venues are Katherine-knitting-compatible.
Now when I say “usually”, I mean that I knit almost every evening. That is my “usual”. My “unusual” is when I get to knit at other times of the day or in other places. And that would be in addition my “usual”. Does this sound like the actions of a well-balanced knitter? Or is it beginning to sound like an unhealthy obsession? Perhaps even an addiction?
According to the Fount of all Knowledge, otherwise known as Wikipedia, “Addiction can  be viewed as a continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it.” Negative consequences associated with knitting?!! Perhaps in the extreme, say if your children were going without sustenance in order to feed your stash but surely not in the hands of a well-balanced knitter? In my home, we all eat, thank you very much, and knitting, or at least the results of, has given pleasure to all of us. (Yes, “pleasure” is most definitely the adjective that Husband would use.)
There is such a thing as a “Behavioural addiction”, which – according to the same fount - “is a recurring compulsion condition whereby a person engages in a specific activity despite harmful consequences to the person's health, mental state, or social life”. Considering these charges in reverse order: Knitting impeding one’s social life? No. (Think of the knitting clubs, workshops, how the very process of knitting can encourage strangers to initiate conversation.) Mental state? Again - and barring the occasional frantic knit-fest to meet a looming deadline - I’m going to have to say "no". And to support this supposition, a recent issue of “The Knitter” (issue 30) discussed the benefits of knitting for those with depression and other mood-altering disorders. So that leaves the health of the knitter. Not very scientific, I know, but in my own personal experience (i.e. n = 1), other than perhaps a teeny, tiny bit of dehydration, I think that knitting could be said to be beneficial to my health. Knitting at the same time as eating? Not so good – the chocolate melts far too quickly in my fingers thus requiring repeated trips away from knitting to wash said fingers. Knitting and drinking? That’s slightly more do-able, assuming that the knitter has a safe place to leave their mug and isn’t adverse to cold tea or sparkle-less, room-temperature drinks. Alcohol, I’m out of practise, so for me it’s a complete “no-no” but I accept that for the more seasoned among us, one glass doesn’t automatically mean frogging in the sober light of day.
So, I think that it’s clear that my knitting isn’t an addiction – behavioural or otherwise. That said, I do look forward to my knitting time. I may even get a little grouchy if I don’t get to knit for one reason on another. (Yes, I know grouchy Katherine is hard to imagine but hey, restricted knitting time is a very good reason to get grouchy.) Defensive of my precious knitting time, you note. Over-sensitive of the time / money spent on yarn and yarn-related products, perhaps? Yeah, I’m definitely not addicted.