Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Knitting for Brains

This weekend, while getting over a horrible head cold, I watched a lot of BBC mysteries. (I am seriously contemplating moving to England just for the BBC channels.) Since Poirot and Holmes weren't available through the InstaWatch feature on Netflix, I decided to try some Miss Marple episodes. For some reason I am not a fan of the female detective genre, so I really wasn't expecting much. I think I read too many Nancy Drew mysteries when I was a kid and my annoyance with her spread to the whole world of female detectives. My issues with Nancy? 1) The girl was NEVER in school. I wished for the amount of holidays she had. 2) Her boyfriend Ned was NEVER around. You would think Bess and George wouldn't have been her only means of social support when she was nearly killed by some crazy criminal. Anyway, I heard that Miss Marple knit and thought I would give her a try.

I have to admit that I enjoyed the Miss Marple mysteries I watched. She is quite feisty and I could see her and Poirot getting into some interesting debates about a crime. I also liked the fact that she seems to be a slow knitter like me! She had the same piece of knitting throughout each episode and didn't appear to make much headway. Okay, maybe the actress can't really knit, but I like to think I have something in common with a brilliant detective mind.

So why am I talking about Miss Marple? In one of the episodes I watched (A Caribbean Mystery, or something like that), one of the characters keeps making derogatory references to Miss Marple and her knitting. At one point he says he can't believe she came up with such a brilliant idea since he thought she had "knitting for brains." This comment "knitting for brains" struck a cord with me. Would knitting for brains always be a bad thing?

Lace: I wouldn't want knitted lace or lace knitting for my brains. Holes, generally, are a bad things in the neocortex. I want all the brain cells I can get.

Stockinette: I would have to veto this too. Stockinette curls and I need a straight laced brain for school.

Cabled: I think I might lose some of the valuable information in my brain if all the information had to travel down curvy roads all the time.

Entrelac: All the information would need to fit into tiny squares or else organization would be a disaster. This doesn't seem like a good idea, since I am a big picture type of girl.

Good ole' Garter Stitch: If our brains were spread out they would be huge, so to fit in our tiny skulls, they are folded up and smooshed in. In a way, the folds are just like garter stitch ridges and valleys. If someone told me that my brains were like garter stitch, I think I would smile and say okay, because I knew they weren't too far off from the truth.

Ribbed Stitch: With ribbing, you can get even more yarn (a.k.a. brain cells) into a small place. If I wanted to be completely inaccurate (and I do since it is 2AM), I would say if regular people have garter stitch for brains, Einstein and his genius pals have ribbing for brains: far more brain cells in the same amount of space.

So next time someone tells you that you have knitting for brains either 1) smile and take the compliment graciously because you know that they were referring to ribbing or 2) smile and very innocently ask them what type of knitting they are referring to. ;)


  1. Anonymous7:53 AM

    I just happened across your blog this morning, and your knitting-as-brains taxonomy made me chuckle. Very clever!

  2. Anonymous11:25 AM

    Made me smile too, thank you