April 2, 2004

Experiment 47A

We always knew that knitting was addictive, but it would appear from experiments conducted by this harlot that it is contagious as well.

Hypothesis: That many people, even those who profess to be immune to the charms of knitting are indeed vulnerable to knitting and wool and can be converted to full-on knitting junkies given enough time and exposure to the process.

Subject: My friend Jacqui. Jacqui was the perfect subject as she has made statements in the not-so-distant past like:
-It's not that I hate knitting...I like yours. I've just got no interest in it.
-There is nothing wrong with knitting Steph...but I'm so not the type.

(This scientist will not allow herself to be distracted by the potential in this statement for an exploration of stereotyping and it's relationship to feminism and knitting. It is clearly a red herring designed to distract her from the experiment.)

Method: To expose the non-knitting subject to knitting in ever increasing dosages over the course of years, and document her reaction, if any.

Results: May 2002. Jacqui's son is born and I make the first exposure to knitting in the form of a knitted duckie blanket. Jacqui responds favourably by admiring the blanket but professing no urge to knit.
July 2002: Jacqui still shows no signs of knitting, however she displays some symptoms of increased knitting cognizance. She gives me a knitting book as a present, a very positive sign that she has early onset "pattern awareness".
December 2002: The subject enjoys and appreciates knitted Christmas gift. Expresses desire for more knitted objects. Laughs at suggestion that she "knit her own". Much work still to be done here.
May 2003: Jacqui receives baby sweater for her son's first birthday. Responds perceptibly by beginning to scour yarn sales and drop off knitting materials (patterns, needles and yarn) at my house. Fails to recognize value of "addi turbo" circular needles and instead of instinctively hoarding them for herself, drops them off at my house with a note reading "hope these are ok". I am beginning to loose hope.
November 2003: After a long period of failure, there is again progress. While the subject has still not voiced an urge to knit, she has absorbed the message that "knitted things are good" and is working to procure knitted objects as Christmas gifts for others. I can only hope that it is only a matter of time until she processes the next step.
January 2004: After Jacqui has failed to make any further knitting growth, I decide to re-evaluate this experiment. If only there were a way to increase the dosage and expose her to knitting, wool and fibre on a daily basis, I think we might have a breakthrough. I have tried calling her to discuss knitting each day, but she resists and wants to talk about other things. I have another idea, but it may be too extreme.
January 23 2004: I begin a blog. While it is an enormous commitment, I really feel that to reach Jacqui I must inundate her with knitting material. I plan to get her to read the blog by occasionally dropping her name into it...and applying guilt that she "doesn't care about my interests". This is a crucial time. If Jacqui realizes my motives now...all will be lost.
February 2004: Jacqui asks me to knit her clogs. I am perplexed that the blog is failing to convert her. It is at this point that Jacqui confesses that she is not actually reading the blog, but only "looking at the pictures". I apply more guilt, and make an attempt to increase the seductive quality of the blog pictures. I further increase the dosage by emailing her links to patterns that she would like.
March 18 2004: Jacqui emails me a link to a pattern that she likes. I resist the urge to be gleeful, but note the progress.
March 19 2004: I am having a perfectly ordinary conversation with Jacqui when she says, "You're not going to believe this...but I think I want to knit something". I am staggered. Finally, progress! Jacqui professes a desire to knit Wendy's cat bed. I say nothing, but give her the address to the yarn store. When I get off the phone, I dance a little bit.
March 20 2004. Jacqui calls me from the yarn store, she is having a good time. Conversion is almost complete. I try not to sound to eager. When she asks for a knitting lesson I put her off. At this point withholding the knitting should increase the desire.
March 24 2004: The subject is becoming obsessed with the urge to knit. She goes to the store and buys cheap needles and yarn and works out how to knit from the internet. She knits a striped scarf. The final phase is near.
March 29 2004: After allowing the urge to build for an appropriate period, I allow Jacqui to come to my home for a knitting lesson. I loan her DPNs and Addi turbos and teach her to knit in the round. Jacqui surprises me by showing a clear affinity for the wool. For one so new she is surprisingly good. I am so close to proving my hypothesis. Jacqui leaves with the cat bed pattern, needles and wool. I wait.
April 1 2004: Jacqui emails me this photo.


Conclusion: Given 23 months, a careful plan, access to the internet, a blog and commitment a knitter can be created from your ordinary friends. Jacqui is showing all indications of being completely converted. She is experiencing an urge to go yarn shops, and will engage in conversation about knitting. There has been mention of her "next project" and experienced no dizziness or nausea when I mentioned the possibility of her knitting a sweater in the round. Given the success of this experiment, I am proceeding with my plan to take over the world.

Posted by Stephanie at April 2, 2004 11:16 AM