Wednesday, February 08, 2006

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  • I Don't Bowl Alone

    Joining one group cuts in half your odds of dying in the next year.*
    -Robert Putnam,
    Bowling Alone

    Actually, I don't bowl at all. (It's not a moral issue; it's a hand-eye coordination thing. Bowling balls are heavy. Dangerous.) It turns out that I don't knit alone, either.**

    Look what I finished at knitting group last night:

    That's right - the knitting on Winter Folly is done done done. And one sleeve is set in. After all that stressing, now I couldn't care less about finishing. Hmmm. . .

    My history classes (speaking of a Liberal Medical Education) have been all about American citizenship and nationalism, the early republic, and, of course, hegemony. Naturally, our discussion of declining social capital led me to talk about knitting and knitting blogs, wherein I affirmed that if anyone requires a community, they should learn how to knit. Not only is knitting a metaphor for life, but you get to hang out with cool folks like at the knitting group that JayJay (blogless commenator) organized. During our raucous discussion of Bowling Alone, we learned that it's not only knitting: There are puppy playgroups, Cat Clubs, Antique Clubs, and the politics of Cycling Clubs can rival those of Congress.

    So the sky is not falling. Social capital is good. Knitting is good for your health. And if you think the barn raisings and quilting bees of the days of yore speak to a simpler time, remember this: They didn't do it for the postcards. They needed barns. Winter is cold without central heating. It's warmer when you knit, and warmer still when you knit with friends.

    *I would be remiss if I didn't point out that this is likely related, at least in part, to the healthy worker effect. (People with jobs are healthier than people without jobs, not because having a job makes you healthy, but because if you aren't healthy, it's hard to hold down a job.)
    **This is patently untrue. But last night I did not knit alone.


    Blogger Chris said...

    Ok, so if joining a group cuts in half your odds of dying in the next year, what does joining 10 groups do for you? :)

    2/08/2006 7:53 AM  
    Blogger Chris said...

    D'oh - congrats on getting the WF knitting done!

    2/08/2006 7:54 AM  
    Blogger Marina said...

    You know you need something new to wear to the opening ceremonies Plus that's one more thing to wear while the laundry stacks up during the games.

    2/08/2006 8:30 AM  
    Blogger Stephanie said...

    The sweater looks great - all those cables and such a yummy color.

    2/08/2006 12:52 PM  
    Blogger Laura said...

    Oooh, I can't wait to see it all put together. I agree, that color is so, so lovely. :)

    2/08/2006 1:13 PM  
    Blogger Unknown said...

    I agree that the knitting-blogging-stitch-and-bitching phenomenon does seem to fill a great lack for some of us -- the lack of community. Many of us don't go to church, and I rarely attend barn raisings these days, but I've found that since I've gotten into knitting, I do feel more connected to people, and I even started a stitch-n-bitch in the middle or rural Nevada and was amazed by how many women were interested in coming, even several who didn't yet know how to knit.
    On another note, both having community and knitting stave off depression, especially winter depression. My therapist (who I've since stopped needing) recommended that I start knitting again and I swear it helped get rid of depression. Feeling connected has helped with that too.

    2/08/2006 4:00 PM  
    Blogger Jenn said...

    I agree with Marina - pretty sweater=less laundry! And I know it would give me lots of confidence for my Olympic kickoff!

    2/08/2006 6:15 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Random Bowling Thoughts:

    I once won a bowling award. "Most Unique Approach" I don't think it was a compliment.

    I once dated a guy whose father was on the professional bowling circuit. I think that may have killed the relationship for me.

    2/09/2006 5:21 AM  

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