Knitting is better than smoking


I went to college in the late 80s in Montreal. It seemed that everyone smoked, and I remember taking my first puffs in the hallway of my dorm. When I went to graduate school, I became a chain smoker. Smoking became an inseparable part of my dissertation writing, providing an outlet for the stress, fear and self-loathing that graduate school often produces.

I finally kicked the habit in my late 30s.  Now, as I tear my hair out writing the book that will revolutionize my field (ha!), instead of a smoke break, I take a knit break.

You may think that comparing knitting and smoking is like setting up a straw man argument, analogous to weighing the pros and cons of knitting and being torn apart by a pack of wild dogs. Of course knitting is going to come out on top. While it might be due to my lack of imagination that I’m unable to find parallels between making something with your hands and losing your hands (legs, arms, head and other body parts), it does not require a lot of brain power to see that knitting and smoking serve similar needs and functions:

  • Like smoking, knitting gives me something to do with my hands when I’m feeling awkward in a new social situation.
  • Like smoking, knitting is addictive. How many times have I said, “Just one more row and then I’ll stop”?
  • Like smoking, knitting is visceral and tactile.
  • Like smoking, knitting fuels my creative juices.
  • Like smoking, I get the same high when I first cast on as I do when I first light up.
  • Like smoking, I spend way to much money on this habit.
  • Like smoking, I knit after sex.

Why knitting is better than smoking:

  • Knitting is better for your health than smoking.
  • Knitting does not create second-hand smoke, though it can produce random bits of fluff and fiber throughout the house.
  • Knitting is allowed in restaurants, cafes and bars.
  • Knitting is something you want to teach your children.
  • Knitting is more socially acceptable, though knitting at a cocktail party is not quite as cool.

So yes, knitting does beat smoking. But, it’s not a total blow out.

Stay tuned for my next post:  Why spinning is better than drinking.  Just kidding. Nothing is better than drinking.