Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I love guns. I love to shoot, adore the bang and flash and the smell. I even like to clean my gun afterward, polishing the cool metal and cleaning the barrel.

I love knives, but I'm scared of them. I think they can be more swiftly deadly than guns, and I'm a klutz. I don't play with them, and sometimes I'm scared to even chop tomatoes.

My weapon of choice? Easy.

The common knitting needle.

Think about it. Gorgeous in its simplicity, it can be used for much more than knitting a sweater. My favorite needles are AddiTurbos, which are two sharp metal tips connected by a thin plastic cable.

God, THINK about the possibilities. A knitter on the bus, sitting with her yarn, knitting away on her peach-colored shawl. She smiles as you sit in front of her. You turn, and say oh-so-creatively, "Knit one, purl two?" She laughs and inclines her head. She's probably NEVER heard that one before. You turn around, satisfied that you'll get her number before you both disembark. There are only the two of you in the bus, and she's a sure thing, lonely with her yarn.

The bus goes through a dark tunnel. You feel her breath on your ear--this is it. You knew it. You turn your head and see her peach lace lying on the ground behind your seat, no needle holding it all together. The last thought you have before you're garroted is that your grandmother would have approved of a knitter like her.

I, however, am a little more tender when it comes to my needles, and I use them as a different kind of weapon. I display them when I need help coping with something -- pulling them out and knitting furiously as people discuss politics around me. The more stupid a comment is, the faster I knit. A whole sock can get done as people discuss their opinions of the death penalty. I hold my knitting in front of me like an amulet when I'm in a house that's playing a TV channel I don't normally watch (OKAY - LET'S JUST SAY IT, I'm looking at you, FoxTV) , knowing that knitting fast and hard will save me, will get me out alive.

My knitting needles are my protection. My life preserver. And if I ever need them to be, they really could be a rather effective weapon.

And if, god forbid, I'm ever chased by a vampire, I hope I have my rosewood needles with me. They would do some eternal damage.


Sophie Littlefield said...

oh, I do love this. You and I, we could go into battle, you with your knitting needles, me with my little pink-handled pair of Ghinger sharps...

Unknown said...

I was astonished that you can take knitting needles on airplanes--or do you have to check them now?

Killing w/knife or needle requires commitment that a gun does not.

Rosewood knitting needles? GORGEOUS!

Kristin Miller said...

Too funny! The poor, poor fool on the bus. I'm *tisking* over here with all my non-knitting might.

By the way Rachael, I bought your book for a friend of mine who is a self-proclaimed "non-reader". She said she'd probably never get to it. I said that was all right. She read it. And loved it. We talked about it...and you...yesterday afternoon. :)

Martha Flynn said...

Totally need you for my Apocalypse team!!!! Seriously!

Gigi Pandian said...

There was a great mystery novel from the '60s that took place on an English Channel ferry with an ingenious knitting needle murder. I read it years ago but I still remember it because it was SO COOL.

Juliet Blackwell said...

I love it! I always think the "cozy" mystery writers are among the sickest minds, what with using innocent-seeming weapons such as knitting needles. Hmmm....

Adrienne Bell said...

Those AddiTurbos look wicked, like something out of a scifi movie. I imagine you getting somebody in both temples at once with those bad boys.

L.G.C. Smith said...

I really need to learn how to knit. I've never touched a real gun, but I could carry knitting needles. :) Now I'm going to be watching not only the gorgeous thing you're knitting in any given moment, but how fast and furiously you're knitting. Or not.

Ouch, Adrienne.

Rachael Herron said...

@lgc - You're the first person to think of watching the needles for my mood. Don't spread it around! :)
@ Kristi, thank you! Yay!
@ HBMisti - yes, you can take them, but TSA still has authority to take them from you at check-in if THEY think it looks dangerous, but I haven't heard of it happening. I always knit on planes. :)
@ Sophie, YEE HAW.

Angela said...

Great post!!!

I absolutely love using circular knitting needles for flat projects since I can actually knit when I'm in the bus or where ever I am. I never have to worry about accidentally dropping a needle and chasing after it on a crowded bus. It also ensures that you’ll never forget one at home or lose it in your bag.^_^

These needles are really comfortable for me.

Enjoy knitting everyone!

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