nec·ro·man·cing and madame defarge



  1. The practice of supposedly communicating with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future.
  2. Black magic; sorcery.
  3. Magic qualities.

\Nec"ro*man`cer\, n.

  1. One who practices necromancy; dark domestic arts practitioner; knitter, especially of scarves.

I recently started knitting again in a fit of jealous rage. When I moved back to Victoria in September, I left all of my knitting "implements" behind me, so I wouldn't be distracted from my studies. I was in control of my addiction until a friend of mine began to learn how to knit and was showing me her new projects. My jealousy got the better of me, and while out for a walk the other day I found myself infront of my old haunt, Beehive Wool on Douglas. I used to be a frequent shopper there and after spending a good half an hour trying to decide what wool I wanted to buy, I was reissued a yellow frequent shoppers card. My knitting vise has once again taken over my life (Although I have nothing to be ashamed of really, unlike the lady who was in front of me in the check out line, who admitted to the clerks that she has to hide her store receipts from her husband because she spends so much on her knitting paraphernalia).

I became a practitioner of the dark domestic arts, with a specialization in nec(k)romancing (knitting of scarves) three years ago, during my residence in the rat house on Fernwood with loser landlord Lou. It was a relatively big place, but it was freezing cold and my sister, cousin, and I were "cheaping out" on hydro... so we spent a lot of time under blankets, wearing longjohns, toques, slippers and socks. But we still needed to keep our hands warm so we all started to knit.

This is an artistic charcoal rendering of my self portrait entitled "romancing the neck." The portrait was taken this afternoon. I am modeling my latest creation. Please note how I am trying to look demure.

Since that fateful day when I first took up knitting, I have romanced many a neck, fashioned numerous makeshift toques (I have never knit anything from a pattern... yet), and attempted to complete a blanket. The blanket was my first project, my training ground, but it sits unfinished in a basket at my parent's house.

A most helpful introductory knitting website, Learn to Knit, states the following:

Knitting is the art of using yarn or thread to make fabric from interlocking loops. Its origin has been traced as far back as the fourth or fifth century B.C. to sandal socks discovered in the Middle East.

In the past, knitting has been the occupation of shepherds watching their flocks, sailors whiling away the hours of long voyages during the age of exploration, apprentices who studied it in 13th and 14th Century knitting guilds, and royal knitters in the court of England at the time of King Henry VIII. At certain times in history, only members of royalty were allowed to wear knitted items. One of the knitted garments on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is a handsome handknitted silk shirt, which King Charles I wore on the day of his beheading.

Handknitting is a popular pastime, producing items that are functional, economical, fashionable and fun to make. In addition, knitting offers an opportunity for creative selection of color and style, and allows you to fashion garments that really fit. For all these reasons and more, we think you will enjoy learning the art of knitting.
There are numerous knitting blogs out there (I've come across quite a few just by clicking on the next blog button on the blogger nav bar) and many of these blogs rave about the "sexiness" of knitting and state how knitting is not for grandmothers anymore. But making knitting sexy is the least of my concerns these days. I knit not because Julia Roberts and other celebrities are doing it, but because it is therapeutic. I do not knit to make a feminist statement, although I make jokes regarding knitting being a dark domestic art.

I like to remind people being a knitter still allows me to be revolutionary. Not always in the sense of Madame Defarge, who silently knits the names of the enemies of the republic in the Tale of Two Cities... but perhaps in the sense of the Revolutionary Knitting Circle who build community and speed forward the revolution through knitting. It's all about tree cozies, not tea cozies!

Knitting Blogs of Note:

Knitting Blogs
Men Who Knit (yes, MEN who knit)


  1. And a lovely scarf it is Fella. I too loves scarves but have never taken the opportunity to learn how to make them for myself. One day. Just to remind you that Christmas is around the corner....and I especially LOVE HOMEMADE scarves *wink*

    Amber T

  2. hey praff. waiting for my 2 o'clock class and thought i'd check out your blog. could you possibly have chosen a larger size font? lovely photos. ciao for now