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By Ratna Manucha

So a new word is doing the rounds these days. It’s called Knitflixing. Heard of it? It was coined during the Pandemic when we were forced to stay indoors and we found ourselves picking up long forgotten hobbies like embroidery, crochet and knitting. It means the act of working on a knitting project while watching Netflix!

The atmosphere outside was frightful,

But the yarn was so delightful…

And since I had no place to go,

Another row, another row, another row…

And that’s how I found myself merrily joining the bandwagon. Having a mother who is an avid knitter, churning out patterns after crazy patterns, it was easy for me to pick it up, too. Of course I left the professional stuff to her (why tread into uncharted territory?) and stuck to making sleeveless sweaters and neck warmers.

So here I was, comfortably ensconced in front of the television (I refuse to call it idiot box any more) my needles going clickety clack, when I decide to be a tad adventurous, and look up to watch the scene playing out in front of me.

Knit 2, purl 2, slip 1, pass slipped stitch over, knit 2, purl 2, I mumble under my breath, trying to follow the pattern and the story line on Netflix. Multi–tasking, thy name is Ratna.

There I was, sailing merrily on soft, fluffy white clouds of knitting heaven, happy as a clam, when suddenly I got a strange feeling that all was not quite right.

I looked down and saw that the pattern had taken on a new avatar. It now looked something like this…knit 1, purl 2, slip1, forget to pass slipped stitch over, knit 2, purl1…I looked down at the row which was about to finish and I couldn’t recognise my own handiwork.

Back to the remote, pause the movie, start unravelling the work done till now, pick up the stitches, which by now have a mind of their own and tend to be terribly slippery and difficult to control, roll up the wool into a ball and start again.

This forms a pattern of sorts. Knit two rows while watching Netflix, then look down and sigh resignedly. Pick up the remote, press pause as by now both the pattern as well as the movie are going their separate ways (and poor ole’ me hasn’t been able to keep up with either), unravel the last row, pick up the wayward stitches, knit the row again, then pick up the remote, press play and start on a new row while watching Netflix…look down after knitting two rows, pick up the remote, press pause…you get the drift.

Oh, well. It’s better to have knitted and ripped than never to have knit at all, I console myself. The moment one is ready to quit is usually the moment right before a miracle happens. My time is my own. As the saying goes, haste makes waste, so I plod on, peacefully and in due course of time another neck warmer takes shape, and I sigh in relief as I have successfully managed to finish both the movie as well as my knitting!

(Ratna Manucha is an author and educationist)