Knitting for Demons

Avatar_IngridGabriel I was crawling around on the floor of Serendipity books the other day. You know how it is...any book worth having is worth lying on the floor to squint at the title, and the one tucked under a stack gave me an electric surge ...Knitting for Antichrists. Could it be that I had stumbled upon some sort of secret grimoire for knitting satanists? Was it a beginners sort of guide with patterns for pentangle pot holders and baby hats with cute little horns?

I already own a book entitled Naughty Knits. While I have not cast on the pattern for the knitted handcuffs or worked out the gage for the wooly French maid's outfit, I thoroughly appreciate the juxtaposition of wholesomeness and degeneracy that inspires this sort of knitting. I could only assume that I was staring at a companion volume – sort of a Knitting for Demons.

First off, the book was for antichristS – the plural form. I had no idea that there is (or could be) more than one antichrist. Nor had I considered that they would go in for any kind of needlecraft. Not that they (it) shouldn't. I imagine that being the source of all evil is stressful. Nothing odd, really, about kicking back and knitting up a little washcloth or a ski sock at the end of a day of End-of-Days event-planning.

In fact, it made me wonder why we don't see more creative work from antichrists and other assorted demonic beings. Certainly, they have had thousands of years and plenty of resources to indulge in a hobby. Ceramics comes to mind, what with the firing and burning furnace thing and all. But, no. Neither do they (it) seem to put much effort in pursuing the more rigorous visual (photography and Robert Mapplethorpe aside) or literary arts.

For example, friends of mine were attending a christening. When the minister asked if the congregation agreed to reject the works of Satan, my friend leaned over to his wife and whispered, "Well, I'm not sure. I haven't really read his more recent works."

Point well made. The Prince of Darkness keeps such a low profile and is so Salinger- esque with interviews that it's hard to remember exactly which works can be attributed to him (them/it). I mean, I'm sure he's a derivative poser and that I would reject his works for a dozen reasons, but I can't say for sure since I've only read reviews and not original material.

It's a curious question and later in the day, I Googled (the devil's tool if there ever was one) for something attributed to him, and only found publications that were said to be inspired by Satan, but not written by him. I presume that in the forward, the author thanks Satan for his love, support and excellent editorial advice, without which the author could never have completed his The Inception of Soul-Stealing Economics in Port- Industrial Europe or Hellfire & Brimstone: A Love Story.

Many sites claimed that literary smut and depravity originate with Satan because he  infects authors with perversion in the same way that a virus infects its host. I don't accept that – it doesn't explain the obvious distinction between brilliant smut and bad smutty-smut. Compare and contrast Vladimir Nabokov and Anne Rice, if you will. If Satan is ghostwriting smut, it's just not feasible that he could be both the source of Nabokov's Lolita and Rice's Belinda. He just has way too much talent (and we already know that he has plenty of pride) to pen under an inferior pseudonym. It's Nabokov or nothing.

Nor did I get much agreement on the physical manifestations of Satan that could be considered "works". The antichrist is held responsible for just about everything that we don't like, from global politics to pandemics. One person wrote that he felt the devil's presence as a weight on his chest and fetid hot breath in his face while he was sleeping. I experience this often, but it always turns out to be my spaniel, who is annoying but has never appeared especially luciferian.

The other downers, like drought and flooding and famine don't really hold up well to scrutiny either as the output of the devil's workshop. We all remember when Rick Scarborough of Vision America implicated gays and supporters of gay marriage for Katrina, inferring that God (the nice one) was punishing New Orleans for dancing with the devil. I said, ok...maybe. But hurricane season is an annual event in the Gulf. I thought if God was really making a statement, a blizzard or localized ice age might have made a finer point.

But, then I looked closer, and realized that the book wasn't about knitting patterns for antichrists as I had thought, but knitting for anarchists. Not quite as compelling, but still interesting. Perhaps a pattern for a Che Guevara beret or a Karl Marx book cover.

No again. The book was really directed at knitters who want to throw off the shackles of oppressive knitting and release themselves from the bondage of patterns, needle sizes, directions and the like. I was deeply, deeply disturbed to see this sort of book out in the public where impressionable teens and young children shop for books.

As a conservative Continental knitter brought up according to a strict doctrine that promises a righteous knitter that her reward will be a perfectly turned heel and a hole-free cable, I bear witness that anarchistic knitting is an abomination. It is the top of a slippery slope that can only degenerate into godless CROCHETING!!!

Oh, the apostasy! Here, in our village by the sea, the devil truly is at large.

I bought the book and will be holding a book burning some time soon. Just the one book, mind you, but it's a start.

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