And now, from the “you learn something new every day” files…
Lucy Neatby is a Canadian knitter and writer, and produces a monthly newsletter. Her latest one included this nugget:
Do it daily and have fun!
Really, knitting is therapeutic for you. Here in Canada one of our most famous hockey goalies regularly used it to relieve stress before and after major games, and he had such a record of wins that people took notice. Its effects on the body and mind are not unlike those of meditation, but as a bonus you get a product to show for it. Knitting is a powerful form of re-creation and creation, all in one. So be good to yourself: knit.
That got me wondering: who could it be? Jacques Plante: The Man Who Changed the Face of Hockey has been sitting on our bookshelf for a while, and I clearly need to read it.
Years later, when his hockey career had taken him away from his impoverished beginnings, many teammates as well as members of the press were taken aback by Plante’s habit of knitting his own undershirts, socks, toques, and scarves. But he would always speak with pride of his ability to knit a pair of socks in a day and a toque in a mere three and a half hours. Throughout his life, Plante used knitting as a form of relaxation, oblivious to the reaction of those around him; this was his way to unwind after being the target of onrushing pucks. However, typical of the man, there was also a practical side to his needlework.
“I can’t get what I want in the stores,” Plante explained of his choice in undergarments, “so I knit [them]. I use four-ply wool. They must not be too warm. I use larger needles because small ones produce a thicker weaving and the holes are too small.”
Believe it or not, many professional athletes knit for the reasons that Neatby stated. While she was referring to Plante, it’s possible that it could be anyone; knitting really does relieve stress and anxiety. Can’t you just see Luongo knitting up a storm these days?