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Judge John Hodgman on the Tangled Yarn

Erin writes: I started crocheting during lockdown. Recently, I made the mistake of washing seven skeins of yarn at once, turning them into a giant wad. It took two days to untangle one skein. My husband says I should throw the wad away because the time spent untangling could be better spent crocheting. Who’s right?

Your husband seems not to understand that crochet is not primarily productive. All those headbands are just yarn gravy. Crochet is meditative. Traditionally, it was a means of passing long, empty winters by engaging your mind rather than simply losing it. And now especially, it is a gift to the introvert, a socially acceptable opportunity to break eye contact, go inward and take a break from your husband’s efficiency theories for a while. In this sense, your knot wad is just another form of cozy 3-D jigsaw puzzle, and I order you to take your time with it.

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