Knitting through it: Inspiring stories for times of trouble tells how knitting can help stop smoking.
A excerpt from Hélène’s contribution: “Three stitches per second”
“I did not decide to quit smoking. (…) The withdrawl didn’t go smoothly and often approached crisis. As soon as a crisis began, I put a piece of nicotine gum in my mouth, rushed headlong for my knitting, and knitted frenetically – five stitches, one row, one minute, two rows, my heart beating fast and my hands damp. Until it passed. Then a second crisis would begin, too soon to take another piece of nicotine gum. I threw myself into my knitting and knit like I’d entered a trance. One stitch, one second, two stitches, two seconds. At full speed I chewed the gum that had been completely emptied of its nicotine. Ten rows a minute. I counted the stitches aloud: 12 stitches, three stitches a second. I couldn’t keep this pace up for very long. I don’t believe that I would be capable of knitting so quickly today. Then the crisis was over. And there I was like a madwoman, chewing frenetically and panting out numbers – 56 stitches – my body tensed, bent forward, with my hands shaking, one stitch dropped – 123 stitches – my mouth bloody because I’d bitten my tongue – 354 stitches.”