Traveling Sock at Alma 

 Does it count as a leisure activity if you do it at a bar?

I don’t know how I missed this, but there was a Freakonomics column a few weeks ago in the NY Times Mag about knitting and whether it counted as a leisure or work activity. It’s not particularly groundbreaking* and in fact, I think the whole premise is kind of duh-inducing (Surprise! Knitting does not save money!), but there is this quote, which I found mildly amusing:

“On a more personal note: one of the authors of this column has a sister who runs a thriving yarn store,** while the other is married to a knitting devotee who might buy $40 worth of yarn for a single scarf and then spend 10 hours knitting it. Even if her labor is valued at only $10 an hour, the scarf costs at least $140 — or roughly $100 more than a similar machine-made scarf might cost.”

I am glad that I am not married to one of the writers, since he would always be calculating the opportunity costs of my hobby. (If I were his wife, I would say “What’s the opportunity cost of (a) making your wife mad and (b) making her even madder by pointing out THE MOST OBVIOUS THING EVER?”)

On a random note, the article discusses this weird machine that grows plants in water that I was JUST pointing out to Adam at Zabar’s today. This is the kind of gadget that my college roommate would describe as “You need that like you need a bullet in the head.”

*Some magazine did a funny charticle that summarized recent freakonmic-like economic theories and rated them by “Likely to appear as an article in Slate” and “Duh factor.” Oh–I just did a google search. It was The New Republic. Here’s the article if you happen to subscribe.

** I looked up all the knitting posts on the Freakonomics blog, and I discovered that Steven Leavitt, the Freakonomist, is the brother of the owner of Yarnzilla, which I have actually ordered from. Apparently, said sister named both Yarnzilla and the philosophy “Freakonomics.” The blog also discussed the whole Socks That Rock Sock Club drama-o-rama.

Posted in Uncategorized at May 28th, 2007.