I know that sounds very dramatic. It is true though. I learned to knit during one of the most stressful times in my adult life. It was a distraction to say the least. It was calming. There are many things that knitting has done for me, but the most important for me was the way it stopped me from obsessing about particular things. No, it didn’t solve all of the problems going on at the time. It certainly helped me handle them a little better.
The above picture was one of my first projects. I made two poncho sweaters for my daughters. They were quite little and still growing and they did not wear them for long. But I didn’t care. It took me about a year to make them, but again I didn’t care. The act of knitting was so meditative, so fun that I would knit just to knit.
In time I learned how to knit, purl, increase, and bind off. I learned how to block. I made hats, scarves, and cowls. Now I am making sweaters, and socks and mitts.
Knitting gives me something to do. Just sitting and waiting is hard for me. I believe it is hard for most people. I bring my knitting pretty much everywhere. On car rides, appointments, when I wait for one of my children, to watch movies, recently I even brought my knitting into a restaurant and knit while we were waiting for a table. My daughter did too, which was great.
Knitting has taught me how to fail. How to mess something up and own it. Knitting has also taught me how to try and try again. Not to quit when I fail. Valuable lessons and never too late to learn. I will be 50 this year!
Once I saw a pattern for a lacy scarf in a book and just had to make it. So I learned yarn overs and how to count. Of course I knew how to count but I think knitting counting is harder. This was the project that I learned about a life line. This project taught me a lot about patience. I was never a very patient person. Didn’t like to wait, didn’t like to not know something. I am also a perfectionist and that was hard as a new knitter. I am very good at ripping out projects and starting over so that I can get it right. I still mess up my knitting, still frog it, and still keep on going and get it right eventually. That takes lots of patience.
Knitting is just for me. It is time for me. Even if I am waiting for someone to get out of class, even if I am teaching math, playing a game with a child, I can knit, for me. Even when I am making something for someone else, the knitting is for me.
Knitting is exciting. Most people would look at me funny if I said that out loud but don’t you agree? Isn’t it exciting to be in a yarn store and see and feel all that fiber? I love going to fairs and touching the animals that make the yarn and then going into the booths and feeling all the different fibers. Wool, angora, alpaca! I love it all. It is exciting to learn new skills. Sometime this year I want to learn to cable. Right now I am learning how to read a chart. Something new!
The above picture is the beginning of a sweater. I have to read a chart. So far I am on the third try. Finally it looks the way it is supposed to. I may even put in a life line soon in case I mess up farther along. I am proud of myself for learning something new and for not quitting. (I almost did but my daughters talked me out of it. Boy do I love them!)
So, knitting has done so much for me. It calms me. It keeps my mind and hands busy. Knitting has taught me patience. I am keeping my brain healthy with all the new skills. It is something just for me and that is a wonderful thing for anyone that does things for other people all day. Knitting adds so much to my life and I am glad I learned.
How about you? Why do you like to knit?