A twitter buddy of mine is committing to writing 500 words a day on some topic, and invited others to join her. Feel free to write alongside us, exercise those grammar muscles, and do a little wordsmithing. The hashtag on twitter is #500wordsAbout.
I learned to knit from a friend at work. I saw it as a way to bond with other women I respected, to learn something new, and to get to play with soft and pretty things. I fell in love almost instantly and years later there’s not a closet, bag or drawer in the house that if you opened it, you wouldn’t find something wooly inside.
My relationship with my knitting, though, is somewhat complex. I gave my mom a hand-knit just before she passed, and felt more guilty that I hadn’t knit it specifically for her, than proud that she loved it. I feel tempted to knit things I’d never wear, or for people who won’t actually enjoy them as much as I think they will. I pick patterns because they have some new skill to learn, like techniques are Pokémon and I have to catch ‘em all.
I stopped knitting altogether about a year ago, when I got too wrapped up in trying to get ahead of my depression and anxiety. I thought that my knitting was helping me deal with my anxiety and maybe it was but as my nervous twitches got worse and my startle reflex got out of control - and wasn’t THAT fun - I found I couldn’t sit still and focus long enough to actually knit. I couldn’t watch a tv show or read long-form fiction, even with string in my hands.
I felt like I had betrayed a hobby I loved to the point that it is indelibly engraved on my skin. I felt like I had been irreversibly broken if I couldn’t even sit still and knit while I watched a bit of television. I felt like I was a failure. I missed it, and I missed the me who was calm enough and comfortable enough in her own skin to be able to settle and create, with nothing more than two sticks and some string.
I picked my knitting up again last week. It’s been a long time but it’s like riding a bicycle. You don’t forget the motions, just where you were going last. I decided to make afghan squares along with a couple of co-workers, getting back to those original goals. I am bonding with women I respect. I am collecting new skills and patterns. I am hitting lots of tiny victory points - it doesn’t take THAT long to knit a 10” square in light worsted weight yarn - so that I don’t get lost in the slog that is the dreaded second sock or even worse, get stranded on sleeve island.
It’s been difficult, sometimes. Today I went to knit during lunch, but I couldn’t stand the thought of taking to that many humans, and ended up sitting in a dark room with two other people, talking about comic books and the fact that the word “amo” is basic latin and often a crossword solution. But I finished my first square, and am almost halfway through my second. Each week my blanket grows.