I am grateful for knitting.
Do you knit? I taught myself to knit when I was twenty. I call it therapy, perfect therapy, but at twenty I didn’t know it was therapy. I thought it was just a bunch of stitches cast on that took a few tries to get right, actually a whole lot of tries to get right, followed by some knits and purls and yarn-overs and slip-ones, until it became something else, but now I know, beyond a doubt, that knitting is therapy.
If you knit, then you understand; you know that when you take a strand of wool and participate in the magic of knitting, this strand of wool makes it impossible to fret about the state of your bank account or about the list of your should-haves or your relationship or your waistline. Your fingers are engaged and pull your brain into service, taking control of your mind and blocking out all extraneous thought, and you can’t help but look forward, anticipating how many rows are required before you see this thing, this work of art start to take shape.
I was knitting incorrectly, actually purling incorrectly, when I started out. I created a whole tiny infant sweater with just the wrong twist in my purl stitches until someone put me right. The stitch still worked, but wasn’t done properly and gave the weave a bit of an odd look. There was no “google” available to me then to search out a solution to my problem, to get help on those stitches that stumped me.
I’m not a great knitter. My socks have holes where I’ve had to pick up stitches and my tension isn’t always even. I have a box of several projects started and abandoned, abandoned when the end was so close. And I kept them just in case I had a spare minute to resurrect my enthusiasm, but it never happened. Once I put a sweater down or a pair of socks, they don’t get picked up again. When I moved east I passed that box on to a knitting friend and wished her good luck. It seemed wasteful, but it had to be done; I had to purge so I could move on.
Buying wool is a bit like buying lumber or plastic bins for me. I can’t ever seem to have enough; there is no amount that satisfies my anticipated need. I don’t have rooms full of skeins, but I have at least ten skeins waiting for me to turn my attention, to adjust my schedule that allows for this wonderful therapy. Perhaps today will be the day, when I dig out my needles and find the right set and I will smooth out the pattern in front of me and take a deep breath and plunge in.
That’s the thing about knitting, it’s always there waiting for you, never pushy or nagging, just quietly sitting ready to offer you comfort when you need it, ready to say: “There, there, forget about that for today.” I see baby socks in my future.