Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Honey and When Knitting Isn't About Knitting At All

I'm not sure I actually like knitting.

I love yarn. I love scrolling through patterns on ravelry, finally choosing the right one and getting all excited to start. But then begins the impatience.

I'm annoyed with the time it takes to wind the yarn and I can't wait to cast on, except I strongly dislike casting on. Take, for example, my most recent project. This honey cowl required 280 stitches cast on, due to knitting it out of fingering weight yarn. I had to pull it out and start over three times. By the time I was done, I was so irritated with the whole process! But it doesn't end there. About 2 rows into the border stitches, I'm bored and can't wait to begin the main body of the project. The excitement of that lasts about 5 rows before I am once again itching to be done.

Of course, I do love knitting. I'm just impatient during those times with knitting is really just about knitting. But sometimes knitting isn't about knitting at all.

I started knitting "for real" about 7 years ago, while pregnant with Fiona. In the years since, knitting has been a constant in my life. I could go on and on and on about creativity and how important that is, but knitting for me is more than that. In some ways, it's therapy. When I'm having a hard time, hurt feelings or just need to step away from something that is more than I can handle, I pick up some knitting. In no time, I feel better. I can't say why it works that way. It just does.

I read a book a while ago, really an unremarkable, silly little book. I did love the part about an old man who knitted stories. His memories spelled right out in brilliant hand dyed and spun yarn with particular stitches and cables that journaled the story of his life. Despite the lackluster nature of the rest of the story, that thought stayed with me.

So I knit a honey cowl in buttery yellow because I needed a reminder of sunshine and honeybees and daffodils and summer. I knit at it when I was happy and I knit it even more when I was sad. Embedded right into the fabric is my mind, my heart, my hurt, my happiness. Yesterday, alongside a cup of coffee - it was just what I needed.

Sure, I can buy a scarf at Target for a fraction of the cost, with no time spent. But knitting is more than that. Knitting is a piece of me, spelled right out in stitches for the world to see.

I'm not sure I like knitting. I don't, always. But I need it. For that, I'm so glad it's a part of my life.

*Ravelry notes for my honey cowl here. What are you working on?*

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  1. Love your yarn pick! I ordered yarn three days ago for a new knit and just learned this morning the shop is out. Now I start all over again. I had ordered something else, but I think I'm back to knitpicks -- old reliable. I need some said it just exactly right. There is just something about lining up those stitches that helps make life look more orderly.

  2. OH my!! I could so write that post!! (well not really, because I am not a fluent writer as you are), but those are my exact thoughts! Your cowl is turning out just plain lovely!

  3. I made a honey cowl a couple of months ago, and I felt exactly the same way. Haha! I'm not even sure that I like it now that it's done. Knitting is so therapeutic for me. There's something about the repetition of it and the creativity. Great post. :)

  4. I feel the same way. I need to make something and I need to possess something made of yarn, dyed by hand, created over time. Lovely yarn, lovely shawl!

  5. You had me laughing - I hate to wind the yarn, I hate casting on (especially lots of stitches) and I start to get bored with the entire process after an hour and find myself looking through Ravelry for the next project.

  6. That sounds eerily familiar! :-)

  7. Right? I was thinking ahead to finishing this and thought - will I even wear it? I guess we'll see!

  8. Oh so frustrating! I do really like knitpicks though. I think the quality is good and the prices are excellent!

  9. "The sisterhood of fiber." Oh. Yes, that. I love THAT!

  10. Maybe if I had a winder, I'd enjoy it? I just get so antsy! I may be a little ADD :-)

  11. that's gardening for me. I go out every Spring after the long cold freezing winter, excited to see what has survived under the layer of leaves. Some happy moments to see blooms already started... and then BAM. that clematis (of course, the most expensive plant) didn't make it. And this bed needs reworking because it somehow sunk below the grass line. ???? And then all I can see is the amount of work to be done, and how dirty I am going to get.
    And then after another few weeks of sunshine, the stores start putting out their beautiful blooms.....and I get all excited about the work to be done and cannot wait to get into the earth and get my hands dirty.
    So glad to see that there isn't actually anything wrong with me. :)


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