Knitting is perfect therapy

I am a big fan of knitting. Do you knit?
I taught myself to knit when I was 20. I call it therapy—perfect therapy—but at 20, 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.
Knitting has no clearly-documented beginning, but some claim to have samples that date back to the fourth century. Undoubtedly, knitting’s beginning can be traced back to an origin somewhere in the Middle East and suffice to say knitting has been around for a very long time.
Making clothing for warmth followed the path of necessity being the mother of creation, and protecting the hands and feet was essential. But now knitting far exceeds the need to keep warm; knitting has become an art.
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 have 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 10 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.
It’s a perfect day for such things as I no longer can see across the street due to the snow and wind and, oh sigh, it is winter.
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, and maybe a newborn hat and. . . .
wendistewart@live.ca

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