Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This Knitter's Recollection

You know, I started knitting, not counting a day or so in my early 20's a decade ago, about 3 years ago when I asked my darling dearest husband for lessons for our anniversary. (Isn't the 5th anniversary fiber? Ha ha!) It is one of the most valuable gifts, I have found, that anyone has ever given me. I have had the opportunity to do so many things through knitting, though not all of them are visible representations of my crafting. I was not quite as keen for the first months following my lessons, possibly because they were at Michael's and I didn't know of our lovely, nearby local shop, The Knitting Habitat. In any case, I sort of dabbled more than anything and turned out a few creations. I never quite felt limited by my lack of knowledge or abilities, but that stems from my family upbringing that we were quite capable of just about anything, we just had to pursue it. Some of my first projects were large, but always realistic. There are a great many things I have learned, but will try to expound on a few of the most interesting (to me), as well as unexpected.

Many of you know what our lives consist of day to day. Food is at the forefront of whenever we leave the house and Jay's health is a daily reminder that life is more than any meaning we try to give it and tends to keep us in check through our turbulent trials. When Jay first fell ill, my knitting found me. I say it like this because I am not sure I would have chosen something that can both gratify and aggravate so much as knitting can. It is those exact things that create a dear love of my craft. What can be learned from something so aggravating as, say, a project where something has gone horribly wrong? Well, in my case, patience was to be gathered and applied. Nothing was ever greater than the next stitch, or else it could always be ripped out or set aside to work on another project. My time was metered and tempered in ways I could not spark within myself. The best part is while I was growing patience within, my hands were creating usefulness without. At the worst time, in the beginning of Jay's illness, I can recall having some pretty difficult days if I didn't knit and I think it was because it paced me and had become so routine, that things seemed off if I didn't take the time to knit a few rows. I would even tell Jay that if I seemed stressed, or something, he should tell me to sit down and knit for a few minutes, and he still does to this day.

Another aspect of our existence is our having difficulty in expanding our family. Truthfully, going through acceptance, only to figure out the reason for our troubles, then to have hope again and then go further into accepting the will and direction of our lives that is so tremendously bigger than we, can be exhausting. We are still only 3, which is dandy, but it goes to show that even when we imagine things a certain way, they are likely to turn out the way they ought and not the way we thought. What on earth has this got to do with knitting?!?!?! Well, in the peace of my art and crafting, I was creating. It may seem like nothing to some, but to me, when there was emptiness in the baby reaches of my heart, it would get filled as I created things for others. I have always preferred to give, rather than receive, but this gave new meaning to what I had to offer. Some may think that what I write is plain silly, but what every knitter knows is the part of their heart that has been taken captive by this craft.

On an odd note, I have learned to appreciate sewing more and more. I used to say that I didn't become a knitter so I could sew, but the more I knit, I can truly be in awe of something well grafted and the time it takes, whether sewing sweater bits together, or a cotton dress on a machine. I do believe that we all have a bit of a crafter inside us, it only matters what finds and touches us deep into our core, that takes us in and won't let us go, if we only let it.

I have learned that things that seem insurmountable are no more difficult than starting at the beginning and seeing where the next step gets you. Sometimes we mess up, but there is always some way to fix the problem and, if we don't know, ask a tried and true friend who has been through the same thing, or is just willing to take the time to talk it through with you. I have learned that the problem is only as big as the energy we give it. I have learned to work hard at becoming someone who creates, rather than destroys or, what's worse, is indifferent to this life. Doing is more than talk, because words will disperse on the air, but actions will linger in ways we cannot imagine. I think that most of all, I have learned how to utilize more of myself in order that I mat be of better service to others. I must admit that I am hopeful to glean more from my knitting, but even if this is what I get, it isn't a bad lot. I would say, I like my lot and the content that it brings through all of the chaos.

I can safely say that I am a knitter for life. I am grateful for the chance to knit, the materials with which to craft, the people with whom to share it and the endless occasions to follow a new path of knowledge.


Marfa said...

That's awesome...knitting is therapeutic. Where do you get your yarn? Do you use sheep or alpaca wool? cotton?