I read recently that knitting introduces itself in life at a time when things are in flux. It didn’t dawn on me at the time, but looking back to last August the idea makes complete sense. I was 31 and wandering a craft store with a coupon that didn’t apply to the clearance-shelf markers I held. I had come to the realization that I needed to find a new place to live, I no longer knew who my childhood best friend really was, and I had earned a degree but had no desire or idea how to apply it to a profession. I teetered between sleeping very little or way too much. My dh and I were more distant than we like, and our living situation was straining and depressing us both. I was meandering through more than the craft store; I was wandering through my life.
My soul must have cried out at the yarn that day. I passed beads, fabrics, paints, flowers, pencils, papers; all those lovely items that didn’t seem applicable once purchased and in my hands. I glanced at the how-to books next to the yarn and finally stopped my trek. I stared and pondered, eventually figuring out my mother-in-law and my (newer) best friend both crocheted, and I liked the look of knitted sweaters a little more. The inner-voice summed it up as, “Knitting is the one with smaller holes, I think.”
By the second afternoon with my needles, yarn, book and youtube it all started to come together. I learned variegated sport-weight was probably not the best place to start. After a second trip to the craft store I wrapped bulky yarn around bamboo and my heart and eyelashes fluttered. Somehow wool and acrylic fibers ran over my fingers and produced the feeling I related to music, love, fine food. One of those spiritual moments where one sense isn’t enough to experience the layers present. Like when someone lights up a Pall Mall and transports all my thoughts to grandma’s kitchen and I can almost taste the roast and feel the orange shag carpet.
I have been knitting myself together since that moment and now I cannot stop. I feel like the final missing piece was put into place in my brain. I’m one to let the storm-cloud of thoughts in, one to sit and bite at my lips and my nails and consider the things I could or should be doing, one to wallow in melancholic states. I had tried meditating with music and with mantras, but apparently all I needed was yarn. Now the frustrating moments are fleeting, and if I need a calm, zen, peaceful mind I pick up one of (too) many works in progress and knit myself sane again.