My name is Diane, and I am a knitaholic. Yes, it’s true. Give me a set of needles, a skein of wooly goodness and I’ve got happiness. Why????
Good question, I’ve been wondering about this addictive craft/art form. There is magic in being able to create something out of what seems like nothing. Every knitted creation starts off the same way: string finagled around a stick. There are two stitches—just two—knit and purl. Everything else is a combination or machination of these two simple actions. That, in and of itself, is exciting and infectious. It’s the complexity and pattern generation that results from repeated application of a simple rule. My hubby is exploring the same idea, but applying it to the universe. I love the connections but stick to yarn. Knitting is a big, fun puzzle with infinite solutions.
Then, there’s the Zen element. The needles gently tap each other and create a soft, soothing tick tick tick. The stitches interlock one at a time to what has already been created… and it grows like cells. A new design requires attention to detail, and I sometimes speak the pattern as I’m knitting it: “Knit 3, Knit 2 together, Yarn Over, Knit 1.” After a short while, muscle memory often takes over, and I’m in the “zone”. Knitting is like being in a trance.
Another aspect of this work that causes addiction is borrowed from Woody Allen: “I like the eggs.” I like the product as much as the process. Having yarny creations that are one of a kind, made by me is a gift to myself. Lacy shawls wrap around my shoulders and provide warmth and so much more. Handmade socks feel a zillion times better than commercial socks; they’re hugs for your feet. My latest adventure on this woolen trip is to knit a handmade sweater that actually fits—and looks fabulous. The challenge has been a bit intimidating, but serves as another way to push through my comfort zone to find more comfort.
Unlike my years in Catholic school, there are no mistakes in knitting. You always get “do-overs” and can undo what you don’t like. There’s no punishment, no guilt. You just get to undo the stitches and then stitch some more. I also make it a point to learn something new from each project: a new technique, different color play, something more complicated, or a remake with improvements. I just figured out how to make a warm mitten that has an opening for one finger to do texting. I’ll be publishing the pattern soon.
My usual menu of what’s on my needles includes a pair of socks, a shawl, a sweater, a hat, blanket, and something that will be a gift. I know—why so many? Because I like them all and can’t do just one thing at a time. All of these projects sit delightfully in their bags on the living room floor next to my chair. It sometimes get out of hand, but who cares, it’s all part of creative chaos.
I’d love to write more, but I really have a yen to get back to my knitting.