Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Things I've Learned While Knitting....

I taught myself to knit using a Lion Brand Scarf/Hat kit. Someone had shown me how to knit probably 10 years before, but I had done very little and had promptly forgotten all the little details. Around 10 years ago, I had a lil breakdown. Way, way too much stress combined with little-to-no support left me pretty much a basket case one day. I'd left my marriage of 14 years, had 4 kids 10 and under to support completely on my own, had come out and promptly lost 90% of the support/friends/family I'd had....and one day I started crying over some small detail....and I couldn't stop. I cried for about a week. The tears just rolled down my face....and I could. Not. Stop. I had to take time off (that I could not afford) from work....because all I did was cry.

One of those days off from work, I wandered around the local Fred Meyer....again, tears slowly just running down my face. I couldn't stop. I wandered down an aisle and it turned out to be yarn...and there was the aforementioned kit on sale for 50% off. It was dirt cheap and I thought maybe I could distract myself....

And knitting brought me back to sanity. It was something to concentrate on, something to keep me "doing", creative, forgiving - hey, make a mistake? rip it out and start again! I started knitting and I did not stop for about 9 years. I taught myself to cable, to knit in the round, to knit socks, to knit lace. I made cool stuff, I made some downright fugly stuff. I devoted myself to growing a stash...and I was a very good customer at the LYS. I took a couple classes on knitting intarsia and stranded colorwork.

Some things about my knitting bugged me. I'm great at starting lots of new things, not so great at finishing. I lose interest. The next new sexy yarn comes along and my head is turned and whatever I'm knitting goes in a bag and gets shoved somewhere. I really, REALLY wanted to knit sweaters....but seemed to never be able to work on it that long...the bigger the project, the sooner it seemed to get frogged or just abandoned.

I started taking college classes two years ago, and for the most part had to put away all my creative stuff. Quilting, knitting, room for it when you work two jobs and go to school.

This fall, my son was diagnosed as having ADHD-PI (the PI stands for primary inattentiveness). What this means is he does not appear to have ADHD. If you look at a group of kids, he will be sitting there appearing to be paying attention....but if he is not DOING something, INTERACTING with something, his mind is not is busy elsewhere. The lights are on, but he's out on an adventure somewhere else. In learning about this condition....I began to suspect the fruit don't fall far from the tree. All those symptoms are ME, through and through. There was no testing for ADHD when I was a kid....and like my son, I was good at being "appropriate" in class - but if I wasn't doing something, I was daydreaming.

Now I know why my best choreography happens in the car! I listen to the music repeatedly, and soon as I drive along I begin to "see it"...then I go home later and write it down. When I knit (again, doing something, interacting with the yarn and the needles) - I am calmer, happier, and better able to focus.

When I dragged out a skein of "craptastic" acrylic and needles (the closest thing I could reach, the stash is sort of buried in the garage) and started knitting a couple weeks ago, my partner groaned and rolled her eyes. She sees 20 UFO's and enough yarn to start my own lil store....and thinks, "here we go again!"

But finding knitting again is balancing me in a way I almost can't describe. I did promise myself that I would knit from stash for awhile, because God knows, I have enough to pick from. Enough sock yarn to knit a couple dozen pairs of socks...all different weights, and certainly all the needles I could use. I did, finally, use a gift cert to the LYS yesterday I'd been holding on to for over a year, and purchased 2 skein of Kureyon Sock at 40% off....which will become who knows what.

I know that right now in my life, there is not room for big projects. Not room for charts, or cables, or anything that you have to make 2 of. I need knitting I can pick up at any time and just knit for however many minutes I have...not something I have to pay a lot of attention to.

I'm casting on today with the newly acquired Noro Sock S150 for a Baktus scarf.

Hopefully, I'll get some pics tonight and post them with my next knitting post.....

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