Sunday, January 12, 2014

Knitting Holes Together Again

I have learned to knit!

(Confession: Okay, maybe it is more relearned. It's been a...very, very long time since I last picked up needles and yarn. I might as well have been learning for the first time!)

Even though January is not nearly over, I have accomplished my first learning task. For the past few several years a bag of yarn has been sitting on the top shelf of my closet beside my bag of knitting books and dozens of needles of varying sizes. They've been sitting there. Untouched. I've been itching to use them but I keep making excuses for why I don't. I don't have anyone to give finished projects to. I'll get too addicted. I have so many other projects to do! Mainly: I don't have enough time!

Well, so long excuses! Helllloooo, action!

A week of emotional turmoil that ripped at my heart could only be cured through some creative play. But I had no inspiration to draw. Words wouldn't come when I tried. Painting felt like too much work. My camera weighed 2 tons. I sat there, trying to charge through the numb haze I was living in by use of comedies and reading. Not even they could distract me. My mind was a hamster wheel - going, going, going.

Knitting filled the void that was growing in my chest. It brought me back together, back to my center so that I could heal. It gave me focus. While I knit, my mind could wander and wrestle with the situation, then come right back, ebbing and flowing like the ocean waves. Without driving me crazy it let me work through my hurt. You could say it knit my holes together.

What do I have to show for it?

A new, warm, short scarf! Through use of knitting books and youtube videos (my favorite source for knitting help is knittingtipsbyjudy) I was able to cast on, successfully knit stitch and bind off. More excitedly for me, though, was that I was able to successfully do something I have never attempted before: add a new ball of yarn. In the past, when I used to knit, I had cast on, cast off and completed the knit stitch. Never once had I ever added a new ball of yarn the proper way. Cautious me do that? No way! I was too nervous! Instead I'd tie a knot between the two balls and go on with my knit stitches as normal.

Going with my new trend of stepping beyond my comfort zone and learning new things, I didn't give myself the option of security this time around. With help from knittingtipsbyjudy's video,  How to Knit: Binding Off, I completed it like a pro. It looks as if I just used one ball of yarn for the whole thing.

I was beaming afterward. I remember racing upstairs from my apartment to show my parents. I was like a kid who just learned something for the first time. Proud. Excited.

The scarf was not without difficulties. A bit too late I discovered I didn't have enough yarn to bind off. I could not find any more yarn that matched the balls I used. It was a nerve wrecking conundrum. After the success of casting on, my knit stitches and adding a new ball of yarn I didn't want to wreck the best looking scarf I had ever made.

Stubbornness took over. Hard-headed stubbornness.

By the end of it, I was holding on to a length of yarn the size of my finger nail, trying to finish the last stitch of the bind off. It was crazy. It was insane. My hands were shaking. My heart was pounding, palms sweating. But it worked. I couldn't be more happy!

I might just wear this to classes tomorrow!

What have you fun thing have you learned lately? When was the last thing you knit?

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