Often I reflect on the art of knitting and what it means to me. I tried to find knitting in my 20’s. I found a Spanish lady who had a shop. She tried to sell me her most expensive yarn, angora, with straight US11 sticky plastic needles. I was supposed to knit a scarf in garter. There was no structure to a scarf with angora yarn knit on size US 11 needles. Much less the fact the needles weighed more than the yarn by a factor of 20x! She also was teaching me in the Continental fashion. I am so right hand dominate, it was a disaster. I couldn’t get a handle on tension, I couldn’t see the stitch pattern, and I couldn’t keep the stitches moving along the needle smoothly. I thought I was a failure.
15 years later, a good friend taught me on US8 needles, smaller straights, with worsted weight cotton/wool blend. She was an English thrower, so she put that yarn in my right hand and a light bulb went off. Ah!! Now I get it. Close to perfect tension right off the bat. I was finally a knitter. OK, so what’s that got to do with my reflections? Cue to present day:
This weekend we were busy bees. On Saturday I took my knitting along on a journey 2 hours away for our high school’s regional basketball game. Diva Girl was cheering in possibly her last game this year. As we wended our way along back roads I knit on my Autumn Blush shawl. And feared I was quickly running out of yarn!! Now, I knit the pattern to my determined midway point with the 1st skein, so I should be able to finish it out with the 2nd skein, right? Not even close! What’s up with that?
We were minutes from our destination when I realized this fact. I had brought the yarn to start a baby blanket, but really wanted to get this shawl done! Amazed that I didn’t just throw it in the basket, I spent the remainder of the trip ripping back past the midway point and created a new midway. Then tried to get the yarn rewound in a workable fashion so I could start back on the knitting once at the game. And I knit through most of the game, until it got intense in the last minutes and we suffered the loss by 2 points. And then took it to a hockey game Saturday night.
And then Sunday hit with allergies from flowers, sore throat, and cold, icy rain, and I did not want to get out. So I stayed in and ignored that shawl as best as I could. And guilt set in. I should be knitting on that. I am so far behind where I was on it. And on and on. And then I realized. Why am I pushing myself to knit? What was wrong in taking a break. My left wrist had been hurting from the marathon knitting I had done each day since Wednesday. Maybe it really was time for a break. After all, I am the boss of my knitting, why was I letting it dictate to me?
Today I reflected on the fact that I simply decided to rip out all that knitting and calmly rewound the yarn. I didn’t argue with myself or refuse to deal with the problem. I was the master of that shawl! And I also realized that I don’t have to justify my stash by knitting it all up as quickly as I can. Which is why the guilt was weighing on me. I feel bad having all this yarn and not doing anything with it! Sure, most all of it has an idea or a plan in mind, but there are only so many hours in a day, yada yada. So what? I don’t have to push myself to knit it all up right this minute!
Am I the only one who does these things? Fear the ripping? Have guilt about your stash levels and rate of knitting it up? Allow your knitting to tell you when, where and what? My solution? Sleep*, puzzles and surfing the web filled my day. And it was OK. I will survive to knit another day.
*I took the wrong allergy meds, the ones we keep to dose the dogs with on 4th of July, so I could barely STAY awake! They hate the loud booms from fireworks, therefore the dosing.