"Things won are done,
Joy's Soul lies in the Doing."
- William Shakespeare

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cheap Therapy

I've got a confession to make.  Sometime around the end of last summer, I kept hearing about and reading about this pasttime...this hobby, if you will.  It wasn't like I'd never heard of it before, I just never thought much about it.  In fact, I may even have thought it was a little bit lame.  A wee bit uncool.  But then, I kept seeing it everywhere...I mean, everyone was doing it, and really seemed quite stoked about it.  I'd even tried it once before, about 10 years ago, but just wasn't down with it then. 

But here's the thing.  It is cool.  Super cool.  Knitting, that is.

Where did you think I was going there?  Get your mind out of the gutter, people!  Sheesh.

Anyway, not only is it cool to be able to take these two sticks, and this ball of yarn, and actually watch as you create a fabric - right before your very eyes, people, with your own two hands! - it is also incredibly relaxing.  And shamelessly addictive.  I've only been in on this gig for about 6 months or so now, and every time I come across a yarn shop, I turn into this psychotic, touchy, feely weirdo...stroking every skein of yarn that catches my eye, rubbing it on my cheek to see just how soft it would feel to wear it...yeah, baby.  My stash has gone from a few skeins of yarn for projects that I am currently working on, to multiple skeins for projects I have in mind to start soon, to the present, where I just can't help but purchase something with no intended plan for it...just because it's calling my name.  "Nécole!  Buy me, take me home where nobody will judge you for stroking me whilst purring like a cat..."

Not to mention the storage issue.  Especially with a new kitten.  Hm.

I may have developed a problem here.  But the thing is, I'll bet that nearly everyone else who has the knitting bug has the same problem, so whatever, it's fine.  Just fine.

That photo above is a work in progress, The Simple Yet Effective Shawl, pattern for purchase on Ravelry.  And it is going swimmingly.

Here's why the whole obsession is justifiable, folks.  It is, as I mentioned above, incredibly relaxing.  Once you get the rhythm down, a little knit, a little purl, you slip into a sort of meditative state of mind as your needles go clacking along.  And meditation does not come easy for me.  Well, it really doesn't come at all.  Ask my wonderful friend and yoga instructor, Jamie, of Moon Yogis, and she'll back me up here.  A mere five minutes in Shavasana has me developing an insane eye twitch while I'm trying to "relax my face and let me eyes fall into the back of my head."  I giggle at the sounds people make while breathing...I open my eyes to smile at Jamie as she walks around the room, giving everyone a little massage.  Oh, that, and I simply cannot shut up.  My mind goes a mile a minute, when it's supposed to be empty.  Ha.  I'm hopeless.

Or maybe not entirely.  Because once those needles get going in my hands, I find myself so much calmer, and also so much more present.  (This helps tremendously with kids, by the way.  Somehow, I find myself listening better to their wildly imaginative stories, and being ever so much more patient with them.  And I am not, by nature, especially patient.)  Meditation is happening here, my friends.  I may not be chanting Om, or sitting cross legged on a lotus, with my eyes falling to the back of my head, but I, good people, am getting somewhere.  And it's a pretty peaceful place.

Except, of course, for when I screw up.  Which definitely happens.  A fair bit.  Another lesson:  Forgiveness.  Letting it go.  Rightio, then.  Below, that's being ripped out.  My math skills leave plenty to be desired, and I underestimated, thereby ending up with a teeny baby size hat, when it was meant to be a small adult size hat.  Oh well.

My sister, Tasha, who also has taken a shine to knitting, and I were chatting a while back about this very subject.  The gals in my family carry some highly uptight genes, let me just throw that one out there, since we're being all therapeutic and confessing stuff.  Anywhoo...we started advising each other, in times of stress, to "knit it off."  Isn't that funny, and just a tiny bit cheesy?  Damn cheap therapy, I say.  Never mind the cost of yarn that you're beginning to horde...I'm quite sure it's still cheaper than real therapy.  And at the end of the day, you might get lucky and get to see a completed project that you're proud of.

I'm pretty proud of those kids wearing the hats too.  I made them as well.  Aren't I the talented one?  (And humble.)

Now, just imagine this scenario:  Thanksgiving at the airport, flights are delayed due to weather, or maybe the dreaded, unclaimed package has been discovered near a terminal.  Nobody's going anywhere.  And the airline employees, ticket desk folks, whatever they're called...they're chock full of holiday cheer, as usual.  And the guy next to you is hogging the armrest and smells remarkably like cat chow.  And he breathes heavily.  And you forgot your book.  And the TV has that Poltergeist grey fuzz thing going.  Get the picture?

Oh, but wait a second!  What have we here?  A pair of needles and some yarn...try a little knit, a little purl...knit it off.  Oh, wait another second!  Everyone has a pair of needles and yarn?  No way!  (Never you mind that they probably consider knitting needles a dangerous weapon in airports these days.  This is my fantasy.)  And there's a rhythmic click-clacking happening, almost musical, as all the stress melts away (except for that one dude over there, he will always be stressed).  People are actually smiling quietly to themselves.  Oh, and check that out...people are speaking to each other?  Politely?  Asking to check out that yarn there, and where did you buy it, and oh how lovely.  Nobody's bothered about the delay, because hey, they've got knitting to do.  I'm telling you.  The world could be a better place.

And that unclaimed, mysterious package?  Don't worry, it was just some needles a few skeins of yak wool.  Peace out, airport people.  I'm going to go get my knit on.

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