Thursday, February 21, 2013

How Learning to Knit Has Changed My Life

I learned to knit a few years ago. Actually it was about the fourth time I learned to knit, but I forgot how the first three times. Now I can cast on without help, fix mistakes, follow simple patterns, and actually produce knitted items. It has changed me in several ways.

I knit mostly baby blankets and am fairly determined to always have a baby blanket in progress. With three  married children just beginning families, I would like each grandchild to have a hand-knit blanket from me. Let's hope my production keeps pace with my children's production! In any case, I am sure to attend baby showers for other friends and will have no lack of infants to bestow them on.

Knitting has taught me a new kind of patience. I make mistakes, some of which must be fixed. Others are too small to bother unraveling several inches to make it perfect. Those mistakes teach me to forgive myself. I don't have to get it all right all the time.

Knitting has taught me perseverance. Forty-six inches of blanket means about four months of steady work. They take determination and scheduled hours to produce.

Knitting has taught me that you get what you pay for. Cheap yarn shows. Quality yarn is easier to work with, doesn't unwind when you have to fix mistakes, and just looks better. I make fewer mistakes with better materials.

Knitting has shown me my limitations. Some people can knit without looking. I can't. Well, I can, but the results are usually regrettable. So that means I can't.

Knitting gives me time to think. We need moments of quiet when our minds can slow down and retreat from the hectic daily grind. It is always a welcome moment when I can pull my knitting bag out and settle into a time of thoughtfulness.

Some things are enormous, life-changing events from which we emerge altered for better or worse. We know when life has been chiseling at our shortcomings. Other things work quietly to polish us and make us glow. Knitting has been in the latter category for me--nothing earth-shaking, just a slow, steady change in my  life.

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