Occasionally when I am working on a scarf or a sock some people question me why I am knitting something that takes so long to make and costs so much compared to buying it.
Besides the obvious answer to these unenlightened individuals, the question keeps popping up in my mind: Why Do I Knit?
I started knitting during a time in my life when there were so many things happening that were out of my control and were very stressful. Learning or relearning a difficult skill such as knitting during a stressful time may not sound like a great idea but I found the distraction and concentration on something I could control very helpful. Handling soft fuzzy yarn in pretty colors and the feel of the satiny wooden needles in my hands was pure pleasure.
I also felt confidence in myself as I solved problems and created a beautiful garment from “string and sticks”. It feels good to do something for which you have a knack. But there was something else, another reason that I just couldn’t find the words to express, until today.
My dear friends C___ and D___ gave me a great book for my birthday and I had a lovely morning reading it and sipping coffee snuggled in my new shawl, warming me from my damp hair around my shoulders.
My eyes fell on a page about Melanie Falick, a well known author of several iconic books on knitting.
“I love that knitting is quiet. It creates a peaceful place in my mind,” she reflects. The hours it takes to knit a garment are “hours of pleasure,” she notes. In an era of high-speed multitasking, Melanie finds that knitting balances other elements in her life. “We just whiz through the day, trying to keep all the balls up in the air,” she observes. “When you make something by hand, it has great meaning, and it feels really good to have meaning in your life.”
The Knitter’s Life List, Gwen W Steege, Storey Publishing, LLC, 2011
Finding a truism of your feelings expressed so eloquently in someone else’s words brings home the community that exists between knitters. We all exhibit similar generous and caring tendencies, we create and give love handcrafted in the form of fiber, we appreciate the art and genius of others and we very often have the same feelings about our own art, what it means and why it is important.
It is a remarkable thing. This is why I knit.