I’m a knitter. I haven’t always been a knitter. It’s something I only recently learned to do when I was wandering in the career desert looking for my purpose. All of my self-help books said that I should follow any path that seemed interesting or made me curious, and being a crafty sort of girl I had to admit that knitting seemed like something that would be creative, fun, and cool.
Let’s just say that my eyes were yanked wide open once I entered the world of knitting and knitters. While I don’t mean to insult anyone, and I’m sure there are people like me out there knitting their happy hearts out, I have to say that the majority of the knitting world is definitely NOT cool. In fact, most of the yarns and patterns feel like they fell out of a 1950s time capsule or are so hideously bizarre that they are actually unwearable and I struggle to find projects that won’t send my body into anaphylactic shock. I’m a designer, I wear a lot of black, and leopard is one of my go-to neutrals. It’s no surprise that I’m not your typical knitter and that when I walk into most knitting stores I feel the collective woosh of eyebrows rising. I often leave empty handed because the yarns either reek of ugly itchy variegated Peruvian poncho, or please-kill-me pastel baby blanket. What’s a girl to do?
The good news is that water seeks its own level and thank GOD there are a few stores and suppliers that cater to bad-ass, cool-girl knitters like me. And even though I have a serious wool aversion and almost everything itches me, I have come to rely on my knitting as a creative outlet, a stress reducer, and a big time gifting machine. It forces me into thoughtfulness because almost everything I make I wind up giving away and one Christmas I actually made hats, scarves and cowls for everyone in my immediate family (I started knitting in June, just so you know). Knitting came really easily to me and I think the one thing I had going for me in the beginning was my ignorance. I had no idea when something was considered difficult or too challenging, I just jumped in and did it. And because I had no fear, I learned A LOT. This is not to say that there weren’t moments when my husband would look at me with his Cialis face and I would breath fire at him from panic-stricken tears because I was so lost and had to frog (that’s undo to you non-knitters) an entire piece to find my mistake. It has its moments of frustration, like any sport, but you push through, and when you give someone something you made with your own two hands, it feels really FREAKING good.
Knitting has upped my creative game. It has challenged me, calmed me, rewarded me, taught me patience and perseverance, humbled me enormously, given me great joy and an appreciation of both the simple and the complex, and it has allowed me to give of myself in ways that other hobbies can’t. It’s a return to the tradition of hand goods, and because I could never be a farmer (HA, can you see me up at 4 on my leopard seat tractor?) this is the closest I will ever get to achieving Amish levels of perfection with my own two hands. It is a back to basics skill that I’m glad I have mastered. And this way I know that if I ever find myself on Naked and Afraid, I have the skills necessary to knit myself a lovely leaf bikini to preserve my dignity while I’m skinning a Cobra with my teeth.