Thursday, January 4, 2018


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really feel, my hands and, in turn, my needles, reflected that change.

One relatively recent development in my life has been good, solid community - and the accountability it brings. At a small pre-Christmas gathering, one woman looked at me and said, "Hey, I've got a question. I haven't seen you knitting lately. Why?" I glanced guiltily toward my bag, which held a project I'd been carrying everywhere but seldom getting out for over a month. My reply came slowly. "You're right... I haven't been. I'm having an argument with this project. One of us is struggling, and I'm not sure which one of us it is."

On the last day of last year, I dug my knitting corner out from under the pile of clean laundry that had obscured it for months, cleared the floor of shoes and books and toys, put a tiny string of twinkle lights around my mood board... and sat down to knit for over an hour. I don't think it was the cleaning that motivated me to knit, but whatever it was that sparked the cleaning - having both the time and energy to work on it, as well as the mental clarity to see the light at the end of the tunnel clearly enough to push through a pretty awful mess, instead of being overwhelmed.

In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. For the longest time, cleaning that corner felt like a waste of time. So I'd spend any time that I could have used to work on it torn in a paralysis of wanting to do something else, but feeling guilty for wanting that. But for the past three days, I've been able to spend Morning Peace Time sitting in my chair reading or journaling or knitting and not feeling bad about it - and also being able to use every moment of the time actually doing the thing I want to be doing. It's refreshing - and it motivates me to not only maintain that corner, but tackle the other strongholds of chaos in my life, as well.

This post is a part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link up. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in yourself, head here.


Melinda Hollis said...

Hmm... interesting... I'm assuming that "in order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself" applies to things other than just knitting. Like art journaling and Bible study. Hmm... I wonder what I can clean to motivate myself to change.

(Your FMF neighbor)

Andrew said...

Great post, Sarah. I find that as things get harder - like the physical act of typing - I have to invent new ways to fan the flame of motivation every day...and to neither be negligent nor too 'forward', for either will quickly extinguish it.

Blogger Loves The King said...

I used to knit a lot and then kids over 38 years ago and I quit. I've been thinking about getting back to it, but these days it's even hard to find time to write and get my Bible studies done.

I'd love to knit some coffee cozies, but then I need to go find a pattern.

Great post!

Jennifer said...

I have never knit a day in my life (although I think it would be wonderful) but how applicable your thought is to everyone of us! Glad you are knitting again!

Karrilee Aggett said...

Oh yes... I have been giving my art table the side-eye for MONTHS! SOMEONE has to take care of that mess! ;) (Me... it's gotta be me!) Thanks for the reminder and motivation! (See what I did there?) Love you, friend!

Marie Gregg said...

I like this, Sarah. Like you, I went through a season where I thought I was somehow immune to or exempt from the dramas that others were going through, but then I crashed. Discovered I had been operating on auto-pilot for a long time. It was only by confronting that, confronting the mess, that I began to make progress. My metaphorical knitting corner began to emerge from underneath layers of depression and anxiety.

In Heaven you're going to have to teach me how to knit. I've gotten as far as casting on and that's it. :)

Kelly Blackwell said...

I remember listening to the click of knitting needles when my boss was trying to chill out. It seemed to center her. I am not a knitter but I would like to be. I am glad that you have gone beneath just the surface of feeling.

Hope you have a lovely week.

Visiting from FMF #68