Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K - is for Knitting and Me, A Love Story




Knitting is my passion - and it helped me come back to being me!

(At this point I know half of my readers have clicked on to other blogs.
Hope they come back for L.)

Knitting and I came together in 1997. There is a back-story. There always is!

At that time I was coming out of a high pressure management job, and I was very unhappy. As part of my recovery from that experience I came recognize that I had created my unhappiness with my own actions.

My litany goes something like this:
  • I loved the job (the responsibility, the people, the work, the challenge).
  • I did nothing but the job (no hobbies, no fun, no time, no nothing).
  • I lost perspective in the job (no boundaries, no limitations - job, job, and more job).
  • I lost compassion and understanding in the job (My way or the highway!).
  • I changed to someone unrecognizable in that job (b*tch, comes to mind).
  • I didn't eat well or sleep well with the job (No time. It was job, job and more job.)
  • I burned out in the job (I resigned without another job lined up.)
  • I survived the job (Because I quit - sometimes you just have to say "uncle" and move on).
In the months after leaving that position, I had a great big void in my life to deal with. Yes, I was still working. My employer liked me enough to offer me another position. (Go figure! Guess they couldn't hear my self-talk!) The new job was less stress, less prestigue and less money, but it was more structured, more predictable, and more do-able. But there was all this free time now - a huge void - a space to fill. I think I forgot how to be me. I had to figure that out.



As part of "figuring it out", I began to read for pleasure again, exercise again, spend time with family again (yes, even family seem to fall off my radar) ... and explore a new hobby. When I asked my husband about spending money on a class for learning to Knit - his response - "Go for it. It is cheaper than therapy."

It was better than therapy too.

The act of knitting has a bunch of advantages.
  • It has a start, a middle and an end. I needed more of that in my life at that time.
  • It produced a final product. In the beginning my final products were pretty terrible. :-)
  • It had a mediative quality to it. Knitting long stretches of the same stitch results in a lot of time for pondering other things and relax the mind.
  • It was a thinking-person's hobby - complicated stitches and adjustments for fit can take a lot of focus and planning.
Now 14 years later, my final projects are much better, my life is much fuller, and my downstairs closet is pretty full too (yarn stash - an addictive thing - come back when I do the letter Y.) I also own almost every knitting tool known to man.

So knitting is a worthy topic for the letter K. The only topic really!! At least for me.


15 comments:

  1. What a great post!! Love that jacket - what a beautiful colour!

    I like, also, that you use your 'easy' knitting time to ponder and think - I do a lot of 'plot-construction' while I'm knitting, it's as if with my hands occupied my brain can get on with thornier issues!

    The other benefit is that if I watch TV and knit I can't eat!! ;-)

    I'm glad you found a way to cope with the balance of work/life - and it was lovely to see some of your handiwork!

    But darn you, you've nabbed the same idea as me for 'Y'! (we shall have to compare stashes!)

    SueH I refuse to go quietly!

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  2. I'm glad you found something that helped to give you focus and relax your mind. Knitting taught me a lot of bad words but I still come back to it now and then. That throw is lovely.

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  3. Oh.. what a neat story. I loved reading it. How nice that you found on knitting a passion and something meaningful, plus you went back to enjoy family time, working out, reading. Those -except knitting- I made an important part of my life. I was close to the burnout at work, and I started reminded myself that I also had a life. Last year, I added more joy to my life by starting writing, and blogging :-)

    Have a wonderful day!

    Doris

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  4. Oh this is fabulous - the most beautiful afghan I have ever seen! I am so happy to meet another knitter- you have made my day with your visit to my blog!

    I wanted to reply to you directly - your profile is "no reply blogger".

    I am adding your blog to my google reader so that I can keepup with your beautiful projects! I may have to have the pattern for this afghan!

    vicki

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  5. ps - I see that you live in Columbia - are you going to the Maryland Sheep and Wool show? I go every year and love it!

    Vicki

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  6. This was a great choice for the letter K! I love the pictures, you are really talented. I just love that afghan, how beautiful!

    I've always wanted to learn to knit, and reading this has me thinking about taking a knitting class again. Great post. :)

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  7. Why is it that I'm not surprised you picked knitting for "K". : )

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  8. Hi! Just stopping by from the A to Z Challenge!
    gigglelaughcry.blogspot.com

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  9. Hello all.

    Thanks for all the lovely comments on my Knitting post. A few have asked do I have an email address. That my blog is set without an email address to send private posts. I am trying to fix that, but I am still not sure how to do that. But it will be done as some point. Right now email can be sent to retiredknitter@gmail.com.

    Thanks all, and happy blogging.

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  10. I love the afghan too! Somehow when I left your house this weekend MY afghan mysteriously stayed with you, hmmmmm. ;)

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  11. well...from reading this love story it's simple enough to understand and i'm happy that you found your niche`!:)

    i noted that you were wearing a beautiful red cape and blue pants. did you have an "S" on the front of your blouse too?)

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  12. I want to thank you so much for sharing knitting with me and getting me started on my love of all things fiber - knitting, spinning and weaving!

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  13. that shawl is absolutely gorgeous! what pattern is it? are you on ravelry? :)

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  14. Beautiful work and something I have been interested in learning.

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  15. The picture of the red one (I am not sure what you would call it, a poncho? a cape?) did you make that one? If so, I would sooooo pay you a lot of money to make me one of those. Its just beautiful!

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