Posted October 29, 2008on:
The other day I happened upon a survey about knitting and crocheting. Seems there is a college student interested in those of us engaged in these particular hobbies. My guess is she also indulges or is close to someone who does. It made me consider again why knitting is important to me; why it’s more than just a hobby.
Yes, I’ve written about this before, but hopefully my thoughts are either clearer or different enough to be of some small interest. This is really about finishing.
I get a deep sense of accomplishment when I finish a knitted object, whether it’s a toy or socks or a scarf or whatever. When I bind off that last stitch and weave in those ends, I look back on the happy hours I’ve spent with my needles and yarn. And I’m pleased to have created, from start to finish, something with my two hands.
When I first got back into knitting and was taking the refresher class and later, more advanced classes, my main accomplishment was getting to the class itself and enduring the the two hours of being public. I rediscovered knitting when my anxiety disorder and panic attacks were their peak. Some days getting out of bed was a hurdle. To get myself dressed, in the car for the hour drive to the shop where I took classes, and actually into the shop took so much energy. But I enjoyed the craft and I was determined to overcome my illness. This was one of my first achievements linked to knitting. In fact, I credit knitting with helping me get through the worst of this time and in helping me stay connected in some way with other people and the greater world.
Since then knitting has helped me achieve other goals, like selling my handcrafted items in a retail shop, participating in craft fairs, and even teaching beginning knitters. I only consider myself an early intermediate knitting and I like the feeling I get when I learn a new stitch pattern or try a new technique. If I had more time, I’d even like to try working me way up to being a master knitter. Someday.
In my worklife I rarely get to see the results of my efforts. Although I hope a students learned how to do better research and earned an A, they don’t usually return to say so. I don’t know what sticks when I teach an instruction session. I can’t see exactly what the person on the other end of the phone is doing when I explain something. While I find my work fulfilling, there isn’t a definable end product that I can look at with satisfaction like I can when I put on a pair of socks I knit myself.
So I knit.