Smitten with Knittin'

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It all started at age eleven when I spied my grown-up neighbor, Peggy, walking around her garden making a sweater grow from two sticks. I begged her to teach me the magic of creating a fabric with my own hands using those simple tools and yarn. She gladly furnished the basics and then coached me through my first sweater.

I caught the knitting bug young and unlike most folks with chronic illnesses, I can live normally most of the time. But during stressful periods I get a fever that causes a rash of frantic knitting. After the spate of high school boyfriends’ sweaters (one of which has become a set of felted, and now singed, potholders in my kitchen), my disease went into remission for ten years until I got pregnant for the first time. The need to knit overwhelmed me during the Years of Young Children. I could soothe myself throughout and at the end of a long day by knitting—even just one row.

I can feel it coming on again. The Years of Y.C. are long over, but other things are getting to me: grown children gallivanting in foreign countries, a kitten in the house, my husband’s insanely busy workload, my sister’s real and devastating illness and yes, the troop surge. I’d rather have a loop surge!

Suddenly, I MUST KNIT. If that’s not possible, I just look at knitted items to quell the anxiety. Books and magazines do the trick, but now, too, we have knitting blogs. Lots of them are knitting blahs if you ask me, but many have actual, satisfying knit content that are like a salve. A few favorites are Unraveling (check out the log cabin blankie and International Pajama Day—brilliant!), Masondixonknitting (oh, the bathmat!), and Nonaknits (check out her swatch-a-day project—it’s knitters’ vitamins!)

At my house, four projects are in progress: a mohair log cabin blankie, space-dyed wool socks, always, always a dishrag and negotiations with the kitty so I can knit in her presence. Sadly, the world may not improve much by this activity, but at least I can cope with it more successfully.

To revisit a piece about knitting during the Years of Young Children, go to my Online Scrapbook, and for my friend David’s perspective on his wife’s knitting.



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