Most knitters know that knitting through whatever is going on is often the path to solace, peace, serenity, calm. Whatever it is you need. The meditative and repetitive qualities of knitting, and the unfolding of some spectacular thing from the work of our hands, is a constant. If you are a regular knitter (even if you only knit during the colder months), you know this.
I am sorting through the election on Tuesday. I supported Hillary because I could not in any way support the man who belittled President Obama for eight years. It became pretty fantastic toward the end to think of a woman being president. At 62 years old it seems pretty ridiculous that that has not happened. On the other hand, I knew it wouldn’t happen because I didn’t think those unsettled by Obama would be able to get behind a woman. So I was surprised by the election result, and not. I think this is partly because one gains certain perspectives as they pile on years. I remember so many presidents, and am so aware of the shortcomings of each of them.
I am a liberal. It pains me to see the homeless. I cannot imagine why anyone would care whom anyone else marries. I do not care what gender identity someone may be comfortable with. I wonder why women, who are so important to the fabric of our society, are so easily demeaned. I have been bullied and raped. I do not see the perpetrators as being very different from each other. I can tell you that the fallout for the victim is pretty similar.
I digress. This post is about knitting through. I have some thoughts on how and why to knit through.
There is (almost) always satisfaction in creating something. I never think of myself as being a product knitter, but ultimately, product is what we want. We want a washcloth, a hat, mittens, a blanket, a scarf, a sweater. Visible and tangible proof of our skill, patience, and diligence. The product is a reward that is pretty easy to quantify. I like product knitting when I am deep in process on other projects. Other times I need product to show my process!
This is my favorite type of knitting. I am pacitical though, so most of my knitting ends in something that is a product. I just don’t always make the product I do the research and create the tools. I consider swatches process knitting. Although they might result in product, they are more like research than making a product. I’m always a little embarrassed when people ask me what I’m knitting and I say “a sample.” People want to know what the hell it is going to be!
Knitting Through for Peace
A day of disappointments, a goal set and not met, a series of frustrations. Death, illness, uncertainty, fear, humiliation. Yes, being on the losing side. It doesn’t matter what the source of your pain, knitting stitches can soothe it. Knitting doesn’t solve anything, but it does give focus and a way to meditate through the monkey brain. K1, p1. Knit, knit, knit. Purl, purl, purl. K1, YO, k2tog. These are the mantras we knitters use to find peace. I’ve knit through all kinds of things. I have, in more than one instance, thrown away the project because too much pain, irritation, disappointment, or frustration, was knitted into it. Use this if needed.
For many of us this is the true reason we knit. It is hard to quantify or qualify, but I bet you could give a quick dissertation about the joys, power, mastery, tactile goodness, etc. that you derive from each and every knitting project you undertake. How can you describe the joy of falling in love and being able rush headlong in? The swell of joy that color brings to you, the memories stirred by stitches working together. No one else needs to know these things–although knitters share them with each other.
These are all good reasons for knitting through. May you mostly knit for product, process, and passion. May the peace you knit for be close at hand.