Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Knitting For The Soul
Before I became pregnant with my daughter I had a miscarriage.
I took it badly. Really badly.
About 3 days prior to having the miscarriage I had learned to knit. It was a random thing I had wanted to learn for awhile. I was clumsy at first.
I don't know why, but something that weekend made me pick up those needles and I began to knit.
And knit. It was a little like Forest Gump running in that movie.
I think at the time I only knew the knit stitch. I couldn't purl. I would knit just about anywhere and it was the one thing that kept me hanging in there. Sometimes I would sit in the rocking chair and knit, the chair and my knitting moving in time with each other.
Knitting has a meditative quality to it. A rhythm, if you will, that forces you to focus and yet, let go. It quiets your mind. I'm not the only person who thinks that, by the way. In my knitting journey I've spoken with a lot of knitters who feel the same.
I had the miscarriage in September and by December, everyone I knew got scarves for Christmas. I took some classes. I knitted bags. I knitted socks in January. (Ok, I knitted A sock. Socks are actually pretty difficult, that whole heel thing is done on 4 or 5 double point needles. If you ever get handknit socks from someone it means you are pretty special.) When it took a long time for me to get pregnant, I knitted a sweater.
And the yarn. Oh, I love expensive yarn.
Knitting, is, of course, a tactile experience and one made better or worse by the feel of the yarn on your fingers. I'm not a sophisticated knitter by any stretch and for me, the quality of the yarn has a lot to do with the quality of the finished product. (In my pieces anyway) There is nothing like hand-dyed or hand-painted yarn of natural fiber. The one in the picture I've had for some time. It looks like indian corn and has the slightest sheen to it. I've knit it into 2 other things that just didn't work. This time it's a scarf for myself. Those colors, well that's what color I am on the inside.
Knitting is basically making knots in yarn with 2 sticks. You can get really complicated with it or not. I used to envision that while I was knitting all of those little knots, that some of the knots deep inside of myself were slowly, very slowly, unwinding.
At first this made me uneasy giving people my knitting. It was as if I had knitted all of that grief into those pieces. What I realized later is that really, I had knitted my peace into them.