I knit so I don’t kill people. That’s what a lot of knitters say because knitting is very, well, cathartic. You can sit there listening to the tv working away on a complicated cable cardigan missing all the action because watching it would mean you would have to take your eyes off the stitches and before you know it you’ve knit half a back on 85 stitches when there should be 86 and waaaayyyy down at the bottom is that one lonely stitch that fell off the needle when you were watching Tyrion slap Joffery. Now where was I? Oh yeah. Cathartic.
Knitting is very relaxing because with each stitch you can think about all the assholes who are peppering your life with inconsequential irritations and devise all kinds of scenarios where they are sitting beside you and one of your needles accidentally falls and somehow manages to stab them in the eye. Or you can imagine yourself walking while knitting a sock, because, you know, that is something that all unco-ordinated knitters should do once in their lives, and somehow you manage to trip and stab them in the eye with one of your Addi double points that costs a fortune and that better not have been bent by that eye socket. What? Oh yeah. Relaxing.
Knitting does calm your nerves. You can swatch for that beautiful lace sweater and imagine all the places you can wear it while you are swatching. You look at the beautiful intricate details of the pattern and think how people will look at you admiringly and be totally amazed that you knit it yourself. The expensive silk yarn in that stunning shade of ice blue will slide over your curves and magically you will turn into Cindy Crawford: tall and lean with thick, shiny hair that curls just right. And then you block your swatch and measure the gauge and see that you are way off. So you rip it out, change needles, get gauge, knit the damn sweater three times because the lace pattern is so intricate and the chart has a couple of errors that you don’t catch until you have finished the back and are halfway through the right front so you have to rip it all out and start again…twice…finish it, block it, sew it together, put it on and find out that the shoulders sag, the body is too long and somehow, even after careful measuring one sleeve is magically one inch shorter than the other. But you are calm.
I’m saying all this because I am currently in the process of finding a suitable knit for a Christmas party I have to attend. I don’t have the funds to go out and buy something so I thought with all the pretty yarn I have stashed I should be able to find something sufficiently party-like to wear. And this is the process so far: two days looking through all my books and magazines looking for something I like. Lots of things I like but for a party? No. Sitting down and seeing if I can adapt a sweater to look elegant enough to wear to a party. Sit in a pile of yarn trying to imagine what that nice cardigan with the patterned front would look like in a lighter yarn. Looking at that lovely Rowan Kid Silk and trying to picture it as a turtle-neck with pearl buttons. Thinking that lovely Rowan Kid Silk would probably be too itchy and drive me to distraction. Test knitting several different patterns using different yarns and throwing them into the corner and scowling at them because they just aren’t getting with the program. But, hey, once I find what I want I know that I will be found serenely knitting on the couch, content with the knowledge that I will probably end up going to the mall the day of the party looking for something that I can wear and that won’t cost a fortune. In the meantime I’ll just go and maul my yarn and imagine all the possibilities.
Btw, I love knitting.