Sunday, June 6, 2010

I Knit

Knitting isn't what it used to be. Have you walked through your favorite craft store lately? Or even visited your LYS (local yarn store)? Inviting colors and textures await you. Wool, washable wool. Bamboo, linen, alpaca, cotton and more.

I taught myself to knit. My mom has said she taught me when I was little, but I don't remember. I came upon knitting because a series of events in my life left me unraveled. I literally had to find something to do with myself so I could sit down and do anything that required me to focus outside myself ... to do something to occupy my trembling hands. Back then the Internet only offered a smattering of knitting sites compared to today where you can spend days browsing... finding supplies, instruction, patterns and blogs.

I was browsing, looking for a how to knit website and came upon Tom, a kind faced man who was willing to share his knitting knowledge with the world. Regrettably, his site has disappeared. I printed out his instructions and static photos (hard to believe, but true, there wasn't really any video online yet). My equally neurotic friend and I went to a now non-existent shop and a kind gray-haired lady helped us select our very first needles and yarn. We sat for hours trying to figure out how to cast on with our friend, Tom. We mastered the long-tailed cast eventually and we were ready to knit, and knit and knit (purl came later).

The click-clack sounds of the needles became soothing music for my shattered and bruised psyche. The repetitive motion became my meditation. I finally felt as though my unraveled life could be knit back together again. I carried a knitting bag with me everywhere. If I needed a quick fix, a moment of calm or reassurance that my life could be “normal” again, I'd sneak off at work to the bathroom, or find a corner during my lunch hour.

Slowly, my first variegated purple wool scarf emerged. Wrapped around my neck, I still wear my “purple heart” with pride. It reminds me that I survived and came out the other end of my first clinically diagnosed depression. So if you are Tom, thank you for helping me save myself.

My "Purple Heart" Scarf


  1. Reminds me of when, back in the day, I did needlepoint. Endless canvases become cushion covers. At the time I did not realize that it was therapy for me as well. Now, when I feel that no so nice space, I lie down - or sit - in a quiet place and meditate mindfully. I no loger need the needle and thread to find that place of quite and peace. Thank you Buddha for your lessons.

  2. This posting touched my heart. Thank You!