With every long, cosy, woolly knitterly winter that comes and goes, I sink deeper into understanding what knitting is all about.
Over the years, knitting and knitting lifestyles are something about which I’ve thought long and hard. After all, my life is full-of-wool: yarn, needles, knitters, stitches, mistakes, frogging and just-one-more-row-please.
Knitting is a micro-version of living a rich and gratifying life, and it gives us the incredible chance to practise life over and over again, in manageable, bite-sized chunks.
A knitting lifestyle is catching your breath, the hop-skippity feeling in your heart and tingles in your fingers when you squish a skein of glorious yarn.
It’s slipping on a hot-off-the-needles colourwork sweater or stunning shawl in soft, silky hand-dyed yarn – and feeling like you really accomplished something.
It’s dressing someone you love in something you’ve poured your heart and soul into.
It’s that instant connection and endless conversation with someone when you discover they “get it” because they are also a knitter.
But it’s not all roses.
Knitting takes time, patience, perseverance and determination.
Knitting is the reason for many sighs, shakes of the head, and many swear words.
And that’s a big part of why it’s so special.
Because we know how often it can be challenging and disappointing, but it’s such a buzz when you get it right.
It’s excitedly casting on and then, at some point, not too many rows in, realising we’ve rushed. It’s pouring another cup of tea, carrying on for a bit longer, and then hours, days (weeks?) later, resigning ourselves to ripping it all out.
Knitting is taking a deep breath, picking ourselves up, and starting again. And again. And again.
Knitting is a beautiful yet oh-so-ordinary lifestyle.
It centres us, gives us endless opportunities to take risks, and figure out who we are and what we love. It’s the manifestation of an intense creative urge we live and breathe.
Knitting is understanding what someone means when they say: “I need to knit”.