A quick ode to knitting


My knitting life has been varied as of late. Lots of projects, some knit with thoughtfully chosen and specifically bought wool,  others unexpected and creatively pieced together with yarn from my stash. A ribbed hat made from sport weight yarn on needles so small they blistered the ends of my fingers after a week of constant ribbed knitting, another that was over and done with in two days. I finished a springtime sweater for myself, just in time for our upcoming road trip to Florida next week, and a pair of fingerless mitts made their way across the Atlantic to Sweden and a dear friend. 


Knitting holds a special place in my heart, for so many reasons. It's a balm, a creative outlet, a connection to my past, something I can pass on to my children, a meditation, an obsession, a nervous habit, a distraction, a tool for focusing, it's art and magic and finite and expansive. 


Writing and knitting go hand in hand for me, they compliment each other beautifully. Especially when in the early stages of a first draft, it's easy to get lost in the process. The vastness of the project. It feels endless and the daily word count a drop in the bucket compared to the final outcome. Knitting is almost a physical manifestation of the process... you can see something being created right in front of you, at your finger tips, in your lap. You can then hold your creation, wear it for all to see, and only you know the memories it contains. The silent prayers, the curse words at a dropped stitch, the daydreams and television shows you watched. The plot points you worked out while adding stitches and counting rows and hoping that you bought enough yarn to finish the sweater. 

Similarly to writing, there's hours of work that goes unseen even when someone looks directly at your project. Some of it is thankless and can be quite literally painful. But the hard work, the mind twisting patterns and numbers, the plot holes and complicated characters, all come together in the end in what is *hopefully* a piece of creative, soulful, and useful art. Books are art, anything hand knit is art, and both feel magical. You take an idea, you take a pattern, and breathe life into them. Poof, you have something that is timeless, something to put your name to and say, "I made that." 

Creating something out of nothing, that's what knitting and writing both feel like to me. And I love them both, and how they play off of each other and challenge me every step of the way. Even when faced with ease, there's still the question of how does this fit with the rest of the project, how does this work? Will this work? You don't know until the end. There's trust in both processes, but in such different ways. 

That is why I need a knitting project while I write, and a writing project while I knit: so I can remember to trust, myself and the process. To remember that every stitch counts, every word counts, and individually they might not amount to much - but together they make something useful and beautiful. Something timeless. 

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Tomorrow my monthly newsletter goes out. If you haven't signed up to my mailing list yet, you can do so here. I promise I won't send you a gazillion emails!

Next week my family and I will be on vacation... but don't worry, there will still be a blog post next Wednesday! I'll be introducing you to a trusted writer friend of mine, Jennie Booth. I asked if she'd like to write a guest post for me, and she kindly agreed. I can't wait for you to meet her!


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