Finding peace in the practice of knitting.
Viewing entries tagged
Notes on how a knitter and writer is getting through her depression…
I’ve been thinking a lot about stillness this month.
My life feels like a series of snapshots that end up moving in a chaotic fashion. Every day is pretty structured, but do I ever get time to be still? I mean, really still. With a three year old and a one year old? Most of the time I am keeping up with diapers and deadlines. There’s not much stillness in my life.
When I chose to do this challenge of knitting strictly from my stash this year, I didn’t realize that it would bring stillness. I haven’t taken great care of my yarn since we’ve moved. I haven’t had time to browse, to smell, to feel the skeins and hanks. In the time I’ve had, I’ve noticed myself going to the closet where my stash is stored and just looking. Admiring. I may have accumulated my stash out of a state of sadness, but each piece still holds a bit of love. Each piece has a purpose.
I‘ve had many moments of discontent where I wish I had more sweater quantities, more naturally dyed, more fingering weight, more worsted- exc.
But for the most part, I love my stash. I love the opportunity to make something beautiful out of nothing. That was probably the point of all the purchases in the first place. In my postpartum haze, I needed something tangible to create. To show that I have purpose.
That’s what we find in the stillness. After the anxiety, the disappointment, and discontent fade away there is our purpose. We belong just because we exist. Nothing more. We can create something magical out of the loose threads of our lives.
It’s agony for me to slow down and be still. I continuously want to move forward- to find success in busyness. I’ve never found success in that. So I must learn to be still.
Do you experience the feeling of Shame when you approach your Stash? Let’s unpack that while we knit this week.
As a person who grew up in the literal middle of nowhere, I have a special place in my heart for nature. One of the things I love about living in California is that there are so many opportunities to explore. Maybe not right outside my front door like the olden days of my youth, but they're within a reasonable driving distance. And if I am honest, I kind of want to get out of my house before things get to "round" around here. (Looking at you belly) I also want my son to be able to experience the natural world while the air is still clean and the water is still fresh. (More on that in Advocate)
As a kid, I had a tree that I would go to when I needed to get away from my family for a few quiet moments. Sometimes that was a lot. I had some tumultuous teenage years thanks to some severe health issues going on in my family. It was a time where I felt as though no one could, or wanted to, understand my stress. When life got to be too much I went outside. I would hike up to my tree and sit underneath it, take in the smell of the pine needles, listen to the wind flow through the valley, maybe see a hawk or hear the far away sound of a semi-truck go down the highway. It was grounding. I felt connected to something that was bigger than myself. In those moments my problems seemed smaller. This feeling continues as I get older. When life, inevitably, gets difficult I desire to be outside.
I am lucky that I found a life partner that feels similarly about nature. (Now if I could just get him to slow down on hikes, ha) That's probably the benefit of finding love in Colorado though. We have dreams of going on long hikes with our kids when they get older. We love just being outside.
This love for nature has also found it's way into my design work. It's difficult for me to make a design that isn't inspired by something from the Earth. It was even the inspiration for this website and business. I have to be true to myself, and a large part of that is nature.
For the Explore portion of my goals this year I hope to:
~Get out and get into nature more. It could be difficult with a baby coming in August, but I am going to do what I have to do. I also have a toddler, so it's not like I am going to be hiking to mountain summits any time soon. It's amazing what a small nature trail and some fresh air will do to the soul though.
~Find my tribe. I know that I am not the only knitter out there who feels similarly about nature. Look at all the designers who use nature to inspire their work. It's a part of the fabric of our DNA. I want to look for people who understand the need to be outside by searching out knitting groups, and more local yarn stores.
~Seek out instruction. We all need mentors. Lord knows I could use one in my life. (He just rolled his eyes and said, "Yes, find this woman a guru... stat" at least I think he did) I want this business to go somewhere, and I am not going to be able to do that on my own. As much as I love being a quiet loner.
~Experiment with new patterns and techniques. This sounds a lot like growing. Sorry. Some of the ideas bleed over into each other. But a part of exploration is experimentation and growth. I want to try patterns that I've been afraid to in the past. Or look for new techniques that help streamline the pattern making/ knitting processes.
A large part of my life is about Exploration, I want to embrace it more and find my way out of the general comfort zones that I've fallen into. They're lonely, and I miss my people.
Part 3 is a post you won't want to miss. Keep your eyes out for my post about Advocating.