Sunday 3 April 2011

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2011 - Day Seven: Your knitting and crochet time

In my book, ALL time is knitting and crochet time.  Well maybe I should amend that to "crafting time".    Crafting is my life, I think about it, dream about it, sketch notes about it and am constantly carting around big hanks of yarn and pointy sticks.  All my handbags have to be big enough to contain at least a small yarn based project.  Without crafting most of my time would be empty.

Knitting started as a hobby, a means of filling the wide gaping hours of the day, waiting for my OH to come home from work.  When I first became ill, and stopped working, I would sit on the sofa and watch tv.  I would do cross stitch patterns, which became more and more complex but never really changed.  All the stitches and materials were the same, it was just the colours, and the order in which they were stitched that was different.  I knew I needed to find something else to distract me, something pretty, but useful, and I took up with the sticks and string.

Within weeks of starting to knit I was knitting for big chunks of each day.  I would sit on the sofa and half watch tv while I muddled through tricky new techniques.  I would surf the net looking for tutorials and study books and magazines. 

After a period of knitting on my own at home, I decided to come out as a knitter and went to my first knitting group.  I was so nervous and gabbled so quickly I must have impressed on the other knitters as having only a tenuous grip on sanity.  My only defense is that I didn't get out much.  After trying my first knitting group, I joined another.  I loved having an excuse to get out of the house, but more than that, I made friends.   I met other people who were as obsessed as I was with knitting and crochet.  Those first trips of knitting in the wild encouraged me to try knitting out of the house, but on my own!  I now knit in hospital waiting rooms, on trains, at my friends houses, in the car, any where there is enough light and low risk of spillage on my knitting.  I draw the line at knitting in a pub with drunk people.

My disability is pretty severe and my partner chooses to do the household chores so that I can preserve what little energy I have for nice things, like seeing friends occasionally.  I have no daily responsibilities, nothing that must be done each day to create a framework.  The week days feel like a pain-filled shapeless mass, out of which I must carve and shape my activities.

Knitting helps me give shape to each day.  Each stitch I make, marks the time I have taken to make it.  Before I started to knit, each second that passed seemed to be wasted and empty.  I felt like the days were slipping through my fingers.  There was nothing I could point to and say, "that is what I did today".  Knitting is my measure of how I pass my days.  The things that I can point to and say "I made that today, yesterday, last week, this year."  It marks my time and the things that I can create in it. I not only have the finished product to mark my time, but I have the photographs I take of it and the blog posts I write about it.  All of these activities help build a framework out of knitting upon which I hang my life.

Now my knitting fills my week days, evening and weekends.  It travels with me everywhere and my friends and family would probably be surprised if I didn't dig out my current project within minutes of sitting down.  I believe, and I think my loved ones agree, that it is better to concentrate on each stitch while I talk to them, than focusing on the pain I am experiencing.  It is much better to count the rows than the twinges and stabs, don't you think?

Time is no longer set aside for knitting, knitting is part of all of my time.  I knit when I watch my nephews run around the garden, I knit when I am being driven home to see my parents, I knit when I am waiting to see the doctors and I knit when I am thinking.  Knitting helps me to accept that I am always going to spend a lot of time watching other people taking part in life, and waiting for them to come back to me.  Knitting gives me something to do while I watch them do it.

Today's posts for this topic in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week can be found here.  This has been a challenging and interesting week for me.  I'm so pleased that I managed to take part.


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