My new addiction: knitting. Turns out that knitting is quite helpful at dealing with anxiety. The repetitive motions and the feel of the needles and yarn are rather soothing. And, well, if you have an addictive personality (like I do), it suddenly becomes ALL you want to do.
Two weeks ago I needed to up my mental health healing game. Painting the craft room wasn’t cutting it (and I still need to finish that room, sigh.) So I took myself to Michael’s and WalMart and bought myself some yarn and needles and was determined to teach myself to KNIT.
I failed almost immediately because I couldn’t figure out how the heck to cast on to start a knitting project. Thanks to a video chat with my wonderful friend Jeanna, I figured out a very basic way to cast on that I could actually DO. And then I began to knit.
I was a non-stop knitting machine! The simple garter stitch, over and over. It was calming and fun. I am in love with multi-coloured yarn. I can’t even seem to buy any yarn that’s only one colour. I like the rainbows that show up with multi-coloured yarn. I wanted an infinity scarf and very soon, I had one.
This took me five days to complete. I also watched 2.5 seasons of Law & Order SVU while knitting. This was my second attempt at a scarf, the first yarn I bought was too fuzzy and fragile for me to knit with. It kept breaking, and knotting. So I switched to this thicker, yarn and voila! And it was still cold enough to wear outside! (Bitter sweet really, because I’d really like some above 0C weather soon.)
I didn’t know what to do with myself once I finished this scarf, so I picked up my original yarn and tried it again. And soon…
DONE! I am so happy that I was able to make this yarn work the second time. I absolutely LOVE the colours and the way they stripe. I love how soft this is. I love it so much, and it’s lighter to wear, so the slightly warmer temperatures that still require a scarf make this a perfect fit for March.
I took out a couple of knitting books from the library, but I’m having trouble figuring out directions. I work better when I am shown how to do something. In fact, I had a second video knitting session, this time with Monkey. She helped me figure out how to purl. I was getting all tangled and adding stitches. So now I’m on a third scarf – this one isn’t for me. And it’s a knitting and purling experiment.
I’ve had to backspace on this one twice so far. I kept messing up which side I was knitting first or purling first. I finally added an elastic to the end of one needle so I knew each time that side came up I had to start with a purl. So I’m farther along than this photo shows, AND it’s not all messed up in the middle like this one.
Right now I’m all about scarves. I bought some cotton yarn to try and make some dishcloths. I’d love to be able to make hats, but I think that’ll come with more practice. I want to knit ALL of the things. I wish I had taken to this more when my grandmother tried to teach me when I was little. I don’t think I appreciated how soothing an action it is.
Besides my own amusement over knitting, Yoshi is my biggest fan. He has loved all the yarn I use, and the scarves I have made (as witnessed by the first photo.) He’s been a fun knitting companion to have. Except when he likes the yarn too much and decides he needs to sleep on top of it.
This new toy is FUN! I’m going to catch all of the strings!
Thank you for making me a THING to snuggle into! I luffs it!
This new THING is even MORE snuggly! I think shall sleeps on it. You got it for me, right?
Are you making me a new scarffy? I luffs this one! Does it go with my eyes?
Sophie, on the other hand, isn’t such a fan of scarves, knitting, or fashion. Even though she looks beautiful in this scarf.
What is this thing? Get it off me! This has nothing to do with FOOD.
(Although she DID discover that bamboo knitting needles are DELICIOUS, and ate mine while I was working on the second scarf. We went out to buy me more needles that night. Sigh. Now I have to keep them way out of her reach. Oh, #NoSophie!)
So, I’m knitting. A lot. And learning. And it’s helping calm my anxiety immensely. And it’s mindless, but not really. And I can get lost in the rhythm of knitting and not think about anything for a while. It calms my breathing and distracts my mind. Something that I used to get from reading, only these days I can’t read. I just can’t focus on what I’m reading. Even my regular comfort food books aren’t holding my attention. It’s upsetting. So I’ll knit for now and eventually I’ll be better. And eventually I’ll learn to knit things other than scarves. And eventually I’ll be back at work (hopefully after Easter), and eventually I’ll have fewer ptsd-related set backs. And I’ll make it through a year without falling apart. It will only be two years since the trauma at the end of this month, so I still have a ways to go to distance myself from things that trigger the set backs.
Meanwhile, who wants a scarf?