What a week so far. I think no matter what side of this you are on - and how sad is it that this truly feels like sides - the anxiety going into this election and now having worst case happen, where it is dragging on for days, is pulling us all down.
This got me to thinking about my history of anxiety knitting. Anxiety and depression when I couldn't knit much, and now knitting as a way to relieve my anxiety. So I wanted to share a bit about my knitting history! I learned to knit years ago from my Mom. She would pick up her knitting throughout the years, generally to knit scarves or the occasional baby blanket. She is also a quilter and her crafts seem to switch pretty hard when I was younger, not necessarily overlap. So I'm sure my bits of knitting followed her cycles.
I really picked up knitting again about 11 years ago while I lived in Portland when I took a class at a local yarn shop on knitting a hat. Since I knew only the very basics this class was great as it solidified some of the skills I had and taught me knew ones. It also taught me the fun of knitting with others. Once I had that first hat knit I was on a roll, or so I thought. I believe I have mentioned that I worked a lot when I owned my old business in Portland. Like a lot! It turns out that besides feeling like I needed to work that much, it was also a way for me to deal with some of my unhappiness which when I was home smacked me right in the face. I remember vividly getting home from a long day at work and furiously sweeping the house. During my anxiety clean that night I thought to myself "maybe I should sit down and knit?" And my response to myself was "well that is stupid, what am I going to do, knit a hat? What difference does it make if I knit a hat?" And I kept cleaning.
I was in therapy at the time and soon began to realize that those feelings of pointlessness were my unhappiness and depression showing themselves. It took a lot of big life changes to get me thru that period and lucky for me knitting came along for the ride. I soon began to realize that "the point" of knitting for me was not only to make an object, it was a form of self care. A way to literally make myself sit down, be creative and just let my mind wander a bit.
It very much still is a form of self-care for me and so much more. I love the finished garments I make, I love the community I am in and I absolutely love having a craft that allows me time to sit, make and breathe. I have often said if I had as much patience with knitting as I have with the rest of my life, how amazing would that be? A girl can dream! Over the years one of our running gauges of my anxiety is that Mitch will say, "where's your knitting?" (wink wink) for those moments he can tell I need to sit. Occasionally I still have times where I think "what is the point" and I am finding them seeping in a bit more as I have become officially peri-menopausal (you guys may as well know it all!!!). The thing is now I can hear myself having these thoughts and realize that in these moments I absolutely must sit and knit or spin.
I'll finally circle back to this week. My anxiety is thru the roof. And so I knit on. I knit thru election night, I knit thru last night and sadly it looks like another solid knit night ahead. Admittedly I have done a fair amount of ripping, but that's ok, it is all part of the process.
And what about you all? Are you finding yourself still able to find comfort in your craft this week? Have you leaned in harder on making or found yourself putting it down unable to concentrate?
I'd love to hear from you about you are feeling and how you are making helps you! Thank you for reading and commenting. Take care all and stay healthy!
I am Kim Biegler, the owner and operator of Ewethful Fiber Farm & Mill. I create hand spinning fibers from locally sourced wool and teach others online how to hand spin their own yarn.