When I first joined the knitting group, I was a “squares only” knitter. My knitting experience through the years had yielded only that which could be knit in a square – dishcloths, blankets and the occasional scarf. I envied those who could produce rounded items, such as hats or socks or mittens – how hard could it be? I was willing to learn and the helpful, eager ladies in the knitting group at the local library were anxious to assist my branching out beyond my comfort zone of squareness. I chose a hat for my first circular venture, deciding that the toes of a sock or the thumb of a mitten would be too much for me at this stage of the game. But before I could begin, I had to make a trip to a knitting store. I found one that seemed to welcome me with open arms, with its bins of yarns in all shades and colors and textures. And the woman who was working there at the time was so helpful, as she led me through the store to acquire all that I needed – yarn that would be compatible with the beginner’s pattern she found for me, and some circular needles that looked very perplexing to me. Thirty five dollars later, I was out the door and ready to create a hat – with the guidance of the lovely knitting ladies of course!
Truth number one I learned about myself – I am inpatient. I wanted to wear my new hat, so I tried to finish it on my own at home, rather than patiently waiting for the help I needed. As I put my finished hat on my head, adjusting it to cuteness, I watched in horror as the top of it slowly unraveled. Truth number two – I get angry! And I like to throw things in my state of anger. I watched my hat, with a trail of yarn, sail across my apartment, along with the circular needles that I blamed for my knitting mishap. But once I cooled down and began another attempt at my hat, I was able to create a hat that did not unravel. Now I was ready for something a little more advanced. How about fingerless mittens? They didn’t look to be too difficult, but were a step up from a hat, as they involved using double pointed needles – a new knitting tool I had yet to use. Off to the knitting store once more!
If I had thought of the circular needles as a challenge, I found double pointed needles to be downright evil. I uttered some rather choice words during my repeated attempts to get past the first few rows, and learned how to throw those small wooden needles like spears. But I reached inside myself for a dose of patience, and knit on and on, all the while speaking words of praise to my pretty wooden needles. But alas, I got caught up in delightful conversation with my fellow knitters one day, and realized after that fact that I had twisted my needles and was knitting inside out. This led me to truth number three – I am a “squares only” knitter, and that’s okay. I realized that the thing I love most about knitting isn’t the luscious yarn or pretty patterns or even the finished product itself. What I love most about knitting is the meditative quality of it – the repetition, the clicking sound of the needles. And the knitting group is a wonderful social outing; a time to visit and share stories and laughter with others. I will always admire the others in my knitting group for their creative gifts and amazing works of roundness that they are able to knit. But I have found acceptance of the happiness I gain from knitting – and the truths it brings to me and no one else.