Saturday, August 25, 2007

to knit or not to knit?

I suppose I could scan my own blog for the specifics of timing, but since I am a lazy slacker....
let's just say that it was probably early spring when I put my knitting down.

Like down, down. Really down. Like I think I have knit 3-5 rounds on a sock in six-months, down. Like maybe so far down that maybe I have quit knitting, down.

(I bet your mouth is hanging open or you aren't breathing)

I'm guessing it was early March or so, and I had finished my very first shawl. I cast on for a pair of socks just in case I got "the twitch", but the goal was to give knitting a rest once the shawl was complete.

I'd accepted a settlement in the lawsuit about that time, but there were still many legal and financial details consuming my attention. I was on the hunt for a house that a person with a disability could actually function in. I was purging the contents of my old house in preparation of the move. I was purchasing the home itself, and shopping around for contents for the new house. I was dealing with a gaggle of contractors who were updating and adapting the new house. I was dealing with the transferring of personal accounts and services, and getting the documents in order for the school. And let's not forget the packing. I was packing. And packing. And packing.

I told myself that this was no time to get sucked into a knitting project.
I had to stay focused.
And I did.
And now that phase of my life is over.
And still I haven't picked up the knitting.

In spring, when I put the knitting aside, someone important to me said something, and it has been ringing in my ears ever since:
"I bet you put down the knitting and don't pick it back up again. I bet you're going to give it up entirely. It was just a phase. I think it was something you used to keep yourself out of the loonie-bin while you were dealing with the lawsuit stress." (See, she had her own similar experience. She would obsessively stay up into the wee hours make collages and doing papercrafting that involved teensy weensy shapes cut out into silhouettes using teensy weensy little scissors. Oh yes, and gluesticks. By the case, if I recall. --- I actually own some of that art. Which is good, because I like it, and she gave up making them right after her own legal issues settled.)

Anyhow, I told her, "Nuh, no, no, knitting is not like that for me. I knit when I was a kid, and as in my 20's too, if you'll recall. And now knitting is a big part of who I am, and my creativity, and it is how I relax. I just can't knit right now because I can't get distracted by the knitting like I do. I have to get all this shit wrapped up, and it is all time consuming."

The move was in mid-July. I knew things would shift. I dedicated an entire bookshelf to my knitting supplies. The spinning wheel (I still haven't learned to use properly) greets me as I walk through my front door. I started to carry my sock-in-progress with me again. I set out a basket of yarn and waited for them to talk to me about what to make next.

And the magic hasn't happened.

I still haven't knit.

I keep waiting for that compelling urge to create with my hands, and at least I do I get it...but I use it to cook instead (not a bad thing, because cooking had been on hold for as long, if not longer, than the knitting--and I have been entertaining once or twice a week, yay!).

But still, I'm not knitting. I find myself stuck somewhere with 20 minutes to kill, and it never occurs to me to pull out the sock and knit on it. I go into book stores, and I don't even visit the knitting section anymore. I have visited my new local yarn shop, but only because a friend that was visiting had to get some needles. I hadn't even made a bee-line for the shop on my own. And when I got inside the store with her? I didn't have that know...that thing...when you see the yarn, and you have all these fantasies about what you would make out of (whether you buy it or not), or maybe you don't even know what you'd make out of it, but you just know you have to have it because it is gorgeous and'll figure it out later.

Dudes, the yarn store was a good one. Loaded with gorgeous stuff.
I didn't drool, I didn't fondle, I didn't covet.
I didn't even feel the pull of sock yarn. WTF???!!!

I've been kinda wondering if this is the end of the road for me and knitting.
Last week I was even thinking that I really could use that bookshelf full of knitting stuff for something else, and that I was certain there were a few people in my life that would be glad to help me unload my stash.

Well, Thursday something happened.
I had a massage.
The closing of my escrow was such a bugger, that the realtor gave me a gift certificate for a massage in a card thanking me for my business. I had decided to make the appointment for this week, since MyFavoriteKid started back to school on Monday.

The massage was awesome, and without my going into my beliefs about the magical powers of bodywork, I will say that she definitely moved around some stuck energy. I knew it was stuck in my big achy muscles for sure, and I wasn't too surprised when she found it in all of those tiny little crevices and those odd little places where I am always surprised to be holding tension.

Well, after the massage was over, the massage therapist and I chat for a bit, and I'm not even sure how we got on the topic, but it turns out that she knits. A lot. And she felts. And she's obsessed fiber.

I'm sitting there drinking water, all happy and rubbed down and blissed out, and I'm listening to her talk about Koigu and cashmere and something about lace and shawls and who-knows-what-else-because-it-all-kind-of-ran-together-because-I-was-still-floaty....

....but I sorta had the colors of Koigu all spinning around in my head like a kaleidoscope while she was talking, and then I started seeing images of all of the things I have knit in Koigu, and all of the things I would like to knit in Koigu.....and, well... here I am, less than 48 hours later....and I feel like knitting.

I am woke up early this morning because I couldn't sleep, so I started flipping through the copy of Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits I bought last night. Of course, I'm wondering what time the yarn store opens. The sock I am (still) working on is sitting here and I am doing a few rows while I read knitting blogs. But what I really want to be doing right this very second (ie NOW) is casting on for that little cardigan with the leaf ties, and if I were at home (but I'm not...because I am at TheMostImportantGuy's for the weekend) I am certain I have enough of some yummy Rowan stashed away that would be perfect for it, so who needs to go shopping for yarn...but hey, now I do want to go yarn shopping, and hey...while I'm at it maybe I should pick up some of those Addi turbo's for lace...gee, I haven't tried those know, just to have them around in case I want to work with that deep read alpaca laceweight I bought awhile back...and hey, you know, fall is coming, and over the knee socks would be really great so I should make some out of the Socks That Rock I have stashed...and ooooooooo!! I have a solution for my bathroom window---I really should create some sort of window covering for it....and and and....

I have a hunch the massage therapist did a little more than just massage my weary muscles ;-)

To knit or not to knit?
Is it even a question?


Janice in GA said...

Well, ya know even if you never knitted again, we'd still love you. :) There are times and tides in our lives.

I played music obsessively for a few years. Then the music tide went out, and I haven't touched an instrument in months. (And believe me, I have a LOT of instruments.) But when the tide comes back in again, I'll still be able to go back and pick up the music and have fun with it.

So just go with the flow. (Sorry for the silly New Age-y imagery.)

Anonymous said...

Well, I haven't picked up the scissors again; but, I'd rather the paint brushes.....maybe I need a massage, eh?

no-blog-rachel said...

I'd have kept on reading your blog even if you hadn't wanted to pick up the needles again, but phew! You had me feeling pretty nervous there.

M-H said...

Welcome back. :) I've gone through these phases too, the ones where you don't knit becuase of stress and exhaustion. But they always pass and I get back to normal.

jodi said...

Yeah, I used to bind books. Was pretty good at it, too. Then one day, poof.

I'd like you just as much if you never knit a stitch again. I'd even knit you something.

Janis said...

Hey you!
I miss you. I don't have your email address and want to email you. Please send me your address. I want to catch up. You better keep knitting!


Carrie said...

Yay! Kudos for the power of massage! I bet your yarn missed you =)

kathy in juneau said...

Whew .. you had me going there for a few minutes. I would hate to have you leave "the fold."

Glad things are going well in the new hood!


Gray said...

It's always astonishing to see passions come and go. I think that we all understand. And who here could doubt that you have had much to do?

Nice to see your post.

Sara said...

I didn't crochet all summer. Then I had something I had to finish by a specific date, so I just picked it right back up again.

These things come and go. The key is to just have fun whatever you do.

Gayle Grace said...

so, you did all that moving and planning ALONE??? I am not going to comment on the knitting...

Rabbitch said...

Welcome back.

Damn, I was hoping you'd mail me your stash.

Jodie said...

Glad to see it wasn't permanent! I was starting to feel concerned when you said you may use the shelf for something else!

By the way, if you make knee socks would you knit one for your prosthetic? I've wanted to make some knee highs, but am worried the back of my C-leg will mess up the sock. Let me know what you think.

Patti said...

I haven't been here for a while - single mom, kid with health issues, working full time, etc, etc - I wanted to say first, I'm so glad you moved! Ack, that old neighbor!

And, I've taken up and put down my knitting three different times in my life now. It's been very useful as therapy, etc, and then I get too busy, like lately, and too tired when I do have time, and wanting to think about other things for a while. But I have a ton of sock yarn stored up for when it really hits again.