Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Knitting envy!

Last night I collapsed on the couch at 7 p.m. for my allotted knitting time in front of the TV and felt an intense pressure to perform. Must, must, must make significant progress on the sock so I, too, could share a photo I could be proud of – or at least one not so embarrassing as that tiny little strip of knitting on the needles.

I knitted, frogged, dropped stitches, repaired the goofs, and then dropped another stitch. Sigh. Failure loomed. Stubbornly, I persisted for another hour until the tight soreness in my fingers loosened enough to allow reasonable speed and reliability. At that point, I’d progressed an inch past the toe and still wasn’t satisfied with the shape or fit. Or the mistakes I could still see in the fabric, and they were HUGE…glaring…embarrassing…. Decision point. Continue and call it a practice sock? Or frog?

My first thought was that I’d have nothing to show. I’d failed as a Sockhopper before the end of the first week. Eeeek! That thought reeked of the old Type A competitive me. The older, wiser me knows better, right? Yeah, theoretically. Old habits die hard, and those fueled by petty human emotions tend to slink about in the shadowed corners of the mind, just waiting for an opportunity for a little action.

Action’s not a bad thing. Competition can be invigorating. The issue is perspective, and I’d lost mine. So…deep breath. Knitting isn’t a competitive event. It’s therapy. It’s fun. The joy of a knit-a-long is in the shared experience, the assistance we can give one another as we experiment with new patterns and techniques, the mutual support, the progress photos of those beautiful socks. But…but…BACK, YOU DEMONS OF KNITTING ENVY!

Deep breath. Okay. Time to frog.

It wasn’t so bad. In pulling out those stitches and winding the yarn back onto the ball, I think I symbolically released the emotions I’d knit into them. I stopped envying the commuters who could count on the commute time for knitting. I stopped thinking wistfully of those long trips with someone else driving, of the carpool wait times, and all the other knitting times and places I’ve left behind.

It’s Indian Summer here at the farm, and so much must yet be done before frost claims the land. Winter is a relentless, non-negotiable deadline, and there’s an urgency to the preparations – physical demands that leave the body tired and sore. My non-farm professional commitments carry their own deadlines. So an hour of knitting at the end of the day…ah, that’s where I find peace. Usually.

I knit a little here and there, but mostly now I knit in the living room, sometime after sundown, sprawled on the couch with the TV running. I watch as I knit, or tune it out, whatever my mood dictates. It’s a peaceful end to my day, and the movements help undo the combined damage of the day’s activities, the hours at the keyboard and more hours of a different strain on my hands from the physical labor of moving hay bales or twisting stiff wire for fence repairs, or any of the other myriad chores of the day.

When do you knit? How does it help you?


Blogger KnitTech said...

I must say, you're not the slacker, I am. :) We have 27 more days. To get them finished, plenty of time.

1:52 PM  
Blogger LauraP said...

knittech - I checked out your blog. You're no, you finish projects before starting more. Now that's discipline.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Patty said...

I knit waiting for kids - but now just one kid as one has left the nest. I knit as a passenger in the car. I knit at concerts and school meetings. I knit in the evening in front of the tv. But I rarely just sit and knit during the day - too many other things to do while the sun shines.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

I knit while I'm waiting for one or the other of my teenagers to get ready so I can drive them somewhere--and that adds up to a lot of knitting.

I also knit while members of my family watch TV. I like to sit with them but I can't stand most of the programs they choose so I need something else to occupy myself with. Knitting definitely promotes family togetherness in my household.

I so envy those of you who can knit in the car! I get horridly carsick if I attempt it so I leave my needles at home when I travel.

3:43 PM  
Blogger kshotz said...

I mostly knit in front of the tv as well. Sometimes in the car while sitting still waiting for teens to show up. I, like Nancy, am unable to knit when the car is moving. I do have a knitting friend and we go to the LYS on Wed's for a little knitters bonding time (there are 4-5 of us there each week.) She also owns a coffee shop and I bring my knitting there and enjoy delicious lattes and mochas and such along with some time to knit together (when she's between customers!)

Now I MUST get busy writing for work for a while so I can enjoy my Wednesday evening at the LYS later!

3:57 PM  
Blogger Jamie Denton said...

For the most part, I'm an evening knitter. The TV is usually on and depending on what the DH is watching, depends on how much attention I actually pay to one or the other.

I learned I can knit while a passenger, but had trouble reading the directions, which I could only do in small increments. Holly Jacobs, Susan Gable and I had a speaking gig in Toronto last month and I had no problem knitting -- so long as I looked up every few minutes. Really made the three hour drive go by, too.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

I think I lied a few posts ago. I didn't mean to but I completely overlooked the fact that I love to knit w/the TV on. I am congenitally unable to just sit and watch TV w/o doing something else (read, write, whatever) and knitting is the perfect complement to one of our Bad Movie Festivals or an agonizing Sunday afternoon watching the Jets.

11:18 PM  
Blogger LauraP said...

Barbara - you pegged it. I can't just sit there either. My hands need something to do. If I don't knit, I tap or fidget, which tends to annoy everyone else in the room.

11:24 PM  

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