Friday, November 2

Friday... Waxing Philosophic

I've decided that Fridays are Philosophical here. For a large portion of the world, Friday represents the start of the weekend. For me, Friday night is the start of my work week, and probably explains why I feel so bass ackwards in comparison to nearly everyone I know. I'll use Fridays to write an essay about what I think about whatever I happen to be thinking about.

Today's Essay: Why Do I Knit?

One of the most common questions I hear as a knitter is, "why do you knit?" This also applies to crocheting, but I will use knit as a general term to cover all of the crafts that I enjoy. My standard answer to the question is, "to stay sane." With any possible combination of 7 kids, their assorted friends, and hubby around the house, my level of sanity is often open for debate. The truth of the matter is that there is a *lot* more to my knitting than *just* sanity.

"Is sanity overrated?"
There is nothing more soothing to a troubled soul than the rythmic repetition that simple stitching can provide. Feeling the fibre between your fingers as the fabric continues to flow from your needles. It is the knitter's version of watching a slow-flowing stream. It's peaceful, and brings serenity to your soul. As you unwind the ball of yarn to knit it, the everyday, and even the extra-ordinary, stresses of life can unwind along with it. You take those stresses and turn them into something beautiful, or at least useful in some way. The simple task of knitting a few dpns-worth of a sock is all it takes to de-stress a bit at work. A row or two of a shawl or an afghan at home is all it takes to regroup after one of life's many annoyances. It's a reminder that life *does* go on, and in the end you will make it to your own personal destination.

"Hey! Look what I just made!"
Knitting also provides me with a great sense of satisfaction. Be it a plain dish cloth, or a gossamer-thin, wedding ring shawl, it's something that I have created with my own two hands. Simple patterns provide satisfaction in the speed and the volume produced. The more complex patterns are satisfying in that they challenge me to work harder and think as I work. There are times where your mind is going a million miles a minute, and some plain stockinette or garter stitch forces it to slow right down. There are times where your mind is begging to be given a workout, and that's the time to pull out the laceweight and your most complex charts. No matter what the pattern or the project, it's all done one stitch at a time, the difficulty of those stitches is completely up to you.

"Because I like it, that's why!!!"
I don't think any other reason is truly necessary when asked why one knits. On any given day of the week, there could be any one of a dozen reasons why I've picked up my needles. It's possible that I need to have this sock finished up for a gift; a new design worked out; a dishcloth to replace the one the kids decided to use cleaning the patio. It could also be just as simple as "because I want to". The fact of the matter is that no matter which particular motivator is in play at that particular time, the only *true* reason that I knit, crochet, whatever is simply... because I like it.


Brian Roberts said...

Fantastic post

Zanne said...

I posted something like this when I started my blog! Skim through my older posts for it. I agree... even though the large number of people to track makes my knitting take a little longer, it's those minutes I snag to knit that keep me from completely losing my mind.