A Life With Actual Knitting In It

Note from Sandi: Welcome to my little corner of Knitting Daily! Every Thursday, I'll be sharing stories of my knitting adventures, as well as some tips and tricks I've learned along the way. Thanks for coming by!

It's been a bad week for knitting in Ye Olde Wiseheart House. Sock Summit left me gloriously mind-boggled with new techniques, new yarns, and new friends. However, the day I arrived back home, it was ten days until Moving House Day—and since then I've found myself wielding a tape gun and Sharpie rather than a spindle or knitting needles.

At night, when the packing is done-for-the-day, I've been too weary to keep the needles moving. In the evenings, more often than not, I've looked down at the knitting in my lap only to discover that I'm merely holding the needles in my hands, yarn loose at my side. Twice, I've fallen asleep in my chair with my knitting needles cradled in my hands like some sort of talisman against bad dreams. Other times, I stow the knitting away…but my hands then wander and fidget and fuss, as though seeking solace from the needles that are usually their constant companions.

I miss my knitting.

I typed that sentence, and re-read what I wrote…and it stopped me cold. What am I doing here? Why am I living a life so crazy with moving and writing-about-knitting-for-work that there is so little space for actual knitting in it? After all, I'm boxing up my house, not my heart. Knitting is far more to me than just a paycheck; knitting feeds my spirit, relaxes my mind, calms my body, and helps me stay sane in a rather insane world.

Pretty important stuff to be giving up on, don't you think? And yet…I bet I am not alone. How many of us knitters (or spinners or crafters of any sort) give up our crafting time when the world presses too closely around us, demanding more and more of our precious energy, like an overgrown (and rather spoiled) toddler? Usually, our beloved crafting time is one of the first things to go when our to-do lists start exploding…

I suppose that would make sense if knitting was "just a hobby," as so many people might say. I don't know about you, but that word "hobby" stopped applying to my knitting and spinning probably within the first day of learning to do the knit stitch or draft that marvelous fiber out into yarn. From that day forward, I was in love—and love in all forms helps keep us healthy and strong for whatever else life might toss at us.

So this evening, after having a little talk with myself, I put down the tape gun and went in search of my little black Bolero project, the one from Interweave's book Feminine Knits, and promised myself one uninterrupted hour of knitting time as medicine for my cranky, tired, yarn-hungry heart.

In that one hour, I worked 29 rows, all in all—one-third the way through the right front piece. Such a small thing, and yet I feel a bit clearer, a bit more feet-on-the-ground, a bit more ready to face the moving truck.

Making time for knitting every day (or spinning, or whatever yarnly craft has stolen our hearts) isn't just making time for ourselves in a selfish sort of way—it's making time for that which nourishes our hearts and hands, ensuring that we then have the strength to lend those hearts and hands to others as our crazy lives demand.

I'm off to do a few more rows before bedtime now, late on Tuesday night. On Thursday, as you read this, and as we load up the moving truck, my knitting will be on the kitchen counter, ready to have a few stitches worked in tiny stolen moments, to keep my heart fed during a busy, crazy day. I hope you also find time to nourish your own yarn-hungry heart this week.


Knit with joy (as shall I!)…

– Sandi

Next week: If I haven't been eaten alive by self-multiplying zombie moving boxes, I'll try to write a little on what I learned about wrangling a lace pattern as you add or decrease stitches. I found a couple tricks that work for me, so maybe they'll be of use to you, too!

P.S. Let me know what you think! You can leave a comment below or even email me at sandi@knittingdaily.com.

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Blogs, Sandi's Needles

14 thoughts on “A Life With Actual Knitting In It

  1. Moving is so AWFUL. The way I got through it was to set a timer, and declare fifteen-thirty minutes of knitting time for every couple of boxes I packed.


  2. I just went through a move too and the knitting went all but neglected for weeks. WEEKS. I found that when I was finally able to get back to the needles, I was bursting with inspiration and a renewed sense of appreciation and excitement for the craft. Knitting is good for your mind, your soul, and your body, but sometimes a break is good too 🙂

  3. Sandi, best of luck with your move.

    I can’t tell you how timely this was as I just found out three days ago that we will be moving for certain. The boxes are here, the tape gun is reeling out it’s clear, plasticky stickiness, the acrid aroma of Sharpies fill the air, and my knitting has taken a back seat. No more. I will find time, if only to add a few rows here and there, to do that which gives me joy.

    Thank you so much.

  4. Good luck with your move Sandi ! You are so right about knitting-a woman came up to me as I was working on a toe up sock while waiting for my son at soccer and said “Oh you have “busy work”-I bristled at her comment and basically said it was far from it-a respite from my 60 hrs a week at work, taking care of my family and home and nourishment for my creative spirit and beautiful socks to wear at the end!. Working those small stitches on size 0 needles kept me calm !

  5. I have a toddler and another baby due in about 6 weeks, and I’ve been finding I have no energy for so many of the things I “should” be doing (like getting the nursery all set up… or doing dishes). Yet more than anything else, I find I’m craving knitting… even on nights where I the idea of running a bath seems like too much work and I worry I’d just fall asleep in the tub, I find the drive to knit… most of the stuff I am working on is small and simple – stockinette baby sweaters, hats and mittens to put aside for Christmas – but it makes me feel I am acheiving something even when I don’t have the energy to get off the couch. I’ve been feeling like I really should be doing something with my free time other than knitting, but reading your post I think maybe knitting is exactly what I should be doing. RIght now, knitting may sometimes feel like a guilty indulgence when I really should be making something more balanced for my son’s dinner than boxed mac and cheese, but it’s also keeping me sane (and believe me, there are lots of hormones conspiring against my sanity right now!). Thank you, Sandi, for the support. 🙂

    P.S. Recently taught a neighbour to knit. Was thrilled when she showed up at the block party, saw me, and said “Oh good! I brought my knitting, just wanted to ask you about something…” Yay, another addict… err, convert.

  6. I have just moved the last boxes and “stuff” out of my house that was sold. I did not knit for ten days and I realized that I felt deprived and more tired because I had not been knitting AT ALL. Keep knitting and sharing your blog with us. I miss your daily posts.

  7. I’ve missed you on the daily page. Its not the same without you there. She is ok, but your spice is gone. I’ll be checking on your blog to inspiration. Amber

  8. I can’t believe it took me this long to find your blog. Good grief! Now that I’ve caught up with you, Sandi, I realize how much I enjoy your writing style, your insight, your knit-savvy wisdom, and your cat sensibility. Good knitting to you!

  9. I just took a week vacation, which I spent cleaning out my new work room (our son’s old room). Still have shelves to put up and stash to organize – with or without cat – an open box is an invitation to explore. I found that I needed to take knitting breaks, just to remind myself why I was spending my vacation cleaning! I have the first sock of my own design almost done.
    So, Sandy, remember to take some knitting breaks while unpacking! God Luck!

  10. Moving or not, sometimes the knitting gets set aside. And I find myself bored, tired, whiny. Pick up the needles and the project, and I’m happy again. Yes, it is a joy to knit. NOT busy work, but mind clearing and heart calming. It feeds my soul.

  11. Love your article Sandi so many of us push our passions aside to do whatever comes our way in life…
    I have a friend who is 86 and all she does is knit and crochet..
    she tells me she is so grateful to have that passion as it keeps her going now that she is housebound due to poor eyesight she has given up her license this past year and now this year left bowling behind…
    she donates bags and bags full of socks,scarves,mitts,hats,cat blankets and kiddy blankets to charities
    we collect yarn for her as does our local Guild..
    what a wonderful way to pass your day in the so called Golden years helping others…
    good luck with the move
    Mary Ann