This week I had a knitting emergency.
I had nothing to knit…
By that I don’t mean that I had no yarn to knit. Far from it – this is the pile by the sofa at the moment, and I’m sure you’ll agree that I have plenty of lovely yarn:
And I don’t mean that I had no ideas for what to knit. I always have a huge backlog of potential patterns in my mind’s eye that I haven’t started yet. Potential projects that I want to cast on at the moment include Dani Sunshine’s gorgeous new pom pom hat Puck, possibly more than one pair of Ysolda Teague’s super-cosy thrummed slippers Cadeautje, a blanket for my living room, striped plain socks, at least half of Rachel Coopey‘s sock patterns, Joji Locatelli’s Magnolia Cardigan and Japan Sleeves sweater, some Cedar Shake wristwarmers from the book Juju’s Loops, Tincanknits’ Lush cardigan and Justyna Lorkowska’s Alecia Beth cardigan. So I’m not short on things I want to knit either.
No, my problem was that I had NOTHING on the needles that I could knit. I’ve got a pair of socks that I can’t find. I had my second Brighton Beach shawlette also on the needles, but couldn’t knit on that because the gorgeous soft yarn had somehow got into a huge sticky alpaca tangle and I knew it would take me a good hour to untangle it. All the other projects I had been working on were finished and all the projects I wanted to start required colour choices or maths or yarn winding or swatching or some other preparatory tasks which required daylight or a bit of time and concentration before I could cast on. This week I’ve been having early starts and late nights at work, so that I couldn’t do those and get something onto my needles.
So I found myself with no knitting for four days. And even though I had very little free time this week in which I could have knit, I was surprised by the effect it had on me. I began to get very tetchy, and any period of sitting still, even to drink a cup of tea in the morning before rushing out of the house, became a source of immense frustration. Which lead me to wonder whether knitting improves me in some way…
I normally knit everyday, and normally any sitting still time is also knitting time. Even when I’m too busy for much dedicated knitting time, those few minutes before I leave for work or that half hour watching television with my knitting in my hands add up and incrementally my knitting will lengthen on my needles and I’ve made something. It’s incredibly satisfying and this week I’ve really missed it. I also think that in some way the repetition and working with the textures and colours in the yarn is both soothing and stimulating in a way that I’ve realised I really need. Without it I was rather lost this week, and I began to realise that it had quite a powerful impact on my general contentment levels (and possibly on how nice a person I am to be with…)
Last night I didn’t get to sit still until quite late, so decided to tackle my tangled Brighton Beach yarn first. After an hour of untangling I now have a knittable project going again and it was lovely to wake up this morning and know that my knitting cold turkey period has ended. What a difference a few rows of garter stitch can make!
Am I alone in this knitting dependency? I definitely need to make sure that I don’t end up in this position again. When I find that lost pair of socks I may install them on the wall in a glass box with a sign saying “In case of emergency, break glass and knit.”