Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Knitting is NOT ...

... WHO I am.

Rather, knitting is what I DO.

I knit for many reasons.  One is for therapy. However,  primarily, I knit because creativity is in my DNA.   My mother and father painted.  I can't.  I can't even do a stick figure.  So I create with needles, hooks and yarns.

Some people spend hours in their garden.  Some go fishing - and have the fish tales to prove it.  Some spend the majority of their time working.  The character Gibbs in NCIS builds boats.  Me.  I knit - or crochet.  Whichever.  To me, since they are both in the fibre arts category, they're interchangeable.  At least for the therapeutic purposes in this blog.

Although knitting is my right brain activity, my brain never seems to quit working.  Racing.  Thinking.  However, with yarn craft, there is a difference to the thoughts.  The colours, the feel of the yarn through my fingers, the piece of work coming to shape beneath my fingers stir my thinking towards ideas for the next creation.  Maybe it's the same pattern in different colours.  Maybe it's a new project altogether.

Making the green slouchy beret was like that.  I began to think of making it in different colours.  Making other hats.  Once I'd successfully closed the circle at the top of the hat, I wanted to do it again.  And again.  And again.  I felt like a mountain climber when he's faced the huge challenge of scaling the peak and stands at the top looking down.  Only for me, I was standing over my work being blocked, looking at the perfection of it.  Feeling a huge sense of pride of accomplishment.

It was at almost the same time that I discovered that a friend of mine had been diagnosed with cancer and was facing chemo therapy and radiation.  Simultaneously, I discovered that a young woman I'd last seen when she was five years ago, had also been diagnosed with the same kind of cancer and was also facing chemo therapy and radiation.

There went the brain.  Into overdrive.  Brimming over with all sorts of ideas and thoughts.  The challenges.  The almost papable scent of creating (you know, like the scent of the chase).

There were many things I couldn't do at that point in time.  I had no idea.  Severe fatigue was my common companion.  I couldn't cook.  I could barely function.

 Normally, I'm a foodie and would have been right in there with offerings of home cooked meals.  However, I didn't even have the strength or energy to cook for myself and Papa Bear, so how could I walk with my friend during her journey of cancer, chemo and radiation?

I thought long and hard of what I could - and couldn't - do.

There was one thing I could do even in my weakened state.  I could knit.

I could knit (and crochet) chemo hats - for both of these ladies.

At one point, I said to my friend how I wished I could help her out with food to which she said, "A lot of people are making food for me.  My freezer is full.  You're the only one who can make me chemo hats."

The woman from my church (mentioned at the beginning of the preceding blog) was right.

Knitting is not whom I am.

                                                      But it is what I do.

                                                      More importantly, it's how I bless  people.
A box of "Goodies"

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