Thursday, April 21, 2016

#12 on my "Wish List"

 Quite a while ago on my main blog, Ramblings of a Deranged Mind, I posted a blog entitled "My Wish List".  It included a lot of things - most of which have nothing to do with knitting or crocheting - which are on my list of goals.  Number 12 said that I wanted to become as proficient at knitting as I was at crocheting.

This was early on in both my journey of recovery post workplace abuse as well as in my journey learning to knit.

I've been crocheting for more than 40 years; I've only been learning to knit since the fall of 2011.

When I began to learn to knit, there wasn't much I couldn't with with my crochet hook, yarn and a pattern.  At the same time, there wasn't much that I could do with knitting needles without or without yarn and a pattern.

So the learning curve was going to go straight up.

I originally started this blog to share my ongoing adventures with learning how to knit.  However, learning how to knit is very closely related to my ongoing journey of recovery from workplace abuse.  Without the one, there would probably not be the other.

I knit to heal.  Knitting - and crocheting - are my primary right brain therapies of choice in this road to recovery.  They allow me to rest my mind from all the the questions that puzzle me - and continue to puzzle and disturb me almost five years years post workplace abuse.

They spike my creativity.

I start out with a pattern which I will follow exactly as written - the first time.  As I'm knitting or crocheting that pattern, my mind takes flights of fancy with all the things I can do with it.  I can change it.  I can play with colours.  I can do this or do that.  I start to feel alive with the possibilities of what I can create with these few resources: needles - or a hook - yarn, and a pattern.  The possibilities are endless.  Or close to.

A "frilly" scarf
I like colour!  The brighter the better.  The more, the merrier.

I love to play with yarn.

I love to watch the item taking shape beneath my fingers.

I love the feel of the wool/yarn in my fingers.

I am at my happiest and most contented state of well being when something is forming on my needles or hooks.

A prayer ghan from my imagination, gifted to a friend
struggling with kidney failure.
I feel motivated and alive when I see what I am creating and imagine the pleasure it will give someone.

And yes, I still crochet.  I do both. When I can't seem to do one, I can usually do the other.

Between the two skills, I stay grounded and can cope with the world as I know it.  I can cope with a scrambled mind.  I have a purpose in life.  I may not have the most active life in the world, but  I'm not completely useless. When the words fail, the hands, needles and yarn don't.

And I have fun.  I have something not only to do, but to talk about.

My first shawl - made of very fine silk yarn
Part of the losses involved with workplace abuse, is that the social circle gets smaller and smaller and smaller.  With physically debilitating effects, I could no longer go out and about like I used to do.  With cognitive effects, I couldn't talk coherently like I used to do.  Because the cause was trauma and PTSD due to workplace bullying, it's not well understood by regular, ordinary, run of the mill people.  Even church people have huge issues with my issues.

But. I. Could. Knit. Or. Crochet.  Even if it was one row one way and another row back.  I could still do that.

Chemo hat.  One of my favourite endeavours
I've learned to knit (the garter stitch).  I've learned to purl.  Combined they create the stockinette stitch.  I've learned how to cable.  Lace.  Ribbing. Basketweave stitch.  I've learned how to use double pointed needles - or as I call them double pointed crowbars because the first time I used them that's what they felt like.  I've learned to use circular needles.

I started with the fashion scarves - the ones that twirled around and around and around.  Then I started on regular winter scarves.  Next came a cowl using both circular needles and the cable stitch.  Fingerless gloves followed.  Hats. Since then I've gone on to baby cocoons, 18 in doll clothes, baby - and other - blankets. And the list goes on - and on - and on.  I practice new stitches on dishcloths as they're small projects, easily ripped out and started over again, if need be.

I've used different weights of yarn from fine sock yarn to Lion Brand Homespun Bulky to novelty yarns. I've used thin needles and very large needles.  I've learned how to knit in the round using both DPNs (double pointed needles) and circular needles. I've  used cotton, wool, wood blends, acrylic, even silk.

Those are the times I feel proud of myself.  Those are the times I know healing is taking place.  Those are the times I know that while I may not have completely achieved item #12 on my wish list that I'm getting there.

By God's grace and a heck of a lot of work, I'm getting there.

And I couldn't be happier.
Prayer afghan originally started for my mom when she was dying
later gifted to a good friend whose mother was dying.

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