Knitting has been a great stress reliever for me, ever since college. I’ve knit my way through finals, moving, wedding stress, my parents’ split, the miracle of life, the depression of death, emergency hospital visits, and everything in between. In times of great stress, I break out the needles and work on something complicated. The more complicated the pattern, the more stressed out I am. Indicators include lace patterns, large projects, intricate cabling, charts that require a physical copy and a line-keeper. Other indicators include accruing multiple WIPs, and choosing finer gauge projects. I’ve kept it classy with only one pattern at-a-time, occasionally dipping into a second project here and there. But, every streak must end.
I took a look at my knitting bag and admitted to myself that I’m stressed and it shows. Inside my bag contains Sock 1 of 2, knit with fingering weight yarn in a herringbone pattern; the beginning of a basic hat covered in yarn-gobbling I-chord, made in fingering weight yarn; a large body covering using bulky yarn. This translates into my first pair of socks, a brain hat for science, and a cowled vest inspired by Katniss Everdeen of Hunger Games fame. I started the vest for a friend who recently relocated Northerly, where it has actually snowed in June. Then I started the second attempt at my first pair of socks for my Husband because, honestly, I owed him. Then, I remembered the March for Science is coming up and I’ve got to knit my brain hat. I’ve stalled on making the Katniss vest because I have to sew black-on-black fishtail braids on what will become a rolled hem around the body and cowl, each. I need really good light for the sewing, but it’s difficult to find during my free time. The herringbone socks are a design I tried two years ago. I had to frog the previous attempt because the yarn was too thick which yielded a stiff sock that was too big. Complete disaster. This time, I’m working with a mystery yarn that seems like a better match. In this case, thinner is better. The brain hat is going to take its sweet time because it’s my first, and artistic interpretation makes this anyone’s game. It’s kind of a mess in there.
Personally, there is a lot going on. We are in the process of preparing our house to sell, which has taken a lot longer than initially anticipated. One thing after another has prevented us from getting our place up on the market and morale is down amongst the adults. Work has me restless because I’m not sure I want to continue down the career path I’m currently riding. On top of that, a very dear, long-time friend and I are experiencing a rift. We’ve had a series of bad interactions which culminated in our last encounter that ended in strong words of anger and an uncertain future. I know I need to give him the time and space he needs but it’s difficult. Usually, I’m pretty comfortable in my Patience Pants but I’ve been driving myself (and those around me) a little nuts because I’m obsessing over this rift. There’s nothing I can do right now but give it time. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it, about fixing it, and where everything went wrong, non-stop. Though it has gotten better, there is a lot of chatter in my mind and I need to quiet it down. Knitting is the best way I can do that.
Typically, I’ll start a stress-relieving project to distract myself from the problem, place my focus on a detailed project that would require a lot of attention. This time, rather than distract myself, I’ve decided to lean into it a little bit. There are a few projects I had in mind for him, even a new yarn I bought specifically for a project that was supposed to be a Christmas present. Rather than stopping production on all ideas I had for him or reassign the projects and yarn, I’ve decided to continue on making things for him as part of my new series called Things I Made While You Were Mad At Me. It will be an ongoing series filled with the things I had planned on making him. It will be a background project that will act as a therapy for me. The finished pieces might find their way to him, they might find their way to someone else. I haven’t quite decided what to do with everything yet, nor have I cast anything on for the series but I can feel it coming.