All things to all people

I’ve been thinking about garter stitch, and a quirky little relationship that it and I have going on. One of the beauties of knitting is that it can be many things to many people. Just as an example, last week someone told me that I was essentially wrong about knitting. I was being challenged by knitting, and this person said, essentially “Dude. Knitting is supposed to be easy, not hard. If it is stressing you out than you are way, way out of the knitting loop. Go knit something easier.” and that got me thinking.

She’s right. It didn’t bother me at all that she said that, because knitting is an amorphous, messed up chameleon. It’s why you don’t just find one personality type knitting. Knitting can be, for people like the lady who wrote me, a relaxing, deeply meditative thing. A calm, repetitive action that churns away stress and upset and sends us straight to the deep end of a metaphoric hot tub of happiness. On the other hand.. knitting can also be a way to challenge yourself, learn new things, engage your mind… and sometimes.. just like other things you might use to improve yourself, knitting can… well. Hurt. Be frustrating. Drive you nuts. Knot your skein. Make you cry. It’s like rock-climbing or running a marathon or taking a night school class… it’s hard to learn new things, and everybody likes to learn new things… we just all do it in a different way, and I’ve always been enchanted with knitting as a tool.

I find it downright interesting that it can be as simple as you might want it to be… and as hard as I might want it to be, while still being the same craft entirely.

More than that, it’s a mind boggling thing to me that I can pick and choose my knitting to reflect what I might need it to be. That if I’m sitting around and need to be entertained or distracted, I might pick up a clever little bit of knitting that engages my mind and helps me focus. An hour later, I might be bored to tears and looking for something that will light my brain up like a Christmas tree…, and bingo. I just need another knitting project. Maybe lace or a Latvian Braid or… well, it’s bottomless, isn’t it? I’ve been knitting for 36 years and I can still think of stuff that I don’t know how to do yet, or stuff that I don’t know that I don’t know because I never heard of it. On the other hand, at the end of a demanding week, when my brain is full of other things, I’m working like a dog and I miss my family…


There’s still garter stitch. Reliable, soothing, repetitive, calming garter stitch, always a place to go when I don’t want more stress, and am being challenged enough by other things.

Great blue heron fishing outside our place a bonus.


Pattern: Shawl that Jazz (Rav link), Yarn: Twisted in Puck’s Mischief. 2 skeins.

(PS. If you’re a confirmed Sock Summit Vendor, you should be getting an email today that invites you to go to the vendor info page and log in with your shiny new username and password and get a contract with us. Dudes. It totally works. If you’re an unconfirmed vendor… just keep waiting. I swear we’re trudging along neatly.)