Monday, November 12, 2007

Slow Knitting


Yesterday wasn't a great day for me; I woke up at 5:00, which was convenient for getting to church at 8:00 to preach, but then I was so exhausted when I got home at noon that I slept for two hours instead of going to the gym. We went to see a movie -- Across the Universe, which was really excellent -- but when we got home, I more or less crashed again. I think maybe I was fighting something off. I feel a bit better today, although I definitely have to make getting to the pool a priority.

My general slowness yesterday was reflected in my knitting. I'm not a fast knitter anyway, but when I was working on Lee's shawl between services at church, a good friend sitting next to me (someone who's been crocheting since she was in the womb), gave me a pitying look and said, "Oh, my, you are a novice, aren't you? Look at how slow you are!"

When did needlework become a race?

Last week I went to one of my new favorite places, Deluxe Yarns, an independently owned yarn store in Reno. The owner -- who used to be a nurse at my hospital, as it turns out -- seems like a kind, gentle person. When I complained about being a slow knitter, she said, "That's all right; there's no hurry. Take your time. You'll get there."

That's what I needed to hear. I've always been exceptionally slow at picking up physical skills, and I have to remember to focus on the fact that I'm getting things done, not on the fact that I'm not getting them done more quickly.

I now have projects planned well into the next millenium. After Lee's shawl, I'll do one for myself, and then one for my cousin's sister, and then one for my cousin's wife, and then one for some friends with two special-needs children. At that point I should be thoroughly sick of shawls! I also want to make myself a felted laptop cover and a tunic or two. I want to knit a throw for work and another for home. Gary wants a cardigan. I still, at some point, want to learn to knit toys for kids at the hospital.

And I'd like to knit myself a depression doll, something like those popular Ugly Dolls, but less adorable: a drab, sadsack creature with drooping eyes. This will be a way of externalizing my chronic illness and reminding myself to love it, even though it's not cute or clever or quick. It's part of me, and it needs patience and kindness. I'm sure the cats will enjoy snuggling with it, and I'll put it in the window -- or take it for rides -- so it can see the beautiful place where it lives. When it's feeling especially glum, I'll sing to it, and when it's feeling very slow, I'll say, "That's all right; there's no hurry. Take your time. You'll get there."

3 comments:

  1. I find competitiveness in hobbies problematic. It's probably why so may of my hobbies are enacted in a solitary fashion (cooking, drawing, the occasional knitting). I mean, they're things I'm doing to relax or entertain myself, right? It's an escape from all the "living up to the bar" that goes on in the rest of life.

    No only will you get there whenever you want, it's up to you whether you "get there" at all. One could argue that the doing of the knitting is the "there" to get to, and that a finished product is tangential. Granted, you're probably making each item for someone, but the speed of the journey is always yours to savor. If you want to, you'll get there, and you'll know more about the journey than the person who was just running towards the finish.

    ::hugs:: it's not about the rush rush done aspect of life, really.....

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  2. I agree with your prior commenter as well as with the yarn shop owner: no rush, no need to hurry. But even so I feel I must tell you that you are a faster knitter than I!!! I've got two shawls in the works and neither will be done anytime soon--sure do love the quiet meditative times of knitting, though!

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  3. And I'd like to knit myself a depression doll...This will be a way of externalizing my chronic illness and reminding myself to love it, even though it's not cute or clever or quick. It's part of me, and it needs patience and kindness...When it's feeling especially glum, I'll sing to it, and when it's feeling very slow, I'll say, "That's all right; there's no hurry. Take your time. You'll get there."

    This struck me as especially beautiful, both the writing and the idea. I have been struggling with depression on and off (mostly on) for three years now, currently on meds and recieving therapy but the non linear recovery can really get to me. I want to be better and sometimes I make it so much worse by my impatience when I am sliding backwards a little. It takes my husband to tell me "That's all right; there's no hurry. Take your time. You'll get there." The idea of a little externalised me-with-depression that I can tell it to is a lovely, thoughtful idea.

    If you do, and it helps you, please follow up with it to your blog. I would love to see how it works for you.

    *hugs*

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