Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Why I Don't Knit Anymore, or, The Miracle of the Empty Net
I don't knit anymore. More precisely, I can't knit anymore, which is a surprising turn of events for someone who led knitting groups, taught people how to knit, and kept several projects going at once.
It all started with a cardigan I cast on nearly three years ago now. It was such a stress-relieving project and it moved along at such a satisfying pace. Then the pain hit. Sharp, burning pain up and down my forearms. What to do?! It wouldn't go away. Wrist splints were ordered and worn faithfully at night. Soon it became clear -- the knitting had to stop. I figured maybe I could stop for a few days, or a few weeks. But then it was months that have turned into years. As someone born with an insatiable need to create, this was a true problem. My creative outlet was suddenly, and totally, gone. Now I had to sit patiently for hours on end helping my kids with their homeschool homework with nothing to occupy my hands or keep me calmly settled in my seat. It was both sad and frustrating, not to mention patience-building!
In the sermon from John 21 this past Sunday our minister (yes, also my husband) said something very enlightening as he spoke about the miracle of the 153 fish the disciples caught. He said, "We forget that it was just as great of a miracle to keep the fish nets EMPTY all night as it was to fill them to bursting at Christ's morning command." Do you know, there was something of a miracle for me in the taking away of the knitting, in keeping my "nets empty" for those months. I didn't realize it until much later: removing the knitting created the vacuum necessary for my interest and focus on painting to develop which led into nature journaling and art classes and workshops and the opening of a whole new world.
As it turns out I didn't have to give up yarn projects entirely. For some reason crochet doesn't cause as much acute pain as knitting! Who knew?! I eventually started crocheting tea cozies during school. This summer, with a bit of a break in my schedule, I even made it on to some bigger crochet projects! I'm just about to finish up a shell-patterned cardigan and have started on a second one! I also managed to make this Linden Bee shawl and am thinking about a few more patterns by Cherry Heart. I also want to try a granny square shawl like this one. I even discovered there are beautiful sock patterns for crochet -- that look like knitted socks!
So that's the story of why I don't knit anymore, and how one of my empty nets actually turned out to contain a beautiful gift. It helps me have hope for those other empty nets I have.....