I rediscovered knitting a little over a year ago when I came across a few bloggers who blogged about their knitting endeavours. Somehow, I started to get itchy fingers and felt as though I wanted to knit again. The last time I knitted was in primary school and that was a very small but fashionably purple vest (a. k. a. tank top) as prescribed by our Home Economics curriculum. We little girls were quite impressed with the act and I recall knitting a few other things at home for fun but I can't remember what they were.
Many years later, I found myself on a day out in London and I sought out a trendy little knit shop and purchased a couple of pairs of needles and three balls of yarn that appealed. I tried the yarn with the needles when I got home - without consulting the Internet or a book - and I found to my amazement that my fingers remembered how to cast on and how to knit the basic garter stitch. Wow! Not being someone who is naturally gifted with her hands, I was impressed. Strange how your body can recall actions from years ago even if your brain doesn't.
My first item was a thin, whispy multi-coloured scarf knit in garter stitch (the most basic there is: just knit every row) on thick needles. I did it in a few hours that evening and was quite happy at having created my first item of clothing! After that, I tried a thick scarf (are you beginning to spot a theme here?) in a red chilli colour in a ribbed stitch (a sequence of knit and purl stitches). I had to look up how to do the purl stitch as, alas, my fingers had amnesia on that one.
I have since progressed onto other types of scarves, a couple of hats and mittens, and last year attempted my first sock on double-pointed needles. Yikes! I was scared of those for a while... but it is working out and is still a work in progress. The Internet is an invaluable tool (thanks, You Tubers) for self-instruction and there isn't anything that you can't do.
So at the moment I am busy on a very simple scarf - knitting every row - simply because I like knitting scarves and I love this teal colour. This is taking much longer than my other scarves did as it's thinner yarn but I like the calming repetitivness of the act and the colour cheers me up. Knitting is great for thinking and contemplating and your mind can wander if your pattern isn't too complicated - an advantage of this simple scarf.
Sometimes, though, you might just want to give your mind a rest. Although knitting can take away from precious reading time, I've found listening to an audio book or a radio adaptation a great substitute and much better than knitting and watching TV. You can keep your eyes on your work and enjoy the story.
I love the texture of yarn and the smoothness of needles and I usually rub fragrant hand lotion onto my hands before knitting and the uplifting or calming scent is transferred onto the item. Once the garment or item is complete, and I wear it again months later, I can strangely recall what I was listening to, pondering or watching whilst knitting... as if my thoughts and emotions were woven into each stitch. The light scent of the hand lotion also acts as a trigger.
I'm still a beginner but I enjoy the act of knitting. Sometimes I pick it up out of a creative urge; sometimes out of a meditative urge. Either way, it's a great way to keep occupied in these chilly dark days and you can also get a set of lovingly-made hat, mittens and scarf out of it.
The cute little cats above were created by the talented Sheila Sargent based in Sevenoaks, Kent.