When I was barely more than a little dot, my mum taught me to knit as a means to keep me distracted. To begin with, I wasn’t very good. My first finished project, a very clumsy and misshapen scarf, showed little promise and although my 8 year old self wore it with pride she soon became bored of this absurdly ungratifying craft. After a brief and stilted attempt a Gryfindor scarf, I decided that knitting was just too laborious and for a long time I put the needles away altogether.
It wasn’t until later that I started to take this ancient skill seriously. As I got older, my mind became cloudy with worry and knitting became a bit of a salvation for me. The process of forming individual stitches is a simple and repetitive one, a process that calmed my disorganised mind and lent a tangible structure to those cloudy days. And the painstaking slowness of knitting that my younger self found so unsatisfying soon became the very thing about it that I found so appealing. Even the most basic of projects could keep me occupied for hours, my thoughts focused only on the growing work in my hands. In a society where everyone seemed to be doing things so quickly, making something slowly – even if it was just a case for my needles – felt like a rebellious act.
This needle wrap represents the beginning of my journey with knitting. It’s the first thing I made using the Fair Isle technique and I made it at a time when this ‘cloudiness’ felt most dense. It’s made using the very cheapest of acrylic – a yarn that I’d likely avoid at all costs now. But I doubt I’ll ever replace it. I adore it. I spent a long time making sure every stitch was the right colour and to me it’s worth it. It reminds me of how far I’ve come. And it reminds me that I’m capable even at times when I feel most powerless.
Knitting is good. You should try it 🙂