I’ve had problems with my knitting lately. It’s been chafing and nothing seems to be right. I doesn’t tempt me, it’s all wrong and I don’t want to do it. There is something amiss it every project I pick up, the wrong color, the wrong yarn, the wrong pattern, the wrong sentiment, you name it, it’s wrong. It feels a bit like when you’re sitting in an uncomfortable chair and you keep changing position every fifth second because you there is always something wrong, something hurting somehow. I’ve tried to continue with my jacket but got overwhelmed with the feeling of a never ending project, I’ve tried to cast on the next project in line but wasn’t in the mood, I’ve tried buying yarn but couldn’t find what I was looking for and ended up buying a silly substitute that didn’t to the trick, I’ve tried not knitting, I’ve tried a little knitting, I’ve tried it all. Nothing works.
Suddenly it hit me the other night and I started putting two and two together. Almost everything in my life chafe right now, I just hadn’t noticed. Well, obviously I had noticed but it’s been more of as if you sit on a wooden bench you know you’ll eventually end up with a sore bum if you sit there long enough so therefor you might not notice when the soreness comes earlier than predicted due to a splinter or something. Everything usually chafes at some point (but usually not everything chafe at the same time), going back to work after summer vacation, going to the gym, relations to other people, cooking, baking, reading, sleeping, activities or whatever. Even if it’s things that are usually nice (I mean, the wooden bench is great when your feet are sore or the alternative is to stand up for two hours listening to a verbose speach) you’ll eventually end up with it chafing a bit one way or another: you miss being able to be outside on a sunny day when you have to sit at your computer at work, you can’t seem to go to bed early enough to get enough sleep, you have a fight with someone, you don’t have the energy to go to the gym, things like that. Usually though, all things doesn’t feel like this at the same time, you experience some of it while other things are great which makes life move on in an even pace with not too many setbacks at the same time.
This time though, things are not even. They are chafing. I realized I’ve been making up solutions to stop the chafing on all levels of my life for quite some time now, but it never works. If it feels weird not seeing someone I try to make sure I see that person, only to discover that didn’t do the trick either and I can’t get rid of the feeling that something is amiss. I can’t explain it better than that it’s chafing and so far the only thing that seems to work at least a little bit is a few hours of solitude every day.
I noticed the chafing quicker when it came to the knitting because knitting never chafes. Knitting is wilful and miserable and ugly and mean and mischievous and cheating and a lot of other things from time to time but knitting never chafes. Knitting is always the big friendly comfort blanket you can go back to whenever things are bad. Sure, one project can make you wan’t to start gnawing frantically on your needles but then there is always another project there to comfort you. Not this time, which makes my entire life upside down and I don’t know how to handle things.
I know why it’s chafing everywhere right now but I also know there is absolutely nothing I can do about it, which is a little discouraging, I must say. I can only sit down and wait (perhaps that’s it, I’ve sat down to wait on the wooden bench which is now turning uncomfortable) and hopefully everything will gradually turn back to, at least semi-, normal. Kind of wish it would happen soon though. I want my comfort project now!
Now that I’ve realized this, that it’s not the knitting itself, it’s life, I think I have more of a chance to help me handle at least the knitting part (and the rest too eventually, it’s always better to put words on your feelings). I’m going to be nice to myself and leave all the thoughts that include a “should” in them and only knit what instinctively feels right. I should finish my pink and white jacket but I’ll do that another time. Or not, if I don’t want to. There is no prestige in making your main hobby into something virtous, of course we always look down on the person who can never finish something and moves from project to project but what if the finished item is not the important thing? What if starting projects is what’s fun? And if that be the case, why not do it? It’s knitting, it’s not eating dessert (even though those to work perfect together), and you should be able to do whatever you want with your hobby. If you only want to do the fun parts then so be it, start how many projects you want. No one will love you more, you won’t be a much better person if you restrain yourself and force yourself to do the boring parts of finishing before you can start a new project (with the dessert eating it’s a little different since only eating dessert and nothing else can actually be a health risk but starting a new project without finishing another doesn’t hurt anybody, at least not until you have some many unfinished projects that you are ready for being on an episode of Hoarders).
So, I will throw prestige out the window and start as many projects I want and whichever projects I want (forget about Christmas knitting, I need to sort myself out first). (For me, the fun part, apart from the actual knitting, is seeing progress and to close up on finishing. It’s like with a good book, you really like it but you also want to finish it so you’ll know what happens in the end. It’s bittersweet since finding out what happens in the end also means finishing it and that your reading it is over. That’s why I really like epilogues.)
Therefor I will now only paint with the good colors, the ice-cream colors, and do fun projects where I don’t need to learn a new technique and where I can see progress in almost every row. I need to be nice to myself!