18 December 2010

Knitting Neglect, Part 17

I've barely knit a stitch since summer.

Losing complete interest in the activity due to a flurry of life. Or, I should say, temporarily lost.

Twenty ten has been an insane year. It has not been a bad year by any means--in fact, it's been one of the best years of my life--but it's been tough as hell. Last year was unimaginably awful by comparison: I lost my job after a year-long stretch of depression (which was really an outgrowth of a life informed by the illness), and my then-boyfriend was laid off from his job, suffered a nasty sports injury, and lost his step-sister to suicide. The lone bright spot in that entire horrific year was the birth of my niece Makenzie, who is slowly growing into a beautiful little redhead.

This year: I intentionally cut many poisonous people from my life, including kicking out my deadbeat roommate. I ended my last relationship when I realized that we no longer wanted the same things out of life, and by that I mean that I wanted to continue growing as a person and he didn't want a single thing to change, even for the better. (He turned out to be a childish prick in the end, something I didn't expect. That still stings a bit, but I've come to accept his willful absence from my life.) I quit a deadbeat job and made strides to redirect my career--I start graduate studies in nonprofit management next month, which makes me ecstatic. I started a film blog that I frequently update, which forces me to write almost everyday. I'm in a BAND. If you'd told me that I'd be writing songs and playing music with other people even six months ago, I would've laughed in your face to hide my longing and sense of personal failure. I've met many really cool people, several of whom are already becoming very close friends.

It's been a year of setting myself up for the future, of directing my own life, of choosing joy and curiosity and excitement over dead ends and ennui. Understandably, in all this madness a hobby that I picked up incidentally during one of the most depressed periods of my life fell by the wayside.

But I've started knitting again. What was inspired by a status update on Facebook in which I bitched about having no interest in it anymore turned into a burning desire to pick up needles again within days. It's interesting because the requirements for successfully knitting a beautiful piece--planning, aesthetic choices of yarn color, stitch pattern, etc., swatch knitting, seaming, blocking--are all techniques that have in a weird way seeped into my other creative outlets. Knitting has informed how I do virtually everything, which is something I took years to recognize. It's like I instinctively gravitated towards an activity through which I would teach myself the skills necessary and applicable to my life as an artist during a time that I was emotionally and psychologically unable to produce work. In that way, it saved my life.

Earlier this year I began work on a shawl for my grandmother for Christmas. She's 75 and the closest thing to a mother I've ever known. (She's even described me as the kid she got to raise the way she wanted to raise her other five children. I'm kinda her do-over, or reset button, as a parent.) I finished the vast majority of it in August and assumed I'd pick it back up in time for the holidays. Well, I'm leaving to visit family in five days and the thing is still in three pieces, awaiting grafting, edging, and blocking.

I hope I finish it before I leave. But I already have other projects swirling through my head, and I also want to finish all the projects that have been sitting in bags in my apartment for months.

That should explain why I haven't updated this blog in so long, but I hope to have more updates soon, with photos. Especially once I finish this shawl, which may be the crown jewel in my knitting cap, if I might horribly mix metaphors.

1 comment:

Noelle said...

Welcome back! Did you finish it?

I'm glad you have found some direction and relief from some of the crappy stuff that you lived with in 2010. I'm looking forward to hearing about grad school :-)