I think the question I am asked the most when caught knitting in public is how do I find the patience. They see this mess of needles and wool sitting in my lap and, if they’ve never knit before, can’t fathom how this mess will ever become something worthy of wear. Let me clear this up. It is not about the result. That is simply a byproduct of, quite possibly, the only reason I have become such an addict of textile crafts in the first place.
It is extraordinary in this culture of constant chaos to find the one thing that can bring you, at any moment, some sort of escape route. Some sort of island of calm. Call me cliche, but knitting is that island for me. Especially at work, if I’m having a particularly rough morning, I can look forward to that hour of knitting I get halfway through the day and everything else seems a little less messy. So while yes, slipping on that just-finished baby alpaca shrug is in fact one of the most heavenly kinds of softness known to exist, that is not why I spend countless hours with my little wooden sticks and my balls of yarn. I knit for the chance it gives me to escape the rest of the word.
Just last week I finished this beautiful scarf knit with a bulky weight baby alpaca. When I bought this wool months ago I had no idea what I wanted it to become, I bought it simply because I am addicted to the pure softness of this particular fiber. When I finally found a suitable pattern for the yardage, I was carrying the project around with me for days. Yet my favorite part wasn’t even the knitting, it was when I set out to block it. It took two attempts, since I did get a little too excited to wear it and couldn’t wait for it to finish drying, culminating in me crouching on the floor in my tiny little apartment bedroom, pinning it to the carpet under the window. I was sweaty and tired, and had a foot cramp at one point, but for that hour of stretching and pinning and re-stretching I was not thinking about anything else. What had happened at work that day didn’t matter. Any worries I may have had on my plate that day didn’t matter. For that moment, all that I had was a little bit of alpaca and a lot peace.