Knitting Is Saving Me
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Student Life

Knitting Is Saving Me

Finding purpose and solace in yarn.

Knitting Is Saving Me

As quarantine continues, gratitude is a feeling that has begun to dominate my days. As a New York City transplant, when things got bad I was able to flee to my parents' homes in suburban Maryland to comfortably, albeit less than ideally, pass the time. As someone in such a privileged position, unburdened by endless grocery lines or major financial struggles, I have felt immense pressure to create something with this luck and time. I have never really considered myself a creative and cling to my writing as proof I can indeed conceive and produce something only I could have made. I still, however, hesitate to say writing is going to be my contribution to the world outside of myself that I want to point to when after all this someone asks of me, "So how did you spend your time?" What I have begun to do, happily and proudly, is pick up my knitting needles again.

I've been proficient at knitting since early high school, hesitant to take up an advanced project in anxiety of the demand it may take on my concentration during a usually exacting school year and work schedule. Now, there is less of an excuse. Two weeks after arriving in Maryland, I picked up a new pattern, a large ball of yarn, and got to work. Once I got the hang of it, I realized it was possible for me to take my eyes away while still knitting, and began opening my laptop to a TV show or Youtube video while I worked on the scarf. One of the best parts of the hobby is the fact that I was able to take on and begin conquering another engrossing task: a movie list. I contacted a close film major friend who provided me with a list of approximately 30 "must see" films recommended by the American director Paul Thomas Anderson, and off the list I've found a new favorite, "The Master", directed by Anderson himself.

Many people I've talked to who have wanted to start knitting but have not, cite patience and the diligence necessary to receive satisfaction from the craft to be the biggest reason they haven't. Of course, if for someone the finished product is the overwhelming source of joy coming out of knitting, the many many hours it takes to complete, for example, a scarf, would be a torturous and less-than relaxing or fun way to spend one's time. I have to say, though, that in my experience the process is just as enjoyable as the satisfaction of completing the project. As I mentioned, other viewing activities can be done while knitting, but on top of that knitting just feels good. The motion is repetitive and the yarn soft and colorful; sitting down, throwing what's been done over my knee, and occupying my restless hands with the pleasant tactile sensation of wool and bamboo, is a moment of my day I most look forward to.

To circle back to my relationship with my writing, I feel uncomfortable holding it up as what I made during quarantine because of what others get (or don't get) from my act of sharing it. At this point in time I do not think my friends and loved ones will pull up my think-piece on knitting when thinking of my contribution to their lives and to recall this time, but something they can hold and use to keep them warm may serve that purpose. Giving at a time like this solidifies productivity, creativity, and external contribution for me when it comes to what I am making of this time I have. Knitting has proven to be beyond a comfort for me and has given me a lot over the 5 weeks. The best part is my far-away friends don't even know what's coming to them a couple months from now.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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