Sunday, November 18, 2012

Me, My Knitting, and How I Got Here

I have a confession to make.

I am starting a blog about knitting, but I am just barely a knitter anymore.

Oh, I still think about knitting plenty. I hang out with knitters. I buy yarn from time to time. I check the Hot Patterns on Ravelry nearly every day. But as far as actually picking up the needles and knitting? Seldom. Rarely. Almost never.

What happened?

I will try, and probably fail, to briefly summarize my crafting life for you. Stop, collaborate, and listen. In 2001, my last year of high school, I was placed in a generic sort of crafts class. The school year prior to that was a difficult one for me, and I think the counselor suggested it as a softball sort of class that any idiot, even me, could succeed in. The first semester we learned to embroider on burlap sacks, batiked with hot wax on fabric, made cardboard looms, and learned to crochet. While I did enjoy the burlap, batik and weaving, it was the crochet that really wedged its way into my heart. The teacher didn't know how to follow a pattern, but I found it wasn't that hard to figure out most of what I wanted to make, and soon I was hooking up a storm. People who love making things will know exactly what I mean when I say it was such a rush. I was addicted and loving it.

Even though crochet was my first love, I found crochet patterns to be incredibly confusing (“You want me to stick my hook WHERE?!?”). Knitting patterns seemed more straightforward in general, so I asked a good friend to teach me while she was home visiting from college one blustery January day in 2002. At her mom’s kitchen table, with the snow flying outside, she showed me the basic knits and purls. She had to go back to school the next day, and of course I forgot almost everything overnight, so left to my own devices I rushed to the craft store and came home with an instructional booklet I was destined to throw across the room in a rage at least 50 times over the next week. But eventually it all clicked and came together and WHOA I was a knitter and it was THE BEST THING EVER. Crochet was my first love, but knitting was where I fell head over heels in love.

Not long after that, I happened across a copy of Stitch and Bitch, bought it because I thought the name was funny, and started learning about the broader knitting culture (and why I might be interested in a non-acrylic yarn). I found my LYS, made friends, discovered really beautiful yarns, and became what the Yarn Harlot would call a "capital K Knitter". 

My knitting life was pretty good. My personal life was more rocky at times. Over the last decade, I've gone from being in a serious relationship to getting pregnant unexpectedly, to being married, to becoming a mom, to getting divorced, to being single and trying to date, to figuring out I really do prefer the company of women, to being in my first serious relationship with a woman, to becoming a mom to her daughter too, to being engaged, to getting married (again!), to buying a house, to settling into my second chance at married life. 

Phew. I'm exhausted just typing it, so don't ask me how I lived through it! 

Knitting got me through some of the roughest patches of those years, and I met some of my very favorite people. I was still knitting steadily during the early months of new relationship, up until about May of 2012. A perfect storm of events came together to blow me off course. Nothing I was working on was really exciting to me, and the weather was getting warm, and I failed to meet a big knitting deadline I had set for myself and felt discouraged, and life was suddenly SO BUSY with the melding of two families who live three hours apart that knitting just sort of fell to the wayside. 

I went from a time in my life when I couldn't imagine going a whole day without knitting to suddenly looking up and realizing that it had been many months in row since I had put needles to yarn. And I didn't even care that much! It may sound ridiculous, but it really bothered me. I had spent so much time identifying as a Knitter that I didn't know how to not be one. I didn't want to lose my place in the culture I had invested so much of my life in. It took a lot of hippy dippy self-talk to feel okay. There's an ebb and a flow to everything. Sometimes you'll knit more, sometimes less. Just because you don't feel like knitting doesn't make you less of a person... it just means you don't feel like knitting. Blah blah blah.

So, long story... well, long story long, but bear with me- that pretty much brings us up to right now. I've been thinking of it as Knitting Purgatory. Actually, a lot of my life is sort of in purgatory right at the moment. Sometimes I wonder/hope that it's just the massive restructuring of my whole life causing an epic case of Knitter's Block and that I haven't really lost anything yet. Regardless, I still like knitting, yarn, knitters and talking about things that are important to knitters. So, a blog that is a bit of a paradox. A knitting blog by a Knitter who doesn't really knit. 

So, you might be saying to yourself, "Self, if she doesn't personally, actively knit on a daily basis, how will she possibly generate enough content to keep up a knitting blog?"

Well, that's where you (and the title of the blog) comes in. But I think I've rambled long enough for one evening. So if you've made it to the end of this post, now you have something to ponder on. I do love a good mystery! I'll be back soon to tell you what I'm up to, and solicit you for help!

You can reach me in the comments, at yarnvi AT gmail DOT com, or on Ravelry as yarnvi. Until next time...


  1. You lie! That is too a good picture of you! :D

    Seriously, though, I have periods in my life where I don't knit either. It's nothing to stress about. ((hugs))

  2. Wow, you're awesome! You write beautifully! Bring me a story, you talented thing!

  3. Great writing! Articulate, good pace, perfect balance of drama and sarcasm/humor. Well done!

    You are so right about the ebb and flow of life. We are not static creatures by any means and our tastes, interests and desires change without us even realizing it. I don't know if this is the case with you and the needle(s) but I think back about hobbies that I used to have and can't even imagine myself doing those things. Again, maybe not the same, but it's been difficult slowly backing out of the "UofL sports fan" room even though I had no desire to be there. For a long time it defined part of who I was and I'm sure that's what made it so difficult.

    I do wish you luck in getting back into creating. It's such a great feeling and I'd hate for you to lose that.

  4. Holly, I had no idea you were such a good writer. I will certainly enjoy following this blog! I've been in "knitting purgatory" for about a year now but I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, thank God for knitting friends like you and the rest of the Knit Nook Refugees! See you soon...