For decades I’ve had knitting spurts. I’d knit for a few weeks or months — then stop — often for years at a time. It gave me so much joy — until it didn’t.
Now I’m back in the mood, but this time, as part of a monthly practice of daily knitting, I’ve been untangling what’s stopped me in the past. With this understanding, perhaps I will never stop again. Perhaps this can be a source of delight for the rest of my days.
There seem to have been two primary reasons — and one I may have inadvertently solved.
1. Knitting Overload
For decades I had too many projects, too much yarn, too many sundries — all of it stashed in too many places. But then I learned I love to declutter and so, periodically since retirement, I’ve managed to purge about half of my belongings — including knitting paraphernalia.
First I pruned my stash and, on the heels of that, resolved to only start new projects from that stash until it all fit in one wicker hamper. It felt wonderful at the time and still does. In a later purge, I tackled old half-done knitting projects — in particular one big shawl that just wasn’t working for me. I unravelled it and gave all the yarn away. Another wonderful catharsis. Then this April I tackled our nasty small attic. Deep in that fright I found several boxes of old patterns. I hadn’t missed any of them in 20 years so I recycled them all. And now I’ve committed to minimizing purchases, which is another excellent match. Problem solved.
2. Knitting Wear-and-Tear
Then there’s my aging body: tendinitis in the right elbow, arthritis in both hands, and an achy-breaky right shoulder. This I have not solved and doubtless never will. However, I can manage it by moderating. So this month I’m practicing knitting each day for no more than 25 minutes at a stretch. So far so good.
That’s my key of late. Moderating space. Moderating time. The middle way. Who knew that it could help with knitting too?