Knitting and (K)neuroticism

| February 16, 2017 | 2 Comments

I have busy hands. Fingers that are constantly tapping, tangling, toying. Digits that unravel sweater threads and absently twirl pens, shredding scraps of paper and fussing constantly with my jewelry. My hands have always been busy, and they have always gotten me into trouble. Peeled cuticles, pulled hangnails, persistent scars that refuse to fade. In my busy hands something as innocuous as a pair of scissors or a pencil-sharpener razor blade became weapons of self-destruction – tools used by my busy hands to punish me for my busier mind. And in the unending screaming going on inside of my own head, I found

isolation.

I ordered these needles from España

I ordered these needles from España

No man is an island, but I was alone. Alone I found companionship with my busy hands and those scars that wouldn’t heal, the thread that sewed my mouth shut the one strand I could not unravel.

My salvation came in the form of a skein of yarn and a pair of aluminum knitting needles. Casting on stitch after clumsy stitch, I felt the storm begin to die down inside of my brain. My thoughts filled with

tranquility,

serenity,

Nirvana. 

In the silence of my high school’s library, I found myself at peace for the very first time I could remember. I wanted to cry, wanted to weave myself into those loose, uneven stitches, to wrap myself up in the comfort of that bulky yarn and disappear into the thought-impossible silence of my own mind. My heart-rate slowed, my thoughts cleared, and for the first time my hands ceased their clammy sweating.

In the repetitive motion of my needles through yarn, I was able to quell my racing brain and discover myself for the first time in the longest time. For much of my adolescence I had viewed myself as a pariah inside of my own head, a trembling wreck with shaky hands and even shakier moods. A walking, talking, neurotic disaster.

As my technique improved, so did my state of mind; my knitting appointments with myself making room for a new Me to emerge. A me who not only welcomed the stares of others, but invited them to sit down and chat for a while. Weaving threads of yarn in public not only alleviated my anxiety about being a stranger in a strange land, but it also made me more approachable as others came forward with their own adventures from the fiber arts. As I began to hoard skeins of yarn (saved for the right projects), unfinished works (saved for when they could be continued), and an arsenal of needles (“I have this size in aluminum, but look at the bamboo!”); I also found myself hoarding human interactions. Exchanging patterns in virtual knitting circles online, meeting my former high school teacher (and treasured knitting mentor) in a local yarn shop for some crafting and commiserating, basking in the warm compliments and warmer smiles from passersby who happen to catch me knitting outside on a nice day.

I'm fairly certain that this is what heaven looks like

I’m fairly certain that this is what heaven looks like 

All these things and more have become a part of my knitting experience as much as the needles in my hands and the inevitability of slipped stitches. Knitting has not only given me a chance to quiet my thoughts and my hands for a few hours out of my day, but it’s allowed me to find my voice as a warm and cozy Grandma-type, equipped with tea and plenty of yarn. While I may get frustrated when faced with tangled yarn, and while I may blow an entire paycheck on Lion Brand® Hometown USA® Super Bulky Yarn (come on, Lion Brand®, hook a sister up), knitting has ultimately given me an outlet through which I can best express myself to others and (perhaps more importantly) myself.

 

Are you interested in knitting for stress relief? Drop me a line in the comments and join in on the fun!

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Category: featured, Poetry, Prose and Comedy, Thurman Thoughts

Vicki Saeed

About the Author ()

The brash speaking voice of a sea-hardened sailor and the softness of a velvet child. Two types of Brown and constantly talking about it. Catch me knitting in the sun and talking about social injustice/horror movie plot holes.

Comments (2)

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  1. Virginia Roa Virginia Roa says:

    1) This was beautiful 2) How does one commission a scarf or other form of knitted apparel

    • Vicki Saeed Vicki Saeed says:

      1) Thank you thank you!!

      2) All I’d need to know is your favorite color(s) and if you’d like it to be patterned!

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