I learned to knit as a child. My mother is a crafter. Sewing is her main interest, but she did (and does) also do crochet, knitting, needlepoint and various other things. It was only natural that she would pass those things on to her daughters – I have no brothers, so that’s not an anti-feminist thing to say!
Some of these these skills were meant to be useful. She felt it is a basic skill in life to know how to sew on a button, how to take up a pair of trousers or to mend a seam that has come apart. She is right of course, and knowing how to do these things has been invaluable to me throughout my life. I really don’t know how people get by not knowing!
As a child and young teenager, I knit and crochet a lot, then my interest waned for a decade and a half while I was busy exploring the world.
A few years ago, I picked up my knitting needles again. I don’t recall now what prompted me to do so, but I’m very glad I did.
I can be a rather anxious person. I get stressed and panicky easily. Knitting helps. I keeps me sane in difficult times. I don’t know how I would have coped with the stress of finishing my PhD while heavily pregnant, or with being homeless for over two months following the broth of my second child had it not been for my knitting.
Knitting keeps my mind engaged just enough so it channels energy away from the things that worry me, allowing me to relax. My husband watches films to relax, but I find I need to keep my hands busy as well. My Calvinist upbringing might have something to do with that.
When I’m not stressed or tired, my knitting is a great creative outlet. I’m a stay at home mother, and I get great satisfaction out of looking after my children and my home, but I also need that bit of mental stimulation. An intricate lace pattern or dabbling in creating my own designs fits the bill.
When I returned to knitting it started small. A pair of needles, yarn bought for a specific pattern. I read about people having stashes and shook my head.
But then recently I realised something has changed. I have an extensive collection of needles. I peruse patterns and even buy some with now immediate plans to knit them. And I can no longer deny that that big tub of yarn is anything other than a stash.
So, I can proudly say. My name is Cleio, and I am a knitter. How about you?