Monday, February 5, 2007

Lost and Found: Why I Knit, part 1

Why do I Knit? For me, this is a multi-part question. So, I will give it a multi-part answer in several posts as the mood strikes me.

Making Things

I have known how to knit since I was about ten, learned at school, but never had the patience, or got reward enough to stick with it until recently. I came back to knitting almost four years ago when I was trying to get pregnant at a much later age than is the norm. That process was trying in a number of ways. Somewhere along the way, I started a baby blanket. I knitted several sweaters – tiny to toddler size. A positive visualization with each stitch and all that. I never made a baby, but I re-awakened a creative urge that had not found a personal expression for a long while and for a variety of good reasons and lame excuses.

I don’t consider myself to have an uninhibited sense of creativity when it comes to design. Perhaps I am too practical and not whimsical enough. On the other hand, I am very good at making things. Over the years I have knitted, crocheted, sewn clothing, embroidered, needlepointed, taken photographs, thrown more than a few pots, strung beads, baked, and tended a flower garden. OMG, remember macramé, that too.

Though I am an architect by education, I spent most of my former career in construction management, making things like hospitals, banks, university buildings, and then both affordable and very high-end houses (at the same time). For about four years I put so much into building houses for others, but not much for myself, that truthfully, it exhausted me. I really had nothing left to create with. It was a difficult time personally, professionally, financially. I am wildly understating how bad things were (I don’t feel like whining tonight) but you get the idea.

Then I decided to change things. And I did.

I started a job search. I broke up with my boyfriend, answered a personal ad, and met my now husband. I quit my job and went to work with him doing something completely unrelated to buildings. There was time for play. Then I started the baby blanket and kept on knitting.

Now, I make things again. Whether for me or someone else, whether started and set aside or finished, whether simple or challenging, whether beautiful or simply useful, whether my effort is recognized and rewarded or dismissed, I make things.

I am a Knitter.

Pattern: Flowing River Shawl (was Mystery Shawl 2) by Renee at Goddess Knits
Yarn: Zephyr merino/silk laceweight, hand-dyed with Gaywool dyes
Needles: Aero circs US5/3.75mm
Completed: 2006

Next time on Why I Knit, Part 2: The multi-car pileup that was my left arm and how it led me to the online knitting community.