“Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crisis.”
So said Elizabeth Zimmermann and she was one smart knitter. She understood more than how to make garter stitch bend gracefully around the human form and she knew more than how to make a sweater in the round from the bottom up in any size, in any yarn. Elizabeth Zimmermann knew the real reason why we all knit. And crochet. And spin. And sew.
I hit a rough patch this week. I took a few (metaphorical) punches to the head. The thing about blogging is that its hard to share the details of your setbacks without making a mess of your personal life. So I won’t even try. I’ll just say that knitting is getting me through it.
I’m sure that comes as a surprise to exactly zero of my readers. CNN or The New York Times may need to inform and convince their audience that knitting and crocheting and crafting can help manage stress and boost self-esteem. I don’t.
My knitting therapy for this particular crises are fingerless mitts. They are in their second incarnation and I’m pretty happy with them. I have a test knitter who plowed ahead with the first incarnation even after I messaged her that I was snipping, ripping, and starting over. I’m not precisely sure why she did that except… she had a head cold. She had messaged me earlier to say that she felt the creeping crud (my words not hers) coming on and needed to spend the next few days knitting.
I get that. I’m sure we all do. Stitch when you are happy because times are good. Stitch when you are miserable because you need to cheer up. Or calm down. Or just distract yourself. Stitching works in all situations. Elizabeth Zimmermann knew that because she also said:
“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.”
I’m telling you, EZ was pretty sharp. She knew that sometimes a fingerless mitt is just a fingerless mitt. And sometimes its much more. Sometimes we’re not just stitching hats and scarves and sweaters and shawls. Sometimes we are stitching ourselves together.
That’s what I’m really doing and the fingerless gloves are just a happy by-product. I’m stitching myself back up, closing up holes, adding a little beauty, and covering up the rough spots.
“Now, let us all take a deep breath and forge on into the future; knitting at the ready.”
I’ll be ready for what comes next. I am a knitter after all.
It probably goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway: I like almost everything Ms. Zimmermann wrote and said. She was a knitting philosopher. So I took one of her quotes, the first one I cited here, and made myself a quick wallpaper for my phone. Like a reminder note for the digital age. This way I can take her with me.
Feel free to save/copy/download and take it with you too. And knit on.
**UPDATED TO ADD: And ice cream helps too.