Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Knitting for My Sanity

I settled into the rocking chair yesterday and realized it'd been almost a week since I'd knit anything. Not a few rounds of a scratch mitt. Not a single row of a shawl. Not even a few stitches of a hat. Nothing. It was both horrifying and eye opening. No wonder I'd been so cranky lately.

I needed a change from knitting baby things and gifts for people. I'd been staring at those scratch mitts for far too long. While I've finally finished the green ones, I need to start the pink ones. And I just don't seem to want to.  I need to make something for me. I'm still working on all of the gifts and baby knits, but yesterday I started a small project to help me get my mojo back.

Maybe it was the fact that I hadn't knit in over a week. Maybe it was because I'd been looking forward to knitting this particular object since the first whispers of it spread across the internet. Maybe it's the fact that it's not for a baby or a gift for someone else. Maybe it's because it was raining out and for a change it hadn't brought a headache it it. Maybe it's because for the first time in two weeks, despite the humidity and the heat, I didn't feel overheated.

Whatever the reason or reasons, everything fell into place, and I started my new project, the Rosewater Hat by Emily Wessel of Tin Can Knits.

This hat is made up of firsts. It's the first pattern I've ever bought that isn't part of a knitting book. It's the first time I've used Knit Picks Gloss yarn even though I have several skeins of it in lace weight. First time I used a new brand of bamboo needles.

Sitting in the rocking chair, watching episodes of Grimm, and trying something so new to me was wonderful. Freeing in a way. The yarn is soft, lush and just wonderful in my hands. I'm definitely going to have to use my lace weight skeins of it soon. It has such a lovely shine and there's just something about how squishy it is that's soothing. The needles are smooth and fit my hands well.

And the pattern. I've been dreaming of this hat. Inspired by the art of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, it reminds me of Glasgow. Of nights spent laughing with roommates while sharing a bottle or two of wine. Of days spent wandering around Sauchiehall Street and Buchanan Street watching buskers and looking in shops. Of rushing to class on campus and all the hills and stairs. Of having tea at the Kelvingrove and the GoMA. Of remembering how much I love to knit after having forgotten for over a year. Of searching up and down Queen Margaret Drive looking for The Yarn Cake, and finding such lovely yarn and hot chocolate inside. Of huddling in my coat, weaving my way through the back alleys of the West End to catch the subway home, the smell of chips and the sound of laughter in the air. Of stumbling in the door to the flat carrying a bag of groceries and dripping rainwater. Of all the moments of happy and sad and everything in between.

I'm just getting started with this hat, but I'm looking forward to it. Knitting each round and watching the hat take shape. And the memories it inspires. Mostly though, I'm looking forward to cooler weather and being able to wear it out. It's more then just a hat that I've knit. It's having a piece of those memories with me.

Have you ever had an emotional attachment to a knitting project or pattern? Have you ever knit something not just because you liked the finished project or it fulfilled some need, but because of what it reminded you of?

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