Friday, October 10, 2008

Remembering How to Knit

I had my first knitting lesson when I was 10 yrs. old. It was undoubtly one of the greatest events in my life. I haven't stopped for 24 years. Not even through joint pain. I have mastered bobbles and cables, lace patterns and sock heels, short rows and intarsia. All through the process of knitting endless blankets, hats, scarves, legwarmers, armwarmers, socks, sweaters, purses, bags, and baskets. At this very moments, I am wearing four handknit items (and at a glance across the room) I can see that my husband is wearing three of my handknit things.

Today was a beautiful October day which we spent doing fall chores and picking Pinon Nuts in our yard. I worked in my studio and did all my exercises and yoga breathing, and baked banana bread and made fresh pizza crust for homemade pizza for dinner. The evening was even lovelier. A light rain started and thunder rolled in the distance. Our Yurt is always lit by candles and oil lamps, so the light is soft and warm. Daniel started a fire in woodstove and lit some White Sage in the incense burner, while he played old groovy jazz on the radio. I couldn't ask for anything more relaxing and zen.

I curled up on the couch with my yarn and my knitting needles. I don't quite know how to explain what happened, I'm having a hard time figuring it out. I picked up my knitting needles and couldn't remember how to hold them. My fingers didn't know how to grip the needles properly. My grip felt clumbsy and wooden and I seemed to have lost my dexterity. Then I realized that I didn't know what to do with the yarn either. I stared at it long and intensely but completely blank. My mind started talking!! It said "Stay calm, don't panic."

My mother-in-law, Jan's voice was there too repeating a little inside family joke. She said "Now we could let this ruin our whole day, but we're not going to let it"

I just kept staring at it while trying to wrap the yarn correctly around the needle. I remembered teaching people how to knit. My daughters, my friends, and my friends daughters.
I started playing it out in my mind, step by step and my fingers struggled to follow. It was like completely reliving my first knitting lesson. It went slowly and clumbsily, as I struggled to do a simple ribbing. Knit one, Purl one. My mind kept soothing me in a little mantra. It kept saying "This is ok. It's OK to knit slowly. I will knit slowly until my hands remember. My hands will remember."

I made it through a 100 stitch row. 100 stitches. I think my hands are beginning to remember, but it's still going very slow. I'm not freaking out, I'm just observing myself and documenting what's happening. I'm intrigued. This is definately an interesting turn. And I can imagine that next week when I tell my friends, it will be funny and we'll laugh.

No comments: