"Knitting [...] was a comfort to the soul. It was regular, it was repetitious. And, in the end, it amounted to something."
-Jan Karon (At Home in Mitford)
I almost feel like I could stop here, and let the above quote be my explanation for why I knit. It sums up in just a few words the beauty of the craft I've adopted as my own, without belittling it. A while ago, I wrote about how I first learned to knit and the about the people knitting brought into my life, so I won't bore you by repeating that story. But I why I fell in love with knitting and spend so much of my time doing it, that story deserves a little explanation.
More than once I've heard fellow knitters describe knitting as mediative, and I must agree with them. There is something very soothing about the receptive motion of making a stitch. Whenever I am nervous or upset, knitting few rows will often take the edge off my feelings. When I'm feeling confused about something, or hurt, I pick up my needles. They don't have secrets; they are simple tools that allow me to create works that sometimes surprise even me.
While I often knit while watching TV, and love that knitting is an activity I can engage in while still holding a conversation, there are times that just sitting alone and in silence while knitting can be more of an escape for me than reading (which is saying something). I also find that, for me, knitting can be a spiritual activity. It settles my mind and clears away the inner turmoil, allowing me to hear that "still small voice". And when I'm not knitting for myself, I pray for the future owner of whatever I'm working on. May this scarf bring warmth, may this blanket bring comfort.
And, as the quotation also says, knitting amounts to something. It takes a simple piece of twisted fibre and creates something else- something greater. In a knitted piece, the whole is surely greater than the parts. I love the act of creating things in words, but can sometimes become frustrated when I can't bring a story to a proper conclusion, or my characters get away from me. In knitting, I have a definite end. A finished, complete project, with no trailing prepositions. There is something wonderful about that.
So in the end, I guess I just elaborated on the quotation I began with, because it's right. Ultimately, I knit because it is truly a comfort to the soul.