As I hold the needles and yarn in my hands and create the movements required to produce knit and purl stitches, I feel a connection with the hands of my mother and the countless other women who participate in fibre arts. With renewed interest and time to fill, I enjoyed a sense of satisfaction and anticipation when beginning my first project. With chunky wool and big needles it didn’t take long to see some progress, and the pattern resulting from the colours dyed within the wool kept me engaged in the process.
After about two months I’m on my sixth project having graduated from various scarf patterns to a triangle shaped shawl using yarn given to me for Christmas. This project challenges my persistence as the wool is dark gray with only the odd speck of brown or white to distract from the singular dark colour and long rows of stitches that involve knits, purls, yarn-overs and knits of two together.
I find myself becoming impatient for completion and longing for some brighter perhaps self-striping yarn. I distract myself with YouTube searching for sock-knitting instructions and am determined to make that my next project. As I knit, I make a few mistakes that could be noticed if examined closely but not bad enough to threaten the integrity of the piece.
And like that, it hits me; knitting is a lot like my life. I’m impatient for my next employment, longing for the creativity, new surroundings, challenges and escaping the routine of my days these last few months. Like in my knitting, in my life I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve kept going and they haven’t changed the integrity of who I am. While I visualize brighter times, remember to be thankful for what is and has been, and try to believe in a brighter future, I am working through the gray space where employment will be. I stitch yarn together to produce something hopefully useful – a tangible item I can hold in my hands – and feel satisfied that it represents the time and effort invested in it. If I see the small mistakes, I smile appreciating what learning and uniqueness those mistakes produce.
Some days optimism seems to be hiding just out of sight and self-worth is harder to embrace. Some days my hands work nimbly across the rows of knitting and some days the project lays waiting for me to take it up. And so I knit and wait, I apply and research and, I suppose, I learn and experience and mostly I hope.