Monday 2 September 2013

The knitting wall

I took a break from knitting. For the entire summer.

I broke up from school with six weeks off ahead of me, an abundance of free and quiet knitting time. What did I do? I put my knitting in a basket in the furthest corner of the spare room, turned my back on it and, with a cocktail of emotion fizzing in my chest, shut the door behind me. A shot of guilt, a twist of confusion, an aftertaste of uncertain relief. Shaken. On the rocks.

Every now and then I went back to it, picked it up, whispered my feverish apologies, carried it about a bit, even took it on two holidays. It sat in the bottom of my suitcase, forgotten, like a comfort blanket you no longer need but take everywhere with you out of habit. Occasionally, I did actually knit a couple of rows but my heart just wasn't in it. My heart was decidedly elsewhere.

At first it was pretty unpleasant, I love knitting, it's what I do, it's the only thing I can do well. What am I going to do if I don't knit? I'll just bumble along being mediocre at everything.

After a while I realised I wasn't convinced. This was not a departure, this was merely my motivation having a good old sulk. And why not? I have been pushing and pushing, laying down unrealistic deadlines, forcing myself to knit and re-knit the same pattern over and over, throwing every tick of the clock I have spare into knitting, every single last penny and none of it out of love. All of it because of the unnecessary pressure I have layered and layered over my hobby, my hobby!. 

I sucked out all of the joy. I turned it into a chore. I hit a wall. I pushed and pushed until my needles, sparking from the sharp ends, stuck themselves hard into the ground and screamed "ENOUGH! Just sod off will you?"

Fair enough, I thought and sod off I did.

I went to Galway in Southern Ireland with the family, some friends and The Gentle Giant. We ran down the cobbled streets with handkerchiefs tied on sticks yelling "We surrender!" It was a Medieval tour, I hadn't completely lost it. We saw some fantastic live music, acrobatics that made me feel shamefully lazy, boat tripped, ate ourselves silly and played a lot of Uno in many an Irish pub. Encountered rain so torrential it felt as though some great being had up turned the sea.

I read books with actual pages, I saw all of my friends, went to the cinema (twice!), failed my driving test and cried a lot. Consumed tapas and wine with my mum, who always knows what to do, and felt much better.

I went to Greece with The Gentle Giant and met up with his family. Sunbathed, swam, shopped, explored islands, played a lot of Uno and ate ourselves silly.

I went to End of the Road Festival. I danced, I drank, I laughed a huge amount.

I am now browner and rounder and probably a lot nicer.

And I am ready to pull my needles from the earth, dust them off and knit. When I want to, what I want to. Otherwise, is there really any point at all?


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