Thursday, 27 February 2014

How knitting has kept me sane

Since I graduated I've really struggled to figure out what to do with the dreggs of creativity left over from a glass and ceramics degree. To say I was burnt out would be  huge understatement. In my final weeks of the degree I hated my work and developed an abscess that would have me on bed rest for a little under a month. I managed to drag myself to London for New Designers, but let's be honest, that was my Northern miserly-ness making sure I didn't waste all the money I'd put into getting there. I mostly trundled back and forth from a drop-in centre and battled a couple of new, and unnecessary, infections.

I then had to start paying a mortage. So I got a job in a restaurant and worked on DIY-ing the heck out of my house. I don't remember why, but it was around this time I started to knit again. I'd gone to a couple of knitting nights and picked up some skills whilst I was in my third year, and had tried to learn by myself since coming back from Africa. But knitting seemed like a good way of making things but not stretching myself too thin.

I got a different job in a cafe and knitted my colleagues hideous scarves for Christmas. From then on I'd occasionally pick up some knitting, learn a new skill like knitting on the round, I made an ill-fitting cushion cover, more hideous scarves (my mother called me on Christmas day to ask if the snood I'd made her was a mini-skirt).  Then I called on Lydia Wysocki to teach me how to sew a cushion for the hiddeous cushion I'd made and she did a bang up job of teaching me. But now I had a load of wool that was doing nothing so I decided I'd knit a jumper. And I knit a bloody jumper. Addmitedly, I ran out of wool and one of the sleeves was the wrong colour, but it was a jumper! I'd made clothes! I decided it would be yet another Christmas present. I quickly knitted another. And started on a cardigan and slipper socks. 

I'm now knitting herrings for Follow the Herring and going to knitting school on Saturday to learn about cables.

This thing, with the needles and the wool has lead me back to being someone who liked making things. Thanks to the support of people like Stacey Whittle, Robyn Townsend, Megan Randall and all the old ladies who saw me struggling with dpn's on the bus or in cafe's I've managed to figure out how to make something out of a tangled ball of nothing. It's made me feel like I can make things, anything. And that they don't have to have a grand purpose, I just need to make them. It's lead me to accepting a workshop making buttons with a knitting group, starting a sketchbook project and feeling like a real craftswoman again.

If you're a knitter I'm on ravelry as terracottalily.

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