confessions of a tight knitter

the sea

I didn’t have a photo to go along with any of the different topics in this post, so I’m placing one of my favorite images here. Maybe it will soften the blow for the randomness you’re about to read.

I think I had a dream about Burt Reynolds last night. Not the “now” Burt, but the younger, Smokey and the Bandit Burt. This has nothing to do with the rest of the post – I just wanted to document this somewhere.

I’ve been called a tight knitter. (For the record, I call myself a stone cold knitter.) I guess that could be considered an insult, but I have this new thing where no matter what kind of comment I receive, I try and take it as a compliment:

Dental Hygienist: You have a lot of saliva.
Me: OMG!! Thank you!!! I didn’t think anyone would notice!!!!

Lab Technician: You have tiny veins (after unsuccessfully poking me four times for a blood test).
Me: Do you know how long I’ve waited to hear those four words? I love you, Lab Technician…

Back to knitting. Okay, so my stitches are tightlywoventogether.  You could easily jump to the next logical conclusion: I’m wound tightly.

(I know, this is kind of a weird post. Burt Reynolds, medical personnel, and now knitting, but not having much to do with knitting, either. I understand. You’re angry and confused because you really wanted the details of my Burt Reynolds-infused dream. Or maybe you’re not even in front of your computer anymore. My eager-to-please tendencies are severely tested by this, yet the feline part of me is totally unconcerned.)

I can admit to this. Tight stitches = perfection, control, fear of failure. (I’m only speaking for myself of course, because I dig metaphors and I’m always on the lookout for lessons from inanimate objects.) But here’s the thing: I used to be even more tightly wound. You see, I have a very severe Inner Critic. But in the past few years, I’ve begun to feel more grounded and centered. Some of the seeds I’ve planted – realizations, practices, mindfulness, self-care, trust – have slowly started to emerge. It’s pretty awesome, even with its crazy and unpredictable moments. The Inner Critic can be a dirty bastard, so it has been a delightful surprise when I can either head it off at the pass, give it the side eye, or be met with serene silence.

I’m serious. My head is more empty than ever before. If you don’t believe me, I’ve also included a photo below of the white noise in my brain:

 

 

 

Isn’t it lovely? Don’t give up, TightKnitters. Plant those seeds. Plant a lot of them, and often. This is what it’s like to tame the beast. And someday you, too, can have an empty head just like mine.

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stone cold knitter

i miss my cat.

I’m an on-again, off-again knitter. I’m in on-mode right now, having been inspired by a friend who has been crocheting those cute amigurumi figures. I’m of Japanese descent, and it has taken me forever to learn and remember that word. Amygummy? Agroommy? Ergimummy? Argh!!

I love yarn, especially when the fiber is spun from alpacas. I love wooden needles and the fact that you can’t bring them to jury duty because it is a known fact that knitters are stone. Cold. KILLERS.

I’ve been trying to knit the perfect hat. This has been going on for years. The only hat I’ve ever kept was the one I subsequently lost in Scotland. Every time I travel I somehow manage to leave behind some article of clothing. (I am choosing to let that last sentence sound sexy and daring, even though it involves beanies and stretched-out sweatshirts.) In fact, I’ve hardly kept anything I’ve ever made, save a few coffee cup cozies and some crocheted roses my armygrummi friend taught me how to make.

Why is this?

a) I’m a perfectionist unwilling to compromise the highest apex of my expectations
b) I give everything away as part of my plan to clothe the heads of the entire population, one hat at a time
c) I look terrible in hats

See? I look like Michael Nesmith. I’m very upset because the hat is too small for my head. And it’s making me look like I have sideburns.

All are sort of true. But the thing that dawned on me this morning is that I actually enjoy the process. Screw the outcome. My task, my lesson, is to appreciate what is happening in the moment. Sometimes I feel disappointed that I didn’t capture a moment with my camera or that a better camera would be able to perfectly capture a scene…and then I remember that I am here, seeing this perfect thing at the most perfect of moments. That I can choose how I want to see what I see. Moments like this shift my perspective and depth of gratitude. Knitting, you are a surprising teacher.

Yes, we’re stone-cold killers. But we can also be found staring lovingly at our inordinate amounts of yarn and our beautifully crafted weapons of choice.

It’s the alpaca heart in us.