I was 8 when knitting became a part of my life. My mom had taught me to knit. She herself started as a young woman and was taught by her employer. I started with the Continental style of knitting and over time, I mastered the craft. Though it took good years to get at a comfortable "cruising speed". Years later since I started knitting, my mother told me she never understood my love of knitting but I was blessed that she share her skills of the craft with me. I never gave up knitting though it was for years that I never took up my needles.
Knitting came back in my life when I was pregnant with my first child. Though I was very young, I was very excited to have a child. I was eager to be a mother from an early age. Through the birth of two children, I took up several projects to knit sweaters, hats and mittens, in small sizes.
I never stopped knitting even when I underwent the whole ordeal of a bad marriage. After 16 years of marriage and a lot of drama, I called it quits. During the time of legalities and hardship, I knit 9 sweaters through the 18 months. I kept knitting even when I switched homes, took on a new job and had to suffer estrangement from my firstborn.
Seven years later, I met my second husband. The man was a widower, with a young daughter and I thought, we were a match "meant to be". In our time together, I successfully moved, did home renovations, changed schools and jobs, including the loss of a child. I was confident that we had the "stuff" to create a good life together, and unfortunately, I was mistaken. As it turned out, my second marriage was doomed from the beginning. My husband was living a secret life of dishonesty and complexity revealed by time and investigation. It became necessary for me to move on and obtain a second divorce. It was another painful reminder of loss. Again, I restarted my life, not without enormous sadness. I moved to a rural area and a new way of life.
Throughout the ordeals, the one constant was my knitting. I often had a pair of needles in my hand whenever I sat. By this time, my first daughter, had a baby and I was back to knitting. Once again I had the joy of creating small items for a much desired and loved child.
Knitting has saved my life more than I can count on and has always helped me to move forward. Knitting for the future, made me see that there was a future. Though it was a far different one than I had imagined, it was something to look forward to.
The simple act of making something is an act of hope. It means that someone will benefit from the time you invested in crafting something. Though the energy you spent in knitting comes with a dose of tears and pain, it brings a determination to move forward.
Knitter's Stories How Knitting Saved MY Life - After a Cancer Diagnosis
After a cancer diagnosis, I found my sanity in knitting. When I began my cancer battle, I did several things to keep fighting. I started writing down my feelings in a diary. I began to talk to other cancer survivors (you are a "survivor" from the moment of the diagnosis). I tried to keep as active as possible, even if it was just getting out of bed and sitting up in a chair. But, it was knitting that saved my life.
During the months of gruelling chemotherapy and hospital sessions, I finished five hats, a cowl and a scarf. I started but never finished, two sweaters and a pair of socks. Knitting gave a purpose to my life and fight against cancer. It was my way to mark the passage of time, and mostly keep me distracted from the feelings of anxiety and anger.
Knitting soon become something I would do most days to something I did every waking moment. I was taken over by a belief that if I could knit fast enough I could outpace my cancer's development. I began believing that if I bought enough yarn and had enough projects planned, I could keep death at bay. St Peter would not take me away; I had a sweater to finish first!
Chemotherapy and other treatments made time slow horribly down and knitting made time go marginally faster. I would wake in the early hours of the day from a fitful rest and just knit until the day started. Even when I lay in the hospital hooked up to an IV, I would make something to feel more productive than simply surviving cancer.
My good days became the ones where I knitted endlessly, while I counted my bad days with stitches rather than inches. The stabbing of knitting needles through the yarn became my rosary, my own version of prayers. The rhythm of my knitting was the battle song that could soothe me.
While knitting I could examine my feelings from a distance. As it was impossible to knit and cry together; I would knit. When my world was suddenly ugly and angry, I brought some colour and beauty into it with knitting. It was my method of control in the world to bring joy.
The passion to knit also became a beacon of hope. I kept going through the painful chemo as I had still much to knit and I still do. Cancer did not stop bringing beauty into the world nothing else could. I am a knitter. I can do anything.
“Vanessa is a martial artist, crafter and blogger living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While she doesn't knit as much as she did, she keeps her hands busy by making plush internal organs for Survival Organs. You read more about her adventures in survivorship at Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts.”
Knitter's Stories I don't feel afraid anymore
Almost ten years ago, I had a car accident. As a result, I suffered from a period of depression. During this time I began to cross-stitch. It stopped me from thinking about everything that had happened. The repetition of the activity was calming, and it gave me a feeling of achievement. The results of my creation were instant and only needed my approval. During this time my husband bought me several cross-stitch kits. The cross-stitching became my way of dealing with my feelings and fears. Once I recovered from the accident, the projects went into the hidden corners of a cupboard.
Later on, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression after the birth of my first child. Once again I used sewing as a means of distraction. Once again it worked well enough, and after a while, I stopped sewing.
Since then, I have taken up knitting and has been a lifesaver for me. Knitting has brought colours and sounds into my world. I feel pure pleasure when my children and husband think my creations are wonderful. Many of my friends and family have received my knitted gifts. Knitting has made me not be afraid of feeling "down" or unwell. I know that my knitting will keep me connected with those I love.
Knitting has given me hope and a true belief in myself. I am once again full of self-confidence.