The grown ups guide to knitting and comfort items

Looking back to my last post I realise that it was more than a week ago and I had better get a wriggle on if I want to keep up with blogging at least once per week.

Early last week the package of double-pointed needles I had bought on ebay arrived, the opening of which revealed to me 11 sets of different sized bamboo needles and left my fingers itching to try out every single set.

Here’s a little side note about me- I am incredibly good at picking up new projects, becoming overzealous, making mistakes I can’t work out how to fix, and then giving up completely,  so it’s a small miracle that one and a half years after starting to knit properly I am still interested (and have even completed a myriad of small items!).  However, when it comes to knitting, it is not the finished product which keeps me going back to the needles and wool stash, but the process.  I consider myself to be an existential knitter, where the finished item rarely looks exactly as it is meant to, but the act of knitting  has provided me with challenge, comfort and the satisfaction of seeing something come together in my hands.

My journey with knitting started about one and a half years ago when I knitted my way through the grief of a close friend’s sudden death. At a time when I felt that the world had been turned upside down I was able to sit down with two sticks and some wool and know that if I wound the yarn one direction I was certain to get a particular stitch. So, essentially knitting provided me with the logic and control which I felt was lacking in my life at that point.

Since then, knitting has seen me through the soul-crushing servitude that is the hospitality industry; the shock of moving states where I had no friends or job; the severe lack of money; and a scary new career change. I really struggle with letting go of control in life, so I cling to the fact that no matter what happens, I still know how to knit a great sock heel.

Blogging Buddy hakea recently wrote about providing comfort items for children to help them through transitions.  Working in childcare I see the need for this every single day as small children negotiate their way through separation anxiety, new siblings, having to share with 14 other children and the inevitable afternoon “I want my mummy” slump. However, as we get older having a comfort item like a teddy bear becomes less acceptable and we forge on assuming that because we are all grown up we can cope with anything. I propose that deep inside all of us there is an insecure child that needs comfort, but as adults we forget to nurture that part of ourselves.

At twenty-three years old I still feel like I am muddling my way through this business of ‘growing up’ and at times when I can’t simply run to my mum knitting becomes my comfort item.

What is yours?

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