On Thursday of this past week I had the pleasure of attending a reading and reception with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, better known to us knitters as the Yarn Harlot. The book store where it was held vastly underestimated both her popularity and the size of the local knitting community. The room was packed - beyond standing room only. And most of us were knitting, of course.
I expected the Yarn Harlot to be funny - as full of wit and clever insights as her writing, and I was not disappointed. I wasn't expecting, but was pleased to discover, that she was also inspirational. I left the event with a renewed love of being a knitter.
Since that evening my head has been swimming with personal declarations of what it means to be a knitter. Affirmations, really. Things I mostly already knew, and if you're a knitter you are likely to know them also. But I have not taken the time recently to consider them, neglecting to concentrate on why it is that I can not stop knitting.
I've been considering community - that standing room only crowd. Being a knitter means being a part of a larger community. A team player, so to speak, on an extremely diverse team of smart generous people. People I might otherwise ignore or avoid were it not for the one unifying fact that we all knit.
Being a knitter is healthy. A fact supported by science. It can lower your blood pressure and reduce your stress. In short, knitting has the ability to calm an over-active mind, and to settle a restless soul. Knitting allows me to be still.
Knitting is worthwhile. When I feel I don't have the energy to do much of anything, but can't justify doing nothing, I knit. When you are knitting you are doing something. Not nothing, something. You are knitting.
Knitting is good, and can do no harm. I'm unlikely to hurt myself while knitting. And knitting makes us generous and thoughtful. Whether we are knitting for ourselves or for others, it is an act of extreme kindness to give a hand knit article.
Since seeing the Yarn Harlot I've been thinking - knitting is healthy, worthwhile, and good. These affirmations have accompanied me during stolen moments with the yoga socks, and my precious uninterrupted hour of lace knitting. I'm pleased to be a part of the knitting team. A team that embraces the idea that something hand made will always be more beloved and fine than something that is not.