Knitting has taught me lessons about life that I never thought it would. I recently read “Polishing The Mirror,” a memoir by yogi Ram Dass in which he talks about his experience with mind-altering drugs and how they taught him life lessons. At one point, he talks about this old woman in one of his lectures who simply nodded her head while he talked about his experiences. After he finished speaking, he asked her how she could relate and she simply replied, “I crochet.” I think it’s important to realize that lessons about life can stem from anything, including knitting.
You will make mistakes in life. I’ve been knitting for over nine years now and I still make mistakes at times. The key is to realize that it’s a part of life. None of us are perfect and though it can get frustrating, we can work our way through and fix our mistakes as best as we can. It’s not a lost cause when things go wrong. We are the ones who hold that power in our lives. For me, knitting has played a huge role in learning this lesson about life.
2. Starting from Scratch
I know how frustrating it can be to knit a decent amount of a pattern only to realize a serious problem you made and needing to scrap the entire piece. I think it’s important to realize that starting from scratch isn’t a sign that your life sucks and to give up hope. I have struggled with mental health concerns for years and taking my recovery into my own hands was a new start for me. It seemed like I was giving up in the moment but that is far from the truth. Sometimes starting something new is a refreshing way to get back on track.
3. Making Something
Many people question their purpose in life. And I don’t think it’s as complicated as we make it out to be. Making something beautiful and investing our time into it is a great purpose. Whether you invest your time and energy into family, friends, your career or your hobbies, you can make something incredible. “The Little Prince” says, “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” The time you spend investing it into your life makes a huge difference.
When I first started knitting, I learned from my yiayia that unraveling the yarn and wrapping it into a ball may take effort before you start knitting, but it is wiser in the long-run. My yarn always seems to get in knots when I don’t. Doing this has taught me the invaluable lesson of patience and taking time in the present to save yourself from future stress.
5. Small Things
I’ve heard it said time and time again we should enjoy the small things in life. It wasn’t until I really paid attention to my knitting and the effort that goes into making blankets and other pieces to realize this. There is something refreshing and relaxing about knitting on a snowy day, curled up inside and watching a classic movie. But it’s also okay to simply knit and admire the beauty in that.
The feeling when you complete another piece is incredible. I always get filled with accomplishment whether I make a baby hat, blanket or scarf. Whatever it may be and whatever pattern you chose to use, it’s good to credit yourself for your accomplishment. In my life, I’ve worked myself a lot because I felt like I “had to” in order to be “good enough.” Knitting isn’t a requirement but a choice you can make for you. It’s important to take time to celebrate your accomplishments.
There are certain constants in life that you can always turn to. Knitting for one. Also the loyalty of friendship and the random compassion of strangers. Sunsets are constant, and so are sunrises. Knitting reminds me to pay attention to the constants in life, especially when things seem chaotic and out of control.
Knitting teaches you timeless lessons about life that are important to pay attention to. You don’t need to have knitted for years to start reaping the benefits of knitting. What are some lessons knitting has taught you?