Though the proverb has more to do with working, it applies equally to squirrely thinking: Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. So, to keep from driving others and myself nuts while we awaited news about our son’s son, I searched out a knitting shop – a time warp back to the seventies when boutique craft shops seemed a way of life.
The one I found was in Bethesda, up a steep flight of stairs, the climbing of which gave me a completely new set of worries: either me falling up them or down them. The shop had several windows and dormers and was filled with cubbyholes of glorious colorful and luxurious yarns: wools, cottons, silks, alpaca, and blends. Two or three knitters sat about a large heavy wooden table, working on their projects.
I quickly settled on a plan, thread and needles, guided by a clerk whose passion for knitting did not obfuscate her ability to help me. Her care so impressed one of the knitters, that she came up to us at the cash register and complimented her guidance and my receptivity to help – and she identified herself as a professional counselor.
Desperation can make for more receptivity to help, no doubt.
The clerk had sketched a pattern and I set about trying to remember how to cast on stitches. My fingers fumbled – as if pleading amnesia; but the counselor and another clerk cheered me on – and I cast on 150 stitches for a small blanket. Making sure the count was correct took several attempts – I kept losing count. But finally, I knitted several rows.
At no time did my busy hands impede the fears and worries – but the activity left the calming impression I was doing something for somebody – that, and I didn’t want to alert the professional I might be her next patient!
Now, I’ve come to the point in the design of adding in different colors – four of them. This will be interesting – I don't know how to do this without creating knots or bumps.
Whoa: Is my knitting project now a metaphor for my life?
In the past three days, however, the knitting has been useful – so has the happy reality that this new little grandbaby is at home with his parents – opening their minds and hearts to all kinds of wonderful thoughts and feelings. They won’t have time for knitting anytime soon. But crafty little projects like this blanket will help me from having too much time to be too helpful!
- Knitting is a boon for those of us who are easily bored. I take my knitting everywhere to take the edge off of moments that would otherwise drive me stark raving mad. ~Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
- All my scattering moments are taken up with my needle. Ellen Birdseye Wheaton, 1851
- Sewing mends the soul. ~Author Unknown
- From the manner in which a woman draws her thread at every stitch of her needlework, any other woman can surmise her thoughts. ~Honore de Balzac
(Thoughts from the quotegarden.com)