AmpuT asked me why I've never been to a group knitting thing when I met up with her at her SnB a few weeks ago. I think I said something stupid like "I just never have the time."
Well duh! Of course I have time to knit. Otherwise, I wouldn't have finished objects and I would have nothing to write about in this blog.
I've been thinking about it a lot lately and I think I've finally found an answer. While yes, my life is full of chaos and sometimes I can barely get through the day as it is without adding more things to it, I do manage to find time for the things I love. My son, my family, my friends, my favorite activities (of which one is knitting) and lots of other stuff.
Why don't I do the whole group knitting thing? Why have I never gone? Most of the time, the SnB's fall on nights when I'm not able to go (like AmpuT's SnB night). The rest of the time, I just don't want to do it. Just as with my belly dancing (I've been a student off and on for 10 years, yet I have performed in public only once), knitting is a very personal thing for me. Knitting has helped me get through some extremely rough, stressful, and emotionally draining times. For a while there when the world got too overwhelming, I pulled out the needles and yarn and just started 'something'. I didn't care what it was, or how it looked. I would just knit and knit and knit until I felt better.
As a young knitter, I made all kinds of things and I knit to make cool stuff for my baby dolls and my Barbies and the occasional animal (either real or stuffed) that wandered into my space and looked 'cold' (my poor dog ended up with rainbow ombre 'snow' booties - hahaha - he hated me for a while after that). As I went through high school and college, I started getting away from shaped things and moved into my stress knitting phase. I cranked out many an afghan during that phase and 2 failed sweater projects (definitely not a good time to try that!). During all that time, I knit alone, at home, in my favorite knitting spot. I knit to relieve stress, to think about what was going on, to just be me - no one else around - no noise but the clicking of my aluminum needles and the purring of my cuddly kitties. And all was right in my private knitting world.
Then, about 6 years ago, something snapped (in a good way) and I realized how much I enjoyed knitting. Not just knitting to relieve stress (although I still do it), or to think, but to create, the actual act of creating was the high I wanted. At that time I started to commute. Perfect, I thought! I knit in the line waiting for the train, I knit on the train. I knit on benches, on steps, anywhere I could sit outside and enjoy the weather. I knit at school meetings, the lunchroom at work, in doctor's waiting rooms, at the DMV, getting an oil change - etc etc etc. I broke away from the big afghans I was making and started making hats, scarves, and leg warmers - yes, leg warmers - Mom wanted them, I couldn't refuse a request for a hand knit object - especially from my Mom! I ventured back into more challenging things, more shaping, different techniques - and it was wonderful. But I was still knitting alone - and that was OK.
I've broken out of my loner knitter status by attending a SnB. It was a wonderful experience to share with all the rest of the group. Everyone doing something they love, sharing ideas, thoughts, opinions. Now if I could just learn how to talk and knit at the same time, I'm sure I would certainly enjoy the occassional SnB night even more. After knitting alone for 37 years, that might take some time. :-) And as for the Wool sensitivities, AmpuT suggested a hazmat suit. hahahaha I will most definitely still be a lone knitter as I do enjoy the brief 'escape' from reality it gives me. I really do like my little corner of the knitting world. But - If you see me out there knitting alone somewhere, stop and say HI! I don't mind the interruption and I really could use some more practice on the whole knitting and talking at the same time thing... :-)