A few months ago I learned to knit socks. To my great delight I find that I love knitting socks. There are difficult and challenging aspects requiring a lot of attention followed by a repetitive pattern that takes very little concentration. I learned to knit with five needles. The two most challenging areas for me are the initial joining together of the stitches, which have been divided equally onto four needles, stitches on the fourth and first needles need to be joined together. I was taught how to do this but I seem to have forgotten some piece of that instruction (it was unique to the woman who taught me), so I struggle to create a smooth connection. Once that is accomplished, for better or worse, it is a challenge to knit/purl the initial rows while juggling five unwieldy needles. Once I have knitted about a 1/4 of an inch the needles are much easier to manage, staying more or less stationary due to the weight of stitches. This knit/purl pattern, or some variation of the sock cuff, continues until about 6 inches have been knitted, for an adult sock. Then comes the next part, the heel.

Knitting the heel is really fun, a process of slipping stitches and knitting or purling entire rows. BUT that is followed by turning the heel. The most challenging part, for me, is picking up the dropped stitches to form the gusset of the sock. It is a coordination challenge! But I’m getting better. From there the rest of the sock is simple, finishing off with a Kitchener stitch to close the toe.

Knitting socks is a joy for me. It engages my mind and my creative juices. I love the yarns for socks – so many variations. Right now I am using a lovely yarn made from bamboo. It is incredibly soft. I am working on little socks for my god daughter twins. Really cute – the girls, and the socks. (SHHH, they are going to be a present)….

I am at a place in my life when I need ways to stimulate my mind and my creativity. So many avenues of life are consumed with dealing with angry people. I am astonished at the degree of anger I see all around me. And often I am helpless to change it. All I can do is offer a gentle non anxious presence and try my darnedest to love. Some days though, this is near impossible. I simply have to set my mind and heart to another task, other than wondering about and trying to respond to the anger, a task that feeds me and enables me to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Knitting is one way I can do this.

Thank God I took that class a few months ago.


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
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9 Responses to Knitting

  1. Barbara B. says:

    I've noticed an increase in frustration and/or anger in people as well (as compared to, say, even 5 years ago). Your approach to it sounds good.

  2. imngrace says:

    Creativity does soothe the soul. Can you teach a lefty how to knit?

  3. Jennifer says:

    I bet your teacher offers refresher moments, too. I'm all ready to learn to knit socks. I think it would be a great next step (after scarves and shawls.)Blessings to you as you guard your heart.

  4. revkjarla says:

    socks. wow. I bow down to you!

  5. Songbird says:

    I find them quite meditative, so glad they're filling a place for you.

  6. Knitting socks was a skill acquired late for me. I've been knitting since I was four, but just learned about socks two years ago. I stick have some sock yarn in my stash. Your post is helping to get me back in the mood.

  7. Kievas says:

    I can't knit, but listening to music has a similar effect for me.

  8. Mompriest says:

    Kievas, I don't know you, but I love the way you think….music is always a great alternative…and makes me wish I had not lost my iPod…sigh

  9. Diane says:

    I want to learn to knit socks, too!

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