The night before Rhinebeck, one of my knit buds posed a question. "When did you learn to" she said "knit?"
I learned when I was nineteen, almost twenty, years old. It was the summer between my freshman and sophomore years at college. I was lost. I was lost emotionally, spiritually and mentally. I had no idea who or what I wanted to be in life. I felt paralyzed.
I decided to teach myself how to knit. I'm not sure why. Knitting was something I had always wanted to try and it felt like the right moment to start.
I dug up a 1970's magazine clipping on "How to teach yourself to knit" my Mom saved. Then I headed off to JoAnne Fabrics. There I selected knitting needles that felt good in my hand (US 2), and a (sport weight) yarn I liked.
I taught myself to cast-on in the parking lot. Later in the day I had a few rows of garter stitch completed. At the end of six months I had a skinny black scarf completed. It was so long that I could wrap it around my neck, and still have it reach my knees.
Knitting felt good. And more importantly, it was something that I choose. I choose the yarn. I choose the needles. I choose the pattern. I choose how much time to spend on it. I choose when to put it down.
It was having those little choices, when all the choices were felt too final, that helped free me.
Why do I knit? Because knitting doesn't care if I'm perfect. It just cares that I show up and participate.