“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Monday, August 31, 2009


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.