Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I may be on to something

I'm working on a big knitting project right now--the biggest I've attempted yet. I've also given myself a short deadline for completion, for reasons. So I have to knit at least 20 rows per day, with 130 stitches on each row.

That doesn't leave a whole lot of time for writing, I'm afraid. But it is rather satisfying to see something so large emerging from my needles. It isn't perfect--I'm using cotton yarn and it's unraveling a bit, and I have at least two little holes where my stitches don't match up--but on the whole, it's starting to look like what it is supposed to be. Some time tomorrow I'll get to change colors, too, and I imagine that will be satisfying, as well.

I have always found a certain sense of satisfaction in repetitive activities, especially those that produce something at the end. The most satisfying are the kind where you have a pile of pieces at the beginning, and a completed project at the end, like stuffing envelopes or folding laundry.

Don't get me wrong--this isn't how I want to spend all of my time--but I do find such tasks satisfying and sometimes it's a kind of satisfaction that I need. It's especially comforting when I'm overwhelmed or frustrated by more complex tasks to do something simple and repetitive with visible results.

So I guess it's not altogether surprising to find that I enjoy knitting, which is the process of turning balls of yarn into useful objects. I've often spent time while watching TV doing something else with my hands--playing solitaire, surfing the internet, playing video games--and knitting is superior to those occupations because in addition to occupying my hands and taking up nervous energy, it produces something. Often something beautiful.

This may go on for a while.

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