When I was growing up, my mother did little for herself. When we were very young it was due to only having so much and using as much of her resources as she could to provide for our needs. Even the things that she made were either to sell or to be given to one of her children.
Once we were older and things were more comfortable, my mother still did not give much to herself. I remembering thinking “man, I’ll never be like that“.
Well, my friends, I am so there.
I need to try to set a different example for my own children. (No criticism meant, mom.♥)
I knit very nearly every day. I almost never knit for myself. It seems there is always someone, usually a small someone, who could use a new sweater or a pair of mittens. I have a list of knits I’d like for myself but those always seem to fall behind in the queue. I mean, let’s face it, baby cardigans are waaay cuter than mama cardigans. However, mamas appreciate a good handknit too (and a mama cardigan is likely to fit longer)!
Last November, when N was just about a year old, I decided to indulge and knit something for me. I wanted to take my time, really get to know this special piece as I worked on it. I wanted something soft and cozy to wrap up in. Something to ponder over for a good long time. Something that would become a symbol of my healing and a reminder to be gentle with myself. I chose one of my favorite yarns along with a pattern I had been drooling over for some time. It was a gift to myself, a reminder to take things slow. The finished shawl is, of course, it’s own gift but the knitting was also something to treasure.
Knitting is such a soothing, meditative activity. I knit most nights before bed. It helps me find a calm place after days that can often be rather chaotic (lovely, yes, but also chaotic). If I happen to wake in the night with a bout of insomnia, I think about knitting. After N was born and I suffered through terrible postpartum anxiety, I knitted. Happy, sad, summer, winter, I knit. It is an anchor to my days (and nights).
This shawl sees a lot of wear, especially during mornings with a hot cup of coffee or evenings with tea and another knitting project. Oh, yes. It is those times when this shawl is my constant companion. I’ve even been known to sleep with it. It’s large enough to cover my shoulders or my lap or place over a sleeping child. Warm, cozy, familiar, and somehow both delicate and sturdy, this shawl is everything I hoped it would be.
If I only knit myself one item a year, that’s progress. I’m thinking of making it a tradition to begin each November with a new project just for me, something I can really dig into. Next, I’m thinking perhaps Quill or maybe even Echo Flower. Happily, there is still some time to decide.
What are you working on? Anything for yourself?
Ravelry notes for Terra here.