Some days are better than others. At times it feels like nothing can go right. Days, weeks, even months can go by with one good kick in the teeth after another, with nothing positive in sight.
Sometimes it's financial worries keeping you up at night, other times, it's frequent/constant/seemingly insurmountable arguments with your dearest loved ones, and yet other times it's feeling like your career is in the toilet and you feel powerless and insignificant.
And sometimes it's all of these things at once, and just when you think you physically/mentally/emotionally cannot possibly handle one more thing, the universe sees fit to chuck another log on the fire of burdens.
And so, when this happens to me, I knit. Knitting is the most meditative, sensory, nurturing, and productive thing I can think to do with two sticks and ball of string.
When I have had a bad day and I feel out of control, controlled by circumstance (or worse, by other people), I can cast on and fall into a calming trance as my hands take over and let my brain rest for a while. My hands already know how to knit, purl, and they can pretty much autopilot simple stitch patterns.
No one can control my knitting. I can't always control the outcome, but I can choose a pattern and select a yarn, grab some needles and start making something. There are no time constraints (usually) on when I need to be done the project, and if I don't like how the project is going, I can rip it all out and start over, no harm done. It might take longer than I thought, but time spent knitting is never wasted time. It's all learning.
If my troubles just won't quiet down, I can try a difficult pattern and use my brain productively to decipher a difficult instruction or to learn a new technique. If it's a problem I might be able to solve on the back-burner of my brain, I can follow an easy pattern while watching a movie and let the problem simmer itself out.
If my heart is sore, I can choose a silky, glossy, beautifully soft fibre and as I knit it up, it slides between my fingers and soothes my spirit.
If I feel like a big, fat, failure who can't do anything right, I can choose a sturdy, warm, workaday wool and structure something substantial out of it, a fall wrap or a cardigan to hold me together when I feel like falling apart.
And if nothing else, I can look at what I have made and realize that even though knitting is very simple and anyone can learn it, knitting takes patience, dedication and some degree of talent to make something beautiful and since I can do that, I'm pretty awesome, even if I don't feel that way all the time.