I’m An Emotional Knitter and Proud Of It!


I’m An Emotional Knitter and Proud Of It!

Emotional Knitting

Emotional Knitting

I came to a realization yesterday –I’m an emotional knitter. I’ve never heard the term, so I checked with Mr. Google, and found an academic paper talking about a painting, “The Sock Knitter 1915”. The artist was Grace Cossington Smith, and the portrait was her sister, Madge, who knit socks, ‘comforts’, in Australia during the first World War. In short, the author Bruce Scates explores the unpaid labour market and calls us emotional knitters. This would indeed fit all of my Mitzvah Knitter friends.

The Sock Knitter 1915 by Grace-Cossington-Smith

The Sock Knitter 1915 by Grace-Cossington-Smith

My definition differs – I’m an emotional knitter because I feel emotional when I’m knitting for a loved one.

When I’m knitting my younger daughter’s afghan, I think of her and how she will still have it 25, 50 years from now. It’s a complex cable pattern and there are mistakes already. The beauty is that there are so many cables that the mistakes look like just another cable. But if my daughter runs her hands down the afghan and explores carefully, she’ll find them. And she’ll know that on THAT day her mom lost her concentration and maybe she’ll wonder why. When she finds the next cable that’s not exactly like the others, she’ll know her mom wasn’t well that day but knit HER afghan anyway. She’ll study the thousands and thousands of stitches and know that her mom loved her THAT much. When she’s cold or anxious, she’ll wrap herself in this particular afghan and she’ll feel hugged by me. I love knitting this afghan – every stitch – while I picture my daughter and the gift she’s giving me by allowing me to express my love for her by knitting.

Knit cabled Afghan - work in progress

Knit cabled Afghan – work in progress

I’m also an intrigued knitter – intrigued by new stitches and how a particular yarn with a particular size needles will look when it’s worked up. And so I knit up this basketweave infinity scarf last week. It worked up quickly and I love the look. I enjoyed the process and the result, but I didn’t feel an emotional tug. Why? Because I didn’t know who would be wearing it. Soon I’ll gift it to someone special and I’ll be thrilled every time I see her wearing it, but the actual knitting process was very different. By-the-way – click here for the FREE pattern.

Double-stranded, knit Infinity scarf twisted in figure 8 aroundneck.

Double-stranded, knit Infinity scarf twisted in figure 8 around neck.

Here’s a cowl I knit for my daughter-in-law. Knitting this was definitely an emotional experience for a wonderful young woman who I’ve come to love as my own. I gifted it to her while joining her in a visit to her Dad who was in the hospital. I hope she knows as she wears it that it’s to give her a hug – my version of personal comfort and warmth as well as the more practical physical warmth in the Canadian winter.

Knit diamond cowl

Knit diamond cowl

Last winter I knit a top-down dress for my other daughter. There were new techniques involved which I enjoyed learning and executing. But more important was that, as I learned and knit, I knew she’d have it forever and cherish the love that went into each stitch. Here we are a year later and she’s hesitant to wear it because she wants to keep it forever. I’m encouraging her to do both – wear it, enjoy it, and when it’s no longer wearable keep it anyway because it will connect us forever.

Knit top-down dress

Knit top-down dress

I loved seeing my sister-in-law wearing a scarf I made for her a decade ago, my son wearing his scarf, my mom wearing her sweater, my brother telling me he wore a sweater I made for him about 20 years ago. These are just a few of my hand-knit gifts that are truly gifts of love.

Knit sweater

Knit sweater from many years ago (he’s lost a lot of weight since then!!)

So my New Year’s resolution – knit even more for loved ones because it gives me such joy.      And joy is good.

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