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Don't Forget to Use your Hands

It's dark now by 5 pm. Stupid and dark. Soon to be stupid and cold and dark. And while I will wallow in my seasonal-affectiveness-disorder self-pity, I will also try to shift expectations. Ladies and gentlemen, it is now Cozy Time for Cozy Hobbies.

Winter is when I get most of my reading and writing done anyway, so bring on my tilting stack of to-be-read books. But along with this, it’s time for some color. For some fuzz. For some repetitive manual labor. Folks, it’s time I learned to knit.

I will admit: this may be a passing fancy, don’t get me wrong. You may ask me this time next year, “Hey, Anna, how’s the knitting going?” And I may look at you in a strange way. Or a stranger than normal way. We shall see. But for now, it’s a micro-obsession. And I’ll put a plug in for for making the learning process fun.

Note I said fun. Not easy.

In the photo below, I offer to you my first three attempts at knitting. The first was supposed to be a long rectangle, ahem, not a holey arc. The next swatch is getting there, but with a Swiss cheese appearance. The third attempt – aha! Somewhere near what I was going for. A little gray square to call my own. Isn’t it cute (and lumpy)?

But I digress. In Austin Kleon’s book Steal Like an Artist, his fourth tenet is “Use Your Hands.” We spend so much time now on our laptops and phones, gazing into screens. There’s something lost in that lifestyle. It doesn’t feel right.

“Art that only comes from the head isn’t any good.”
-Austin Kleon

That was also a push to tackle the needles. And let me tell you, even making that sad, crooked, gray rectangle felt good. But you know what felt better? Seeing physical progress. Because you know what was next? This:

Now I’m wearing my new chunky scarf at all times. On the couch. In bed. At the kitchen table. On the toilet. While writing this. I guess I should add knitwear to the Curio Cabinet. It may become overburdened with odd-shaped blankets and weird sweaters. How many hats does one really need? I may open the Cabinet door in May to an avalanche of mittens. With misshaped thumbs. Who knows what will happen during this dark season? Let’s find out.

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