Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Obsession

Recently, I joined a gym (it’s going well. I haven’t yet had an episode where I do the cross-trainer for 15 minutes and then have to go sit on the bathroom floor for half a hour trying not to be ill into the toilet. [This is what usually happens after I start doing exercise again after a long time]). I’m aiming to go a minimum of three days a week, and a maximum of five, although I’ve decided that if I want to do yoga on the weekend that doesn’t count towards my gym visits.

So recently, on days when I don’t have anything else planned, I’ve been heading down to the gym straight after work. I’m now getting ‘home’ (as I have to go home to change into my workout clothes – the gym is less than five minutes walk from my flat) between 7:30 and 8 at night. This isn’t really a problem – I have time to shower, throw something together to eat, although my meals are becoming much less inspired, and then sit and knit for an hour or so while watching TV or a dvd.

The key activity that’s been mentioned in that above paragraph is the knitting.

I’m going to a 60s fancy dress party (costume party, for those across the pond) on Friday and need something vaguely hippy-themed to wear. I found out about the party on Sunday, but didn’t have time to go and look for a costume as I had other plans. I dragged myself out on my lunch on Monday (I usually knit on my lunch break) to look in charity shops for something I could turn into a hippy outfit, and found a shirt – in size 8. It was perfect, but clearly some modifications would need to be made as it’s unlikely – barring some sort of body swap – that I’ll ever be a size 8 again.

I didn’t have any time Monday night to start making modifications to this top, so finally got a chance to sit down last night to begin work on it. I’d gone out yet again on my lunch (no knitting) to hunt for white thread, and so had all the things I needed to be able to change this top. Some snipping, some sewing, some trying on and two hours later I have an almost-completed top that I should look vaguely hippy-ish in, especially combined with the lovely necklaces I found at the same shop.

I noticed last night that I was feeling a bit resentful about the top. It was going to look pretty good (and hopefully fairly sexy when finished, as this party is taking place at a bar), but I was a bit angry with it. I couldn’t figure out why I was walking around for the past few days feeling slightly antsy and on edge, like I didn’t have enough time to do the things that I wanted to do and I was having a hard time figuring out why I was feeling this way.

Then, today, I read the Yarn Harlot’s post from yesterday and it hit me – I’ve barely gotten to knit in the last three days. Sunday, I was busy all day. Monday, I didn’t get my usual hour in at lunch, and then was busy all evening. Yesterday I again devoted my lunch hour to the hippy-top and spent my evening free time working on it. No. Knitting.

This was a bit of a surprise to me. I know the knitting has become a big part of my life since April last year when I picked up my sticks and strings and really started making things, properly (as opposed to the year at uni when I made scarves for Christmas, and then walked away). It just didn’t occur to me that it had become so…necessary. It’s how I relax, now. I don’t need to think, much, when I’m doing it. It’s active meditation, a time when I can just look at my hands and be no where else but where I am in that moment. After all, it’s hard to think about work, or money, or stress when you’re being amazed at how the blue is changing into the yellow is merging with the purple to make that really lovely colour as the yarn flows through your fingers.

Clearly, it’s moved into my life in ways I wasn’t expecting. And you know what? I’m pretty okay with that.

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