I have spent the last 4 days (nearly 96 hours) in knitting withdrawal. Who ever expected a repetitive stress injury from knitting?? Not me. Of course the Goddess is tsk-tsking and shaking her head at me – ever the implacable muse ready for another adventure.
I’ve been in active denial – and pain since Sunday night. After some consideration, however, I might be able to wrap my head around what happened.
You may have read an earlier post of mine about “too much, too soon, too fast, too often”. To recap, it means overdoing it – somewhat obsessively, I will admit. I see this attribute in my horoscope frequently: Taurus has a tendency to overdo just about everything in life.
I have a laser focus when I am in mid-obsession. That is how I got through graduate school, how I got my therapy office put together, how I managed my “post a day for 30 days” last winter, how I do just about everything – to the exclusion of other things. Balance is not a native state for me.
But let me return to my aching arm and the knitting I am not currently manufacturing at a ridiculous rate. This whole knitting thing started in January when the Goddess got me out to the charity knit. It continued with a class at the local craft store and then another charity knit – and then knitting therapy every Friday afternoon, another lace class and:
- 2 baby hats
- 1 vest
- 3 adult hats
- 2 top-down cardigans
- 2 shawls
- 2 scarves
and the stole for my daughter’s wedding that finally crashed my machinery 1/2 thru production. And all this since Jan 31.
I shudder to think how many stitches I have done – including the rip-outs and rework.
Did I mention that I have put in some projects on Ravelry and am compulsively checking that – as well as having joined 4 Ravelry groups, added several knitting podcasts and a couple of books on tape which have a knitting theme?
When I am in my obsessive state, I am six years old – perpetually. I need the concern of others to remind me that I need a nap, and a drink of water and I can’t sit and do the same thing for hours. And so I went to the Friday knitting group for confession and penance (although the penance is in full swing).
The Group was concerned about my arm and asked what was taking the place of all the knitting? Eating and obsessive yoga. The Group wondered if the stole would be finished in time? The stole still has a due date: July 17th. Did I have plans for finishing? Yes, I have metered out about 2″/day to meet my goal with bit of extra time built in. The Group nodded approval. Truth be told, the Trinity stitch is REALLY repetitive in nature – and I compulsively knit more that 25″ in 5 days. The Group laughed in understanding at my confession and oohhed and aahhed on what I had competed: Of course your arm would hurt! I found that there is yoga for knitters out on the web! The Group nodded and added more to my repertoire.
At the end, I was gently reminded to stay with my plan, switch to other projects frequently to vary the stitch, and be sure come back next week.
This is why we call the Friday session Knitting Therapy.
On my therapy website, I state that we each have our own answers – we frequently aren’t able to hear our own voices (perhaps because of the furious clicking of knitting needles). And that is truth. Sometimes hearing our own voices becomes possible only when something or someone else intervenes: like arm pain or the reflection of an interested other.
Honestly. Talk about being a Wounded Healer. How does one so unbalanced encourage balance in one’s clients! This is one of the reasons I became a therapist: to encourage people to be present, be still, and be balanced – because that is what I need. The Hopi elders say we are the very ones we have been waiting for. The trick is to listen to the pearls (or should I say ‘purls’) of wisdom dripping from one’s own lips.
Sometimes it takes the presence of an empathetic other to enable us to articulate such wisdom. Sometimes it takes the presence of another to reflect us back to ourselves.
To all the knitting therapists and empathetic others in my life: thankyou.