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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Why I am knitting-obsessive 
22nd-Oct-2009 11:33 am
Knowing is half the battle
I blame Emily
I blame Kythryne
I blame Annie

The real answer?

I was determined to learn.

Something.

Anything.

When I started learning to knit this spring, I was still on Lyrica. And my short-term memory issues - which I thought were due entirely to the brain damage - were in full swing.

And for the past five years, I had been unable to learn.

I could not retain new information. Lists with more than two items just slipped right out of my head.

And this frustrated me to the point of tears. Because you guys, I used to be smart, and I used to be quick, and I could not learn anything anymore.

And I said okay, fuck it, I am going to learn a new skill. I am going to learn to knit. And I am going to keep pushing and keep plugging away at it until I can do it, because I am the stubbornest person who ever stubborned and I refuse to accept that I cannot retain information. I am doing this.

And it sucked at first. Emily had to literally hold my hands and guide me. I screwed up my first scarf pretty comically. My first few projects were all garter stitch or 1x1 rib, because I could not retain patterns; retaining "knit 1, purl 1" was a struggle.

But I kept doing it.

And with every project, I have been adding a new skill, and building on that skill with the next project, and so on. This morning, when I held up my first non-rectangular project, I declared "I have unlocked this achievement!"

Over the summer, I changed meds. I still have short-term memory issues, but they've improved greatly. I can follow a several-row pattern now.

I am learning.

So it's not just that the yarn is beautiful to the eye and to the touch, and it's not just that it's nice to be doing something productive as I watch TV with Adam.

It's that I have told my brain that it will work, that I will not stop, that I will retain this information, that I will learn.

And I am doing it.
Comments 
22nd-Oct-2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Damn!

Well done you -- that shawl is gorgeous. I didn't realise you were such a knitting novice.

Congratulations.
23rd-Oct-2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
asciikitty has informed me that I am no longer a baby knitter, as I have knit... *thinks* four, five things that are as long as I am tall.
23rd-Oct-2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
LOL!

I've been knitting for ummmmm.... 42 years next month. So I guess I'm about to know the answer to the ultimate question about life,the universe and knitting :D

I'll happily bring Herbivore over for you to see when I'm done with it.
23rd-Oct-2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
Nifty, thanks!

...this is making me want to knit Herbivore instead of Travelling Woman. **laugh**
23rd-Oct-2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
Make them both! (Not at the same time of course.)

Different yarns in different colours and you'll have two very pretty shawl/scarf/wrap things for different occasions.

Or if we get a piggin' cold winter: wear both at once!
(Deleted comment)
23rd-Oct-2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
I out-stubborned a credit card company and my own brain. I believe that I am above average.
22nd-Oct-2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
FABULOUS!!!
22nd-Oct-2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
*APPLAUSE*
22nd-Oct-2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna go with "Blame Emily." It's incidentally her fault and the fault of her spinning wheel at Readercon that I've bought drop spindles and roving and spinning books for myself and for 2 other people.

Your shawl freakin' rocks, btw.
22nd-Oct-2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
Hee. I agree. "Blame Emily" is easypeasy to nod sagely at.
22nd-Oct-2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
Hey! Stop that!
22nd-Oct-2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
It has such a nice ring to it! Like it should be a song! Nay! An ANTHEM!
22nd-Oct-2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
I still say it's not my *fault*, I'm just showing you all the cool stuff you *could* be playing with. And really, if you never found out, wouldn't you be sad?
22nd-Oct-2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
*sings "Blame Emily" to the tune of "Blame Canada"*

yes, yes I would. I still have wheel envy though.
22nd-Oct-2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
Well, yeah, there is that. Poke me later today and I'll show you which boards on Ravelry to watch if you want to consider picking up a used one.
22nd-Oct-2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
Wheel Envy is my new band name. I can use knitting needles as drumsticks.
22nd-Oct-2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
I had someone who'd just friended me on LJ read a post of mine about knitting and think for a minute that my icon was a woman brandishing two giant knitting needles in the posture of the Two of Swords. I WANT THIS ICON WITH A DEEP AND SINGLEMINDED WANT.
22nd-Oct-2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
I. . .That was what I thought for a long time too, actually. :)
23rd-Oct-2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
You should commission one from ultralilac!
23rd-Oct-2009 12:27 am (UTC)
*BANG BANG KERPUNCTURE*
23rd-Oct-2009 01:39 am (UTC)
I like the way you think. (Hey, even I could use knitting needles that way!)
23rd-Oct-2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
So you had a bad case of seeing Emily play

ducks and runs away
22nd-Oct-2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
Hurrah!
22nd-Oct-2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
And- you may not actually believe this, but you're learning faster than a lot of people do. My mom is still convinced that anything other than squares must be hard, and she's been doing this for a lot longer than you have.
22nd-Oct-2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
When I get determined, I get determined!

I'm tackling the devil hat for Elayna next. That, I'm nervous about. But I will poke at it til I get it right!
22nd-Oct-2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
You'll be fine, that pattern's pretty well written.
22nd-Oct-2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
"get" determined? O_o

I regard "determined" as part of your ground state. I don't think you're capable of not being determined.
22nd-Oct-2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
Amen. I've been learning how to knit for oh, 20 years now. And I still suck at it. Crochet is intuitive and natural and fun, knitting...well, not for me.
22nd-Oct-2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
You need to learn something else, to prove this isn't just a fluke. Can I teach you to draw?
23rd-Oct-2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
...hm.
22nd-Oct-2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
... I think that you have a wonderful point. I need to learn something, for much the same reasons you felt the need to learn something.

Now, the question is what do I want to learn?

-wanders off, thinking-

(oh, btw. Congratulations!!)
23rd-Oct-2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
Knit! It's fun!
23rd-Oct-2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
I have arthritis in my hands and serious manual dexterity problems. I don't know if I could knit. :(
23rd-Oct-2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
Ah. Well, not that, then.

Dance? If the arthritis is only in your hands?
23rd-Oct-2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
-makes a face- Unfortunately, it's everywhere.

Stupid body.

I want to do something artsy and craftsy. I'm must not sure what.
22nd-Oct-2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
This made my heart leap.
23rd-Oct-2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
:) :)
22nd-Oct-2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
I read somewhere that there is something about knitting that can be healing to the brain.
23rd-Oct-2009 12:56 am (UTC)
I use knitting something as a meditative exercise. And it helps.
23rd-Oct-2009 01:33 am (UTC)
Oh, hurray! Mind over matter wins!

May it help you learning other things too!
23rd-Oct-2009 04:41 am (UTC)
Go you!
25th-Oct-2009 12:48 am (UTC)
Knitting is great therapy, psychological, mental and physical. It is also great meditation time. The phrase, "Knitting is Zen!" is often heard.

Some links:
stitchlinks
http://stitchlinks.com/index.html
http://www.iknitlinks.org/
4th-Nov-2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
*hugs* and congrats.
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