The Art of Procrastination: My Writer’s Block – Part Three
The newest activity I have taken up as a form of procrastination from writing is a golden one, the queen of all procrastinations: Knitting.
How is knitting the queen of all procrastinations? Well, truthfully, it’s utterly addictive. I started knitting and pretty much didn’t put it down for three days. I was knitting on the tube (bold move on my part), in my lunch break, while watching films and football, while waiting for pasta to boil – I am full blown addicted. This lead to buying more wool I can knit through (I’m probably set for about six months), at least four sets of needles, as well as looking up knitting patterns and tutorials online. I have knitting fever and I won’t be recovering any time soon.
If I had my way I would be knitting all the time. I’m sure if any of you are knitters, you’re nodding your heads in agreement, knowing you would all be knitting 24/7 if you could. So there you have it, the queen of procrastinations. I even reached a point where I ran out of wool for my first project and couldn’t wait a few days for more of that colour to arrive, so naturally I HAD to start a new project in the meantime. Addicted.
So how did I come to the discovery of knitting and its epic procrastinating tactics? Well, my very good friend took up knitting last year and I watched her get the fever. I was jealous. I was also convinced that knitting was definitely a two-handed activity that would forever be out of reach. Watching her knit, I just couldn’t see how I could possibly do it. I left it at that and stuck it in my ‘not for you’ list.
A couple of months ago, when meeting said friend for drinks, she told me she was going to start selling her knitting. She knits all the time, so why not sell it? I’m very happy for her but I have to admit the green-eyed monster flared as I thought how lucky she was she could just do that, knit awesome stuff and sell it. I love making stuff but it comes out looking shit most of the time – my teacup candles just looked tacky. I’m ashamed that I was jealous, it’s not like I wanted to sell knitting, and nor will I, I just hated that I couldn’t be part of something that I desperately wanted to do.
Anyway, I came away feeling all ‘it’s not fair’ in a self-pitying tantrum about my pathetic existence. The next day I googled one-handed knitting and had a look/asked around to see if it was possible. It started to look as though it might be and I got a tad excited like children on christmas day all hopped up on sugar and anticipation. My first attempt was a bit of a disaster due to crappy wool and skinny needles, but attempt two, equipped with thick needles, good quality wool, video tutorials on my laptop, and one needle wedged in my armpit, I managed it. I knitted. I KNITTED! It was a super proud moment and I was far too excited, but I could bloody well do it.
I find with stuff like this, a moment of one-handed achievement, I get hugely over-excited, and although people understand why I’m excited, they still give me an underwhelming look of ‘so what’, or worse, ‘great’ with a slightly patronising undertone – ‘aww you managed something that I can do with my eyes closed and drunk, good for you!’ with a weird encouraging smile that makes me feel like a five year old who’s just given their parents a stick man painting. I don’t blame people’s reactions, it’s a bit of a weird situation to respond too, either they don’t think it’s a big deal, or as I said, any rejoicing usually comes out a tad awkward and on the patronising side (hard not to I guess). We all then swiftly move off the topic and carry on with what we were doing, while in my head there’s lots of jumping around, balloons and fireworks, butt wiggling and dad dancing, but it’s a party of one…
So I never really get rejoiced with in the way that I want because there doesn’t seem to be a shared frame of reference, and in turn, an understanding of the happiness or excitement that comes from such an achievement – this wasn’t just a ‘I found a way, yay for me’ (which plainly happens too regularly to celebrate every time) – it was a ‘WooooooHooooooo something I thought was closed off from me, shutting me out forever, has just opened its gates and let me into its wooly heaven’ moment. I’d pouted on many occasions about not being able to knit and now a whole world had become available, and for me, it was a momentous achievement.
Now, while I just blabbered on about how no one really got my excitement, a few weeks later, and after I had written the above, my best friend from uni came over for dinner. I told her I was knitting and her reaction was golden. She was equally as excited as I had been and completely understood my own excitement and amazement, which is one of the reasons I adore her. Having tried knitting once upon a time and really struggled with it, she could share my reaction. And having at least one person to share this excitement, and even bafflement with, was completely and utterly awesome. So I guess that makes my whiny ‘no one gets me’ stance a little redundant, but I am happy that that’s the case! So thank you Charlotte, you are my absolute hero, and I love you for all your unfailing support, weird understanding of my quirks (and disability), and your general awesomeness.
Anyway, I have finished my first scarf and I am very proud.
It’s not perfect but it looks like a scarf and it doesn’t have any giant holes. I gave it to my darling boyfriend who wanted the first, original creation. He even wears it! So that’s a plus.
And that’s how knitting became on of my many procrastinations from writing. While I need to make time for writing, I don’t regret learning to knit, I love that I can do it, I love doing it, and I look forward to tackling new projects. Some of the one-handed logistics may cause a few difficulties with more complicated patterns but I’ll find a way – I will not be beaten, I will not submit, I will not give up. I make my life harder for myself but I will not be excluded – there is always (well, usually – I won’t be performing surgery any time soon) a way around.
So I have more ways to procrastinate than ever but it’s a new year, I have a planner, I hope to spread my time evenly and enjoy all the creative and challenging crafts in my life from mastering oil paints (Christmas gift) and honing my baking skills, to knitting an array of clothing and writing my book.
To 2015, here goes!