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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : A stitch in time...
 

Customer Projects - Get Inspired

Would you like to share a project that you have made from our yarns or our patterns?   Hundreds of thousands of people who care about your favorite craft will see your work.  Any submissions, particularly original ones are welcome, as long as the project was made from Lion Brand Yarn. 

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A stitch in time...
Created By: Caitlin Seida

Knitting didn't just change my life - it saved my life. I'm sure this statement is heard quite often, from people all over the globe. My story is no different. And with a hefty statement such as I gave, it often requires some explanation.

My grandmother taught me to knit when I was eight years old. It was spring of 1998. Of course spring is when most eight year olds would rather be outside playing in the dirt. It was torture for me. I had to sit still, hold awkward sticks, and fumble with yarn that was far too thin for my little hands. But she thought it was important to teach me. I'm not sure whether I'd asked for the lesson, or it was just a gift. Needless to say, I dropped my knitting needles pretty quickly and headed for the door.

The events that transpired afterward are what lead me to believe that knitting has saved my life.

In November of that year, my grandfather passed on. In most respects, he was the glue that held our family together, and his memory still does. Naturally, his passing was very hard on all members of the family, myself included. My grandfather was always there for me, no matter what the problem. And he held the secret of happiness - that all problems, no matter how large, can be solved with a piece of chocolate and a hug.

After my grandfather passed on, I spiraled into a deep depression. My family believed it to be grief, but their hopes for a quick recovery from the bleakness were dashed when it became apparent that this was not just part of the grieving process. I was out of control in my anger and sadness. I lashed out at my closest family members, lost my self esteem, and slept close to 17 hours a day. This, coupled with harassment at school, lead me down a path of self-destruction.

I began to harm myself, in some apparent and not so apparent ways. Only when it became regular for me to inflict bodily harm upon myself did my mother try to intervene. I was sent to counseling, put on medication, and given every opportunity to express myself in a non-harmful manner. But nothing seemed to be working. I was still lashing out, still being destructive, and still sleeping 17 hours a day. And as it is well known, you cannot get help unless you seek it out for yourself.

One day I was cleaning my room. I found the swatch my grandmother and I had begun the year before. It was deformed and pitiful looking - a lump that aspired to be a square done in off-putting pastel colors and iridescent sheens. My first swatch was a disaster. It was this discovery that made me think of picking up the needles again.

After my grandfather passed, my grandmother had stopped knitting because of a combination of illness and grief. She hasn't picked up the needles since. Seeing my grandmother in this state made me sad. Knitting and crocheting had been two of her favorite hobbies. And to see her so downtrodden that she couldn't even do these anymore, I decided for once and all to continue with what she had taught me on that warm spring day.

I started knitting again - my stitches weren't always formed right, and my choice of yarn wasn't always tasteful. My pieces weren't perfect. But by forming these familiar stitches over and over again - and knowing my grandmother and generations before her had been forming these same stitches - comforted me.

I began to become more engaged - I didn't lash out at my family as much, only when my chores wouldn't allow me to finish "just one more row", a phrase that my mother now detests! I wasn't sleeping 17 hours a day anymore - I was knitting 17 hours a day, which some family members would say isn't much different, but anyone who practices this indoor sport would disagree! And most importantly of all - my hands were occupied with something repetitive and productive, easing that urge to self harm.

It hasn't always been easy, and I'll admit, some of my tendencies still exist. But as it is with any addiction, you never truly recover, you only learn to better fight the urge. I still get somewhat of a grin on my face when the pain comes - but now it isn't a self-inflicted pain, it's the pain that comes from knitting 7 hours a day 7 days in a row to get a sweater finished. It's the pain of knowing I've accomplished something useful. Most important of all, though, it's the pain of knowing that I'm still alive, and that, while I'm not perfect and neither is my knitting, we are both so beautiful and so grateful to be in existence - because one would not exist without the other.


 
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