Healing and Knitting


An alternate title to this post could be:

What I Forgot That I Knew

Sometimes that’s the way of it…I forget things that I’ve known so well. Knitting reminds me that things take time. And this week in particular, I’ve been reminded that healing takes time. Healing of any kind takes lots of time. Major surgery is no exception.

Yet, I’ve been impatient. Each day I’m looking for huge strides in my recuperation process. I’m wanting my pain levels to drop way down. I’m wanting to be able to move around as gingerly as I did before surgery. I’m wanting to be able to walk in my neighborhood as far as I used to do. I, at least, wanted to be significantly “better” when my family returns from the beach tonight. Though there are certainly small improvements that show I’m headed in the right direction, I’m not as healed up as I had hoped.


I’m not an especially fast knitter, compared to some I’ve seen, especially those who continental knit. I was taught the good ole American way, throwing the yarn over each time. I do know how to continental knit and I use it for two stranded knitting and at other times when I have the itch. But I love the way I learned. Perhaps it’s like a Southern Drawl. That lilting, slow way of speech that is so enchanting…knitting by throwing your yarn, allows me to enjoy the process, even if it may be a tad slow.

I’m trying to relax into the process of healing. That sounds like an oxymoron: “trying” (applying effort) to “relax” into the pain and discomfort. Golly, it’s hard work. But knitting and drawing keep me sane. So do friends and family who have come to visit with me this week. They have been a delightful distraction from the discomfort of healing.

The above drawing is of a new shawl on my needles. I am inspired by Paula Emmons-Fuessle’s Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl and I’m setting about to create as many versions of it as I can envision. I’m really taking this pattern into whole different directions, but the basic “canvas” of her recipe is there. This one is striping two balls of yarn, one solid, one variegated and then knitting only with the variegated for a while. In this section of the shawl I’m adding eyelet rows in which I’ll weave ribbons. Then I’ll finish it off with a ruffle of some kind and a bit of the solid color I’ve reserved for the end.

My mind wants to think: Maybe by the end of this shawl I’ll be significantly better! But I’ll not do that to myself…I must allow my healing to take its own course, no matter how many shawls may need to be knitted in the course of it all!

***Note on Book in above photo: How Georgia Became O’Keefe by Karen Karbo is a gift from a friend. Though I am only on chapter 3, it is proving to be a wonderful read! Fascinating insight into this artist’s life and work. The way Karbo writes makes me want to read ALL the other books she has written on famous women: Katherine Hepburn, Coco Chanel, and Julia Child.

6 thoughts on “Healing and Knitting

  1. freebirdsings says:

    Healing just has to come on it’s own terms doesn’t it? Definitely not by how we tell it! As long as you moving along by normal expectations I guess relaxing into it is really the only option. I hope you wake up one morning soon though to find you’ve made a huge leap in pain level and healing!

    I knit continental style unless doing two-stranded but I am not a fast knitter. I often wonder if my gauge would be more consistent if I switched as I have a wildly erratic swing in tension from one session to another.

  2. slmann says:

    Thanks for sharing your process in life right now. I’m sending good healing thoughts your way.
    Several years ago I visited and toured Georgia O’Keefes home in New Mexico. And, I also had an opportunity to view her clothing and artist tools in the research library that belongs to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe. I will never forget the trip.

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