2016 is shaping up to be a garbage year. When tragedies happen or when politics get ugly, I tend to go quiet on this blog because it feels silly to be writing about knitting when people are grieving or in fear. But with the way things have been lately, it seems like the tragedies and hate aren’t going to subside any time soon, and I think knitting can be good to help cope with that overwhelming feeling that everything is awful and not going to get better any time soon.
Knitting is warm and comforting, but it’s also creative and positive in nature. Each stitch takes yarn’s potential and shapes it into something good and useful. Sometimes you have to rip back, but you can almost always refashion your yarn into something new if your first attempts were a failure, so you rarely need to give up. You might take a few steps back here and there to fix a mistake, but knitting is about moving forward and making. Knitting feels good in its reliable repetition and endless potential, and it’s okay to disappear into your craft for some time when the world gets too awful.
After you’ve worked some stitches and are feeling a bit less overwhelmed, please remember to work on the world around you, too. I often find myself feeling helpless because I can’t do anything alone to make big changes, but I try to remind myself that little actions can add up, like individual stitches on a sweater. Write to your government representatives. Never forgot to vote, even in the small, local elections. Reach out to your friends who have been affected. Listen to the people who are being targeted and try to view things from their perspective. Donate to organizations who can do the work you can’t do yourself. Speak up when other people say hateful and bigoted things in front of you.
And then take another knitting break because the world is exhausting and could use a little extra warmth.