Knowledge is Power

Knitting changed my life.

It did, actually. Knitting changed my life.

Last September, as the economy tanked and the government began taking steps I considered totally wrong-headed, there was a growing turmoil in me that needed to get out. I was angry, scared, frustrated, stressed, and, like so many people, I needed a sense of security.

A blog I frequent suggested turning stress and fear into knowledge and learn new things that would help you to survive in the worst case scenario that your mind was so busy creating.

I decided that knowing how to knit socks, blankets, and other warm and useful items was the way to go, and I set out to learn to knit. With only the internet and a book, I began to learn the intricacies of the knit and purl, and over the past 7 months, I have knit probably hundreds of thousands of stitches. So many were ripped out. So many were abandoned. I poured all my stress and fear and hurt and deep sense of loneliness that I had developed into my knitting.

Knitting became therapy. It felt like action against the dark recesses of my mind. It felt wonderful to really learn something that I could put to use. It gave me hope too that if I could learn something that looked like so much magic, then I could certainly learn other things that would be even more useful and seemed too difficult.

Learning the magical act of knitting made me believe I could learn new things like how to cook something other than the 5 meals I knew how to make. I began experimenting when I cook on the weekends, and while I am no gourmet, I can make nutritious and tasty meals for my family now that isn’t just spaghetti, fried chicken, and hamburger helper.

I have always feared breadmaking, even though the art of making bread is right up there in age with the art of making string (spinning). This weekend, I took on the No-Knead bread recipe, twice, and came up successful, particularly the second time. It gives me the courage to try more breadmaking.

Now, I am learning more about vegetable gardening. The more I know, the more I suspect what we have started this year is doomed to mediocrity at best, absolute failure at worst, but what I have learned, I have learned. New knowledge is a wondrous thing. It is very empowering.

Now, I am learning about various ways to preserve whatever we do manage to harvest. Maybe we will be lucky and have enough strawberries to have preserves. Maybe I can dry some blueberries to throw into oatmeal. If my tomatoes work out, we will have stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato puree, and possibly even dried tomatoes. What I am learning is giving me the courage to consider getting large quantities of apples and oranges this autumn and winter and try my hand at canning applesauce and making marmalade.

All of these things that I am learning to explore and loving as I learn about them; all of the courage I needed came from picking up two sticks and waving them around with some string, and from that, achieving a knitted fabric. If you can learn to knit, you can learn anything.

Knowledge is power as they used to say, and I am finding that the power knowledge gives me is keeping all the darkness at bay.

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