When I’m Not Writing – Knitting

A while ago I started this series on my blog to share about all of my hobbies and crafts, such as watching musicals and jewelry-making. I had one post in which I lumped together all of my crafting, but thanks to the pandemic and my period of NOTHING (which you can read about here), crafting has become a much bigger part of my life. I’ve learned so many new crafts and craft almost every day now, so I’ll start sharing more When I’m Not Writing posts about all of these new activities! First up—knitting.

My mug full of all of my knitting needles

Something very magical happened about the same time that my NOTHING began: the birth of Disney+.

I am unashamedly in love with Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) and I don’t care who knows it. Double Teamed. Gotta Kick it Up (¡Si se puede!). Cadet Kelly (my little sister and I were obsessed with ribbon dancing). Especially the musicals: High School Musical and The Cheetah Girls. I didn’t even watch the Descendants movies until the third one was added to Disney+, and I absolutely love them even as an adult. To workout, I dance to all of the songs around my living room. Laugh at me all you want.

These movies are cute and fun and take me back to my childhood. And now they are all available to stream. During my NOTHING I was experiencing some insomnia, but these movies were the perfect solution to it. My husband would go to bed early, and I’d stay up and watch a DCOM, which was the perfect length to help me relax and fall asleep. However, I also was experiencing a lot of tension in my arm because of my anxiety, and I’d often have to spend the whole movie sitting on my hand because it hurt so much.

Some yarn from my collection

I always wanted to learn how to knit. It just seemed like something I would be good at. And I thought it would help with my arm tension. I bought a small how-to kit on clearance at a bookstore once, but the box sat unused for years. I couldn’t get myself to sit down and take the time to learn. Then a pandemic happened, and I jumped on the crafting bandwagon and finally taught myself.

Two long days later, in which all I did was knit and listen to audiobooks, I finally had something that resembled a scarf. But at the end of each of those days I had a headache and my stomach hurt. I looked online to see if I was going crazy, but others experienced it too: knitting made me motion sick.

I tossed my new knitting needles aside, sad that all that work was going to waste. But my arm tension and insomnia continued. And I was spending many evenings watching TV and movies late into the night, all while uncomfortably sitting on my hand.

In my desperation I tried knitting again. I found that my hands already had the muscle memory, and I didn’t really have to look at them that much while I worked anymore. So no more motion sickness. And a new love was born.

I no longer had to sit on my hand during the movies. I could knit. And my hand didn’t hurt anymore.

Insomnia is rare for me now, and I can even go to bed at the same as my husband and read for a bit some nights instead of watching something. But whenever we watch TV together or the nights that I do stay up to watch something, I’m usually knitting.

A stack of some of the scarves I’ve knitted

Last winter I made scarves for everyone in our family that wanted one. And I made my husband and myself some simple fingerless gloves. Since I knit without looking at my hands, I do very simple patterns that I don’t have to count for or even think about. This simple knitting is stress-free and makes me able to produce many scarves, which I plan on donating once I fill up the bin I collect them in. I got the patterns I use from Studio Knit, because she lays out simple repeated patterns that can be made into anything.

Did you join the crafting bandwagon during the pandemic? Do you like to knit?

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