Boredom and Frustration - A Knitter’s Friend
By: Lisa Akers
It seems a bit unusual to consider boredom and frustration to be a knitter’s best friend. I know that it wasn’t my friend when I began to knit. It’s that feeling that makes you want to give up in the middle of a project or makes you want to stab your needles in your leg. After you knit for a while and learn to enjoy the process of making stitch after stitch into beautiful fabric, you’ll come to see why boredom and frustration can be your friends.
Let’s look at frustration first. Frustration is a common emotion for new knitters. Remember that it takes time to develop your knitting rhythm. Give yourself the time to get used to your project and the materials you need. It does get easier and it does become enjoyable! But, what happens when you feel comfortable with your rhythm and then you just run into a spell where everything seems to go wrong. You just don’t like the project anymore and you can’t seem to get it done. This is where you have a wonderful opportunity to explore what’s really going on inside you – to learn what is making you feel frustrated, and enjoy the benefits of knitting to be still.
So, let’s say you have a beautiful sweater that you’re knitting for your great Aunt. The colors aren’t really something you would wear, but they suit her fine. You have one sleeve and half of the back completed and you just can’t bear to look at it anymore. So, get it out and start working on it. Ask yourself questions until one of them really hits home for you.
Do you hate the yarn?
Do you hate the pattern?
Do you feel pressured to make the sweater and resent the person who asked you?
Do you dislike your great Aunt?
Do you want to knit something for yourself rather than always for someone else?
And so on….
This is what frustration can bring you – clarity and understanding about what’s really going on in your brain. Before you sit down to find out why you are frustrated, I do want to give you a warning! Not everyone wants to uncover that clarity. It can be painful and stressful. Please follow this path only when you are ready to see and change what’s happening in your inner self.
Now, let’s take a look at boredom. Boredom is the single most popular reason people never finish a knitting project. They start and knit about half of the project, then put it down because they just don’t have the excitement for it anymore. These projects are often handed down from mother to daughter and even then sometimes don’t get completed. So why do I think that boredom is your friend? Boredom is a unique place to examine what you’re really thinking. It is the place where you learn more about yourself than you thought you would. When you are bored, that is your best opportunity to look inside yourself and analyze what you are thinking and why.
When you are bored, you are truly experiencing the present moment. You can only be bored in the here and now. Congratulations! You have now achieved the greatest level of being still and knitting! Not thrilled with it? Consider this: when you are bored, you have an opportunity to explore your thoughts. Often boredom is the artificial barrier our conscious brain puts up to keep from thinking about what’s really bothering us. It’s easy to say, “I’m bored,” and switch on the TV. It keeps you safe because you won’t get hurt by a TV show, but you may get hurt by having a heartfelt conversation about what’s really going on. Sure, it’s risky to explore that part of yourself, but think of how wonderful it would be to take a step into a closer relationship with yourself, your spouse or partner, or your spirituality.
You see, boredom is an invitation to sit and wait just a few minutes longer. The answer or path you’re seeking is just around the corner, and the discoveries are often just a minute away. If you will consciously wait out your boredom, that reward can be yours. Your subconscious and unconscious have the answers because they have been processing all the data while you were planning the weekly menu. Get past the boredom wall of your conscious memory and enjoy the fruits of your efforts.
I wish you all the boredom and frustration you can stand!
Lisa Akers is the president of Be Still & Knit. Her company teaches women how to find peace and stillness in their lives through handwork. By discovering knit and crochet, women develop a new way to take time for themselves and share the love they have as warm clothing! Find out more about Lisa at www.bestillandknit.com or listen to her podcast at www.peacefulknitter.com.