Knitting time

I just don’t have the time. Life is way too busy at the moment’

This familiar response from non-knitting knitwear-admiring friends comes when I gently suggest they could make one too if they learned to knit.

Implied here, is that I am lucky not to be so busy and have enough time on my hands to knit. But I am busy. Too busy. How do I find the time?

The funny thing is that I don’t really feel like time is something I have to have enough of in order to knit. It’s a bit like knitting fits into my day regardless of how busy it’s been. And that’s got me wondering where that time is and how it is that knitters manage to find it irrespective of their busy-ness. 

The answer turns out to be right in front of me. Everyday, I watch as knitters get their knitting out, while they’re waiting for me to finish with the last customer, or absent-mindedly carry on long after we’re through with yarn-choosing. I go out for supper with knitter friends who will cast on  after the waiter takes our order and collects the menus, and then they’ll start again between courses. I’m so used to sneaking in a few more rounds while the rice is cooking, or the onions are softening, that my knitting often grows with the aroma of last night’s supper. And as for watching TV – Well I slightly feel I owe it to my fingers to give them something else to do while my eyes and ears are otherwise entertained. 

So much for eating out, watching telly and making dinner. Obviously there are some things that can’t be done while knitting. In my busy experience these include:



washing up



and probably lots more things besides.

But there are all sorts of moments that sit between these activities (especially procrastinating before doing them) which knitting just seems to easily, even delightfully, slip into. I’m not talking about frantically pulling my knitting out to get further down the row as soon as the last activity is over. This is more about the knitting-shaped holes that exist in the day of a life of a knitter, which are invisible to non-knitters.  

We don’t knit because we’re less busy. Knitters just have a way of finding the time that less fortunate non-knitters lose down the plug hole of the day into an undocumented waste paper basket of lost time. And that seems to give this loopy pastime an extra pleasing feeling of sustainability, in a making-something-out-of-nothing kind of way. It’s possible I’m being overly defensive here, but I’m going to say that it’s not only warm clothes we learn to make with our stitches, but also the skillful art of repurposing otherwise-abandoned time. 

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