On comfort projects

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Viajante, knit in Rohrspatz & Wollmeise Lace Garn

Viajante project update: I’m almost done! As of right now, I have about 20 rows left before I bind off. What a project. It’s both thrilling and a little crazy to have it finally almost done — a whopping 1722 yards of lace weight and five months later. To the shawl’s (poncho’s?) credit, I worked on several and completed a handful of other projects. Admittedly, there have been days where I couldn’t wait to get Viajante off my needles. Days where I wondered why on earth I chose the pattern in the first place and longed for my set of 4s back. Those days are outnumbered by days I reached for the simple project and felt comforted by the lack of complexity and the ability to focus on nothing but the feeling of yarn slip through my fingers. There is something to be said about having a consistent yarn companion to carry you through some of life’s twists and turns. I wonder if that’s one of the things that draws me to knitting.

I think the same can be said about a childhood favorite movie that you’ve seen over and over again. Perhaps it can even be said about enjoying a bowl of my Grandmother’s chicken soup. On the outside, the item looks ordinary. But as the spoon comes to my mouth I am reminded of climbing trees in their back yard and running up snowy hills so that I can slide down again. As the movie begins to play I’m reminded of trips to the movie store to rent the Princess and the Goblin for the millionth time or mornings spent singing along to Robin Hood.

Why do we reach for these constants? Is it knowing that the movie won’t change the next time we watch it? Is it knowing that the feelings surrounding the soup are there even if it’s too salty? Are we reaching for comfort in a rapidly evolving world, a small piece to call our own to always come back to? Or do we just need a moment to not think about something? To know that the movie will make you laugh or that the soup will feel warm in your belly.

Perhaps that’s why I always have a simple large project cast on. I can pick it up when I don’t want to think about what to knit, but I can put it down when I’ve been inspired by something else and come back to it later. I find comfort in knowing that it’s sitting there patiently waiting for me, happy to let me sit and do a row or two or twenty.

My August project for Camp Loopy will be a fingering weight sweater or Flax Light by TinCanKnits. If it wasn’t being knit to a deadline I would almost place it into the comfort knit category. I’m not sure what my next comfort project will be, but I’m sure it will take me a couple of months to finish it.

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