Knitting (and crocheting) is a form of therapy for me. My life is crazy and my brain is always going a hundred miles an hour. Clicking away on my needles helps me funnel my energy - having my hands do the moving enables my brain to slow down a bit so I can think. Something about the repetitiveness of the motions puts me into a zone of concentration (or oblivion, I've missed many train stops because of it). Not to mention it is a productive use of my commuting time. That's why I knit now.
But why I knitted "then" was slightly different. The energy I had then was a nervous anxious energy as a result of all the waiting. Waiting for appointments, waiting for test results, waiting to start the next cycle after another BFN. The knitting was the ultimate distraction - I sought out soft pretty yarns - having somewhat of an artists' eye, beautiful color combinations made me feel better just to look at them. I also attempted new and more complicated techniques. It was during my darkest days when I taught myself to knit both a pair of socks and a lace shawl. It was an alchemy of sorts...all the negativity, worry and anxiety were magically transformed into a useful and beautiful thing. It made me feel like a little bit less of a total failure.
I've been reading more about the Red Scarf Project, and while knitting for charity is a great thing, especially when it's for orphans, they seem like they are already up to their armpits in red scarves, and because they need to be gender neutral, they can be limited in design. So I'm going to make the executive decision to nix the charity knitting (you can still donate your scarf if you wish, but it's not the main focus of this knitalong).
I would like this to be more focused on us as individuals - taking the time to sit and look inward and create. It would be ideal if you can find yourself some quiet time for this purpose, but as the mom of a toddler myself, I realize this is not always possible. But if you could somehow get that alchemy going it would be awesome.
So on to choosing a pattern. I wanted to ensure that the yarn required was obtainable from any mega craft store. The options below are all for any worsted weight yarn (like Wool Ease or Simply Soft) which are widely available, and would look great in any color. I also tried to choose things that contained an element that might be new to most people and therefore a bit of a challenge. I hate knitting boring scarves...I fall out of love quickly and the project then sits unfinished. Please remember that one of the purposes of a knitalong is to help each other through the pattern, so please don't be turned off by things that look too hard. Trust me, these are all do-able. And you will be glad you rose to the challenge.
My so called Scarf - an interesting stitch pattern
Irish Hiking Scarf - cables
Column of Leaves Scarf - lace type pattern
Danica - Entrelac (this one looks harder than it is - if you can learn to pick up stitches, you can do this - the effect is stunning - check this one out, and this one and this one) It's like magic - hey magic, alchemy...hmmm.....
I'm open to any other suggestions as well. If you think these are way too challenging, let me know too.
I will accept votes until Monday the 8th. Then everyone will have one week to get yarn. I am proposing to kickoff this knitalong on October 15th, which also happens to be Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
I hope you will join along! You can follow our progress on the "Infertility Sucks Scarf Along" Blog.