I think we all have that skill or talent we want to learn but we put it in the ‘one-day’ pile. For me, that skill was knitting. I had always wanted to learn it when I was in high school but this is before there were tutorials on YouTube and I knew nobody who could knit so I didn’t really know how to learn. Being a visual learner, I knew it would be easier for me to watch someone and knit with them, several years down the line, I got my chance.
I was working as a manager of a fashion boutique and business was slow, very slow. It had been quiet for weeks and my boss and I were getting very bored sitting around doing very little (you can only rearrange the store displays and stock so many times). She stood up and said, “thats it!” and walked out of the shop. For a split second, I thought she quit and I yelled out after her “Are you coming back? Can you go to Coles and get some more tea?!”. She ended up going to the $2 shop and bought some yarn and a few knitting needles, she sat down, put a maroon ball of yarn into my lap, slapped the knitting needles into my hand and said “Today you’re learning how to knit. Watch closely”.
My boss is still one of my closest friends and I’m so happy she taught me how to knit that day. She used to have a small store where she sold all her knitwears so it was great having such an experienced teacher who would very patiently explain why there was a big hole in my scarf. My homework was to finish my ball of yarn and I was so excited to get home and just keep knitting. From there I learned basic stitches and started making simple things such as scarves.
I still really love making scarves for friends; they are simple and something that’s pretty practical and useful. For myself personally, I love making tea cozy’s; as an avid tea drinker, I have many tea cozy’s of different sizes and styles which I absolutely love and some which don’t get a lot of use as their a bit … holey. Sure they may not look good enough to sell but you can always cover them in pom poms. This being said, I would never call myself a professional knitter, instead, I am a knitting enthusiast. I really do love it, I am quite good at it and it has helped me throughout my bad Endo days.
When my Endo flares up, or I’m very sick and can’t stand/move around because of pain, I really enjoy just laying down and knitting. It keeps my mind active and thinking and helps me calm down if I’m anxious. It’s not easy having Endo and waking up some days not being able to even get out of bed, but even just knitting quietly makes me feel like I’ve achieved something for the day. I highly encourage anyone with a chronic illness to learn to knit or find something similar where you can still do something when your body isn’t playing fair.
Is knitting a talent? It is because it takes coordination, time to master and a bit of skill but it’s definitely not considered a talent by most people on the same level as something like dancing or singing. It’s time to start sharing our talents and passions openly and stand up for what we love. In saying this, I have even performed knitting as part of a ‘talent’ section in a pinup pageant and found the audience to really enjoy themselves. I now have major dreams of performing on a massive stage as part of Miss Pinup International teaching people how to knit and sharing my talent. Can you imagine that? After all these fabulous girls singing and dancing in their glitzy costumes, and then I waddle out with my ball of yarn. Yeah, that sounds exactly like Miss MonMon.
Side Tangent: After a recent Sydney trip, I discovered the greatest cafe ever, The Tea Cosy! A vintage tea room with an Irish/knitting theme. Having lived in Dublin, I still miss the city where I left a part of my heart so I was very excited to see photos and signs with Irish town names and little jokes scattered around the cafe. As well as having pieces of Ireland scattered around the tea house, on every table is a basket with knitting needles and yarn so you can just sit and knit to your heart’s content. I remember spending just on two hours before I had to fly home at this cafe because I’d rather relax and knit than sit around an airport. Also, their scones and tea are delicious!
Learning a skill like knitting can also really improve the state of your mental health; I know it has personally helped me very much. It’s not about creating massive works of art, but just about taking some time out to self care and do something very personal. It doesn’t matter if you can knit well or not; I’ve even knitted full balls of yarn just to unravel it and do it again because I just wanted to knit without commiting to a project. So go out and knit if your feeling like you could use a pick me up, embrace your inner granny and create!
I’ve never really shared much about my personal talents but I’m trying to be a little bit more open and try to encourage others to share their special skills. I knit. I love it and it makes me happy. I may not be the best knitter but it helps me keep going even when my body can’t function. I’ve also been lucky enough to perform it on stage, make others happy and I hope to do that again soon.