When I’m stressed or anxious or just plain tired, I always especially enjoy comfort food. Roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, pork chops and macaroni, big bowls of pasta with sauce — all of those things help set me to rights. The same goes for knitting. When things are really tough, I go for comfort knitting.
What’s comfort knitting for me? Simple projects with predictably good results that are hard to mess up. Projects that can be accomplished even when most of my brainpower is being sapped by other thoughts. Right now, my thoughts are so consumed by work-related matters that there’s little room for anything slightly complicated in the knitting arena. Yes, yes. This too shall pass. Work will settle down — it always does. In the meantime, I’ve been churning away on the rainbow scarf (pattern: Palindrome).
I am very grateful to have this project in my repertoire. The simple K2, P2 with a twist every sixth row is about perfect. The scarf is narrow enough that I can knit an inch — tangible progress! — in just a few minutes, and sometimes, that’s all I have. It’s exactly what I need when even the baby kimono sweater seems too complicated and the colorwork mittens just too much for right now. So, I churn away on the rainbow scarf, fret about work, and wait for things to get better.
Now, there’s a school of knitting thought that says when you’re stressed out, a complicated project will occupy your mind, thus taking your mind off of whatever’s stressing you. True enough. At a certain stress level, that totally works for me. There’s nothing like neat cabling or two-color knitting to have me happily engrossed for hours. But when things are crazy-stressful, I can miss cable crossings or color changes and have to take hours of work back out, which only adds to my stress. Simple projects allow me to think through my stress (even at the risk that I’m dwelling on it too much), while giving me a decent finished article in the process.
Things will get better. And even if they’re not totally peachy by the Fourth, my plan is to take time over the long weekend to pick up the stitches for the Crepe Shawl so that I can begin working the border just as soon as my mind frees up enough for that level of knitting. I should also be able to finish the baby kimono. But now, right now? I’m going to knit on the Rainbow Scarf.