Knitting is tension

Knitting is about tension. Holding tension and letting go tension. I am a novice knitter, taking up this avocation in my 63rd year. My family and friends are a bit surprised but then I have always been a bit slow at trying new things.

Sitting in the airport waiting for an overseas flight seemed like a good time to try my hands at knitting. I quickly found that holding the yarn tense in my left hand was vital to completing the ‘knit’ stitch. Those of you who are well practiced at this may take this part for granted. My fiancé certainly does. She can knit through almost any situation or event. She makes knitting look so easy; I was disappointed that my fingers fumbled through the first few stitches.

After casting on (and off) and learning the ‘knit’ stitch for about 30 minutes, I took a break and pondered what I was learning. I had read a few articles about knitting and the knitting life and knew that many people used knitting to cast away the cares and concerns of the day and to focus on their projects. This sounded like a great avocation for me – a way to commune with the fibers while creating a useful garment. So, I considered that perhaps knitting was a way to relieve the tension of the day and to be ‘busy’ at the same time. So now, I must keep that yarn tense as I relax into the flow of my hands and the needles.

My conclusion – Knitting is a Both And avocation. It is holding the tension and it is letting the tension go. It is both, and. What other vocation does both? None that I am aware of, but please let us know if you think of one. Contact me at

I will be adding more posts as I, hopefully, progress down the skein of the knitting life.

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