Yesterday, I cast on some luscious sock yarn and spent the evening knitting p5, k5 in the round until I had a cuff. Then I switched to straight knit.

I probably should have made it a bit bigger, but I’m okay with that. I like tight socks. I find them comforting. I like *slouchy* socks, too, and I aim to make these easy to scrunch down around my ankles the way I like. If they’re way too tight, well, I’ll turn them into fingerless gloves and cast on more stitches for another, larger pair.

Yesterday, my entire body said “I need to knit socks”. It wanted to make a thing for itself, like a hug for my toes. It wanted the pleasure of watching self-striping yarn self-stripe. It wanted to turn a heel. I could easily have argued with it. I mean, I don’t knit anymore. I had a retinal detachment about a decade ago, and the surgery to repair it left me with extremely wonky vision. My glasses only properly correct my right eye. My left eye can’t be corrected all the way without giving me double vision and crossed-eyes. I could wear contacts but they irritate my eyes so badly that I can only wear them for an hour or two before I want to scratch them out of my face. Furthermore, I didn’t have anything I needed on hand in order to do this thing my body wanted me to do. I had to actually PUT ON PANTS and leave the house in order to fulfill this desire. But yesterday was the kind of day that demanded that I listen to my body, so I listened, and I took a quick trip to the textiles store to pick up sock yarn and a set of double pointed bamboo needles.

After about a decade of not doing it at all, I picked it up again. Once I got the stitches cast on and the first few rows knit and purled up, I could go pretty much by feel. The gentle click of the needles was a balm on my soul some how. It’s an almost mindless pleasure, and I really need that in my life right now.

Knitting is something I taught myself how to do one cold wintery afternoon about eleventy million years ago. I got it into my head that I wanted to knit *socks* of all things. Not a scarf. Not something a beginner might start with, but SOCKS, and not just tube socks, which are hard enough, what with the four scary looking pointy needles, but socks with a GUSSET and a TURNED HEEL.

It took me a few days to puzzle it together, thanks to YouTube and a few excellent tutorials on the interwebs, and I was off, knitting socks. I knit about a half dozen pair in a frenzied marathon of knitting ALL THE SOCKS, and then I moved on to intricate lacy things on tiny circular needles with patterns that read like mathematical treatises on the nature of the universe.

Not long after, my left eye did its thing where it started to shed my retina, and that was the end of knitting for a long, long time. I had surgery, and for weeks afterwards, I had a massive air bubble in my left eye obscuring my vision. I also had a *lot* of pain. Knitting was the last thing on my mind. I mean, I couldn’t even *read* at that point, so over time, I forgot about knitting. It was just too taxing on my freshly healed eye. I put away my needles, gave my lovely skeins of wool away, and I moved on to something else.

But yesterday, my flesh and bones wanted it badly, so I listened, and today, I’m going to put on an audiobook (I’m listening to Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon), and I’m going to knit until my eyes demand I stop.

Tomorrow, I might tackle everything that’s on my plate. Tomorrow, I might decide knitting is stupid and a waste of time, or too much for my poorly eyes, but for today, I’m gonna knit, because it’s the simplest, most soul-nourishing thing I can think of doing for myself, for this self whose body has carried secret sorrows for so long, she can’t remember what it was like before the sorrows descended.

xo
Effy

P.S. And you? What are you doing today against the secret sorrows your body has carried?

 

 

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