Learning to Knit

business creative life creative mother depression entrepreneur fiber artist fibre arts frogging knitting life metaphor mompreneur motherhood postpartum postpartum depression

Motherhood  

Learning to knit is the beginning of a life long journey. 

When you first learn to knit it is awkward, there is no flow. Your gauge is all wrong. You may even have to frog your work and start over. 

The beginnings of Motherhood were like that for me.

We will call it...far from even gauge.

Our first little was not a surprise really, but to say I was ready would have been overstating it. At some point in my early 20's I really wanted a house, kids and to settle down. Fast forward to my late 20's and I was not sure at all that I want to give up my personal space and freedom for a baby. I was, however, excited and happy to be pregnant and I was fairly content with the concept of full time motherhood.

 

I had the yarn, the pattern, I was excited.

 

She arrived. I felt amazing. I felt strong.

Then I cast on. It was too tight and then too loose, I wanted to frog it. I didn't.

In the beginning I was delighted with the yarn and the plan even if the cast on wasn't great. 

I would stay at home, go back to work only for enough to survive.

I was pulling my yarn the wrong direction. My knit and purl pattern was tying itself in knots. 

My lack of interest in creative pursuits nagged at me while I sat and breastfeed hour after hour and day after day. I was restless and bored, yet I did not have the mental space, the energy or the extra hands to create the way I used to.

However, I kept on knitting. I had to right?

I got more and more frustrated. The yarn was scratchy. The pattern not as lovely as I had hoped. I kept going, dropping stitches, trying to find my place after every set down.

I went back to work part time when our first was eight months (just enough to survive). By the time she was 11 months I abandoned my plan to let her self wean and quit breastfeeding. I felt like a failure.

I felt like my husband and I had spent the year fighting. I was angry at him. I was angry at my baby. I was angry at myself.

I was tired. Tired of being the default caregiver, tired of having to manage the house, and being the only one remembering the diaper bag. It gave me no space to think, I was at capacity. My identity as a creative being was fading.

Creating has always been a way of life for me. I cannot turn it off or on. I have always needed to create, to make, to express. It is my link to sanity.

Now I needed it more then ever as an antidote to the all consuming nature of being a wife and a mother. 

The day before my first turned one I went for a long drive. I wasn't sure I was coming back. I left my husband to figure it out. I realized I could not keep going down the original path. 

So I had a choice to make. I could frog it. Or I could continue to fight against it.

 

In the end. I ripped out the stitches. I found a new pattern, some better yarn, something that would bring me joy.

 

I took a huge leap of faith, well before my husband was ready for it, our finances were ready for it and potentially even before I was ready for it.

That summer I started Sarah Elizabeth Fibre Works.

 

 


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  • Anne at Shintangle Studio on

    I was happy to see you back at the Rock Creek fair this weekend, and I love the alpaca fingering I bought at your stall. I’m not facing the same pressures that you are (I don’t have kids), but I’ve turned a corner too (left my job) and am now trying to figure out how my art quilting life might become a business. Good for you being on your path and making it work for you.

  • Elaine on

    Your openness amazes me! I totally understand your need for creativity in your day to day life and how creatively, you found a way to do it.
    A truly inspirational women!


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