We Are At The Beginning Of Change…
Friday December 6th 2019


Chronic Snarkopolist: Thanks for the Add!!! Kisses

Post Published: 23 February 2011
Category: chronic autoimmune conditions column, chronic illness awareness, Chronic Snarkopolist, Column
This post currently has 4 responses. Leave a comment

Hello my loves!

You may know I’m a knitter and have been one for five years or so.  I’ve been told I’m not allowed to call myself a mediocre knitter anymore by other (more skilled) knitters. But that’s what I am. Meanwhile – as I was knitting I’ve been pondering knitting and life and health.

One woman insisted that she has been able to TOTALLY CUT out the bad parts of her life and start over – metaphorically and symbolically knitting her life fresh.  I asked her if that means the past 50 years were simply garbage or wasted or if she knitted the lessons and meaning and healing into the fabric of her life.

She stopped and thought about it.  I was not making a point.  I simply mulled this as I was UNKNITTING several rows after seeing I had knit a mistake into my real socks.  How often do we get the chance to just pull out what we don’t like, what doesn’t work well, or what we stop liking? How often do we have that much control over anything in our life?

Yes I get frustrated learning new skills – but THEY COME. And I practice them. And I unknit them again and again as I am learning. In knitting some people have a certain tolerance for mistakes.  I have a very HIGH tolerance for mistakes.  I was taught early to refer to them as “features.”  And if I got too many consistent “features” to call them a “design element.”  I embrace this advice heartily and fully.

More highly skilled people show me where I make mistakes and I learn from my mistakes.  Again – how often do we have such a calm and easy place where no one gets hurt to learn from errors? It is the perfect metaphor for me.  I think perhaps I am enjoying knitting if only because it IS some control and it is fun.  And I can take two sticks and some string and magically FABRIC appears!

We drink wine and we talk and we knit.  And I find some companionship here.  Some are older and some are a bit younger. But we all knit.  And we all make fabric.  Some call themselves artists and others call themselves “technicians.”  Some are yarn snobs and some are just starting out.

Historically I have been known as a “gonzo knitter.”  That is – someone who has disdained patterns and just knit things.  However, recently I have yearned to knit more luxurious and lovely things.  And NOW I am realizing I have to be more consistent and have fewer features and design elements.  I have to understand more about the actually SKILLS of knitting.  I use this time to promise myself that I am CAPABLE of learning new things. I see myself as capable of healing.  I imagine my brain re-wiring as I functionally learn new skills and as I keep my motor skills up.

So yes – we are creating the fabric of our lives, ever day, every word. Looking back I’m laughing at the horizontal gonzo metaphorical crazy quilts I’ve made (and in real life too).  But I’ve done it. And maybe now I’m working on being a little more careful in my life, a little more centered, a little more thoughtful about a few things.  Maybe now I’m knitting more streamlined patterns in more delicate fibers.  And I’m happy to see it too.

Meanwhile – I’ve been given the instructions time and time again, “Make sure, before you knit handknit socks for someone, that they are sock worthy.” I suppose I’ve always needed this lesson in my life. How often have I run away from the people worth my handknits and spent too much time making cashmere longjohns for the duds. Lessons. I’m learning.

I know this column doesn’t seem like it has much to do with health today- but I have a PET scan first thing tomorrow from head to thigh. And quite frankly talking about health during this scary time wasn’t working for me. I have driven myself to so many CT and MRI’s (and even fallen asleep in them). But this one scares me. I even asked my mom to go along to keep me company. Thanks for holding my hand and listening to me talk about my knitting. YOU are all worth my hand knitted socks and sweaters.

I’d love to hear how you’ve knitted and woven your lives. I’d love to hear how it’s unraveled at times and how you’ve cut ties sometimes and moved on. Looking back on your life does it feel too orderly? Is it a big giant crazy quilt? Do you have love and affection for it? Are you tidying it up now or learning to let go? I’d like to hear. Tell me! I must know!

I’ll be back same time next week! Kiss kiss!


Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Follow Dear Thyroid on Twitter/@DearThyroid | See our Facebook Page | Become a Fan on Facebook | Join our Facebook Group

You Can Create a Dear Thyroid Profile and share with friends!

Reader Feedback

4 Responses to “Chronic Snarkopolist: Thanks for the Add!!! Kisses”

  1. Amanda says:


    I am finding that knitting is something I tend to have in common with many people who have a chronic disease/illness. I knit, therefor I am. [I also sew, quilt, crochet, beadwork and embroidery] I have made quilts, clothing, pillows, curtains, afghans, hats, scarves, mittens, shawls and socks. Mostly my hand work was out of necessity. This past year knitting has helped save my sanity. The more stressed I am, the more I knit. I knit myself well this year. I really believe that. I carry a ball of yarn and needles everywhere I go… and yes I have whipped them out at work and knit a few rows. It helps me to feel centered, and regain my focus. Sometimes I knit a simple pattern, finish the ball of yarn and frog the whole thing… just to start over again.

    I could say it was cheaper than therapy, if I didn’t have such a passion for alpaca, silk and cashmere yarn.

    Not really how I have knit my life… but definitely how I am knitting myself well.

    Be well

    • Melissa Travis says:

      My dear Amanda,
      I love love love the idea of knitting ourselves well. Love it! It is such a meditative thing isn’t it. And frogging and re-knitting new things- SO. MUCH FUN.

      I love that it is one of my only areas of control right now. And sitting there and having people around me who don’t run away- I LIKE IT.

      Knitters rock.

  2. Brianna says:

    “Make sure, before you knit hand knit socks for someone, that they are sock worthy.”

    Thanks for that 🙂
    Just what I needed to hear today!

    • Melissa Travis says:

      Dear Brianna,
      YES! yes yes yes!

      I too needed to hear this advice from them!! 🙂

      I do wish I had gotten this advice (and taken it) YEARS AGO.

Leave a Reply to Brianna

Comments are moderated in an effort to control spam. If you have a previously approved Comment, this one should go right through. Thanks for your patience!