I Knit, Therefore I Am

It warmed up, the snow washed away in a rain and windstorm, then it grew bitterly cold, and now it has snowed again. All I want to do is knit. My mind is all aswirl with flotsam; I compose rambling, shambling posts -- but write nothing. I knit.

Merino Get-Well scarf for my father in-law, who had a kidney removed right before Christmas. Store-bought merino, but I was happy with the way it turned out.

I did read a book this week--devoured it actually--which is unusual because although I was once a ravenous reader, for the past 12 years I've found it extremely difficult to read. It's Susanne Antonetta's A Mind Apart: Travels in Neurodiverse World, and I enjoyed it immensely, in no small part because she is also bipolar.

"The notion that society should accept, even prize, people whose brains are wired differently than the so-called norm arose about five years ago when some adults with Asperger's syndrome decided their off-kilter traits weren't disabilities but 'neuroatypical behaviors,'" begins a New York Times book review (which is not exactly favorable, tossing in words like 'muddled').

Scarf border, with a 4 garter-stitch, slip-stitch/stockinette stitch/slip stitch edge. I hope that keeps it from curling up. I looked nice after I blocked it.

Maybe "enjoyed" isn't quite the right way to describe reading Antonetta's book. It resonated with me, and I've been thinking for awhile that I'd like to write more here about my experience as bipolar. It has, and does, shape so much of my life. Not just how I think, but how my life splinters apart and falls back together, how the shapes of things rise and sink from landscapes of water and snow and ice and a fogbank in my brain over which I so often feel I have no control.

Cheneille headband/neckwarmer for my mother-in-law.

Mr. O'Kitten is also bipolar. The rule in our house is we're not both allowed to go mad at the same time. His four hospitalizations last year were due to this awful, deep, unshakable depression he's been in for over sixteen months.

I've also gone through periods of long-lasting, horrible depression; my first diagnosis, in fact, was depression. It is like a Dantean circle of Hell: deep, abysmal, paralyzing, tormenting, torturous, and seemingly with neither end nor beginning.

Death seems far kinder.

William Styron's Darkness Visible is the only book I know of that even begins to describe (and with a wringing poetic beauty) depression. I keep buying it and giving it away.

The first time I've spun mohair. I used it for the border of a Kittyville hat a friend asked me to make.

So I sit and knit.

I call this one Pong, for the little squares. The grey is corriedale I washed and prepared myself from raw fleece. The brown is Llannie llama/shetland spun with some dyed wool. This hat is my favorite so far.

I'll write more on the "neurodiversity" idea, and the concept of "neuroatypical" another time--for now, I'll just intersperse these photos of odd hats with these random thoughts. It's sort of how my head is working lately anyway.

Rio is knit from Llannie/shetland plied with some very brightly colored roving. A simple 2 x 2 rib. I like the 1980s colors, and am using what's left of the yarn for the border of another hat.

So I want to put the hats in the Etsy shop. I just have to get myself together to do it.

Llannie plied with a more muted dyed wool. I decided to try throwing in some little wriggles of purls to give this one some texture. Hence, it's called Wriggle.

Meanwhile, I knit more hats. I can't even be bothered to figure out patterns these days, I just make them up as I go along.

Finally, Sugrr. This is the Switzer/Lacey/shetland I spun and I love the brown sugary color of it. My mom got a version of this hat for Christmas.

And why doesn't Bloogleglogger give me your email addresses anymore when it emails me your comments? It used to, a long time ago. A few of them come through with addresses, but mostly not. Grrr.


Obsidian Kitten said...

p.s. How big is Isis?
As big as a folding chair. (see top photo)

Chris said...

It's not easy to properly configure one's blogger identity to get the email thing to work, alas.

Having struggled with dysthymia and occasional more major (but never abysmally deep or 16 months long) depressions, I can completely sympathize.

mrspao said...

Depression can be such a crippling illness and I really feel for Mr O'Kitten. I remember hating myself for being incapable of even getting out of bed and crawling back in as much as possible because everything else was too hard. I also know how hard it is to watch someone you love go through it - luckily I felt strong enough at that point to shout at the doctor and threaten divorce in order to get him to do something to fix pao properly after over a year of depression meds which didn't do a thing.

You are such a wonderful person and I know you'll get through this. I think you are incredibly courageous to talk about it.

Sending you great big hugs.