Monday, November 06, 2006

Welcome to Knit One, our “closely knit community.” This is my first blog posting so I thought it might be a helpful if I told you a little about why I opened up my store and how knitting helped me to cope with some transitional points in my life.

I have worked all my life. I am a psychologist with my PhD in developmental psychology. I have worked in various settings: family service agencies, hospitals, mental health clinics, and for the past 20 years in private practice. And, I love it! There is nothing else I would rather be doing, no profession that I feel I have missed out on, and nothing that I would like to redo.

I am not a workaholic. I am just one of those people who was fortunate enough to be able to work part-time when my kids were young, have a self sufficient husband and two relatively easy kids.

I have always wanted to own a store. As a kid it was a candy store, then a record store (this of course dates me), then a clothing store. As I matured it became a bookstore, then a coffee shop/bookstore, to a bead store and for the past 10 years, it has been a yarn shop.

What triggered my movement from just daydreaming about a yarn store to actually doing it? I will tell you. Three people that I knew died suddenly. These people had not been ill, were all in their late 40s, early 50s, and all seemed physically fit, mentally healthy, and happy. These were all people that I knew, talked with, and shared blocks of time with because of children, interests or professions.

I decided after the third death that - Life was short, I hate regrets and I had better do something about it and not wait any longer to fulfill my dream and passion of opening a yarn store.

I thought “I am just going to do it.” - open my store now while I was still working as a psychologist, hire fantastic people and when I am ready to retire from being a psychologist, I’ll work in the store full time. So I did. And, with a lot of hard work and some trials and tribulations along the way - it has become my dream come true.

So how has knitting been therapy for me? Oh, let me count the ways. It helped me first to deal with the fact that I am getting old, and that if I am going to explore and fulfill my passions, I better begin to take some risks and go for it.

The type of knitting that I work on has always been a reflection of my mood or what I have been trying to work out in my head. For example, if I am knitting strictly for relaxation (I call this mindless knitting) I do simple garter or stockinette stitch. This type of knitting has a tempo and beat that is so soothing, especially when you don’t have to count stitches, pay attention to a graph, or read a pattern. It is pure stress relief. I feel at peace.

If I am feeling really good about myself, I knit more complicated patterns like fair isle or entrelac. I have to be much more focused, concentrate, and pay attention to what I am doing so I need to be in a confident, frustration-free position. When I need immediate gratification, I knit a scarf. When I want to comfort myself because I have had a bad day I knit with comfort yarns with a lot of cashmere or silk. When I want to show off by giving gifts I use felt. I could go on and on but I think you get the point. Not only do I love to knit but it also has so many therapeutic values for

So, I ask you to join me…join me on a path to creative well-being; join me on a path of participating in a passion that so many others want to share with you and which will enrich your life not only by the activity itself, or the finished product, but by the camaraderie you will gain through knitting with others either through actions or words. Share your thoughts with us. Share your concerns, stresses, fears and hopes. In the months ahead, I hope to communicate with you different experiences that I or others have had who have used knitting as a way to feel better about themselves, to feel more relaxed and stress free, and to be inspired by knitting as a way of connection. I hope you will reciprocate by sharing your stories and concerns, too.

Join our “closely knit community” here at Knit One and see for yourself what an enriching, meditating experience it can be.

Dr. Stacey Wettstein