Every knitter has heard it: “You must have so much patience.” But I don’t. I have very little patience. That is why I knit. I don’t like to wait so I knit. I knit when I’m in line. I knit when I’m waiting for others to be ready or to arrive. I knit whenever I need to be quiet and to be still. Without my knitting, I am impatient and irritable when not busy with something else.

I enjoy knitting complicated patterns. Patterns that take concentration. Patterns that are challenging. Patterns that make the time go by more quickly. Otherwise, I’d be tapping my foot and sighing. Perhaps even offering an eye roll.

Knitting has not taught me patience. It has provided a way for me to calm myself. When the rhythm of the pattern is pleasant and smooth, I can relax my jaw. I can slow and deepen my breathing. I can think of nothing. Is this “zen”? “Meditation”? “Flow”? Does it matter?

Knitting has taught me to break up an overwhelming task into small steps. A pair of socks: Knit 15 rounds of k1, p1, and then knit until it is long enough to shape the heel. Shape the heel and then knit until it’s long enough to reach my small toe. Shape the toe. All the while, I’m watching the pattern of the specially dyed yarn work its magic as colorful stripes and dots emerge.

Not a bad way to spend stolen moments or even an afternoon binge-watching a series.

Happy knitting!