I am terrified of cars – their size, their noise, their speed, the idiots who drive them (present company excluded). Having been involved in two accidents, neither of which were my fault and in neither of which was I driving, I am hyper alert, my eyes finding danger everywhere that I look. Put me on a road cluttered with hire cars fresh from the airport and crazy locals who talk, smoke, eat and change lanes all at the same time, and I am a nervous wreck. I need something to contain me. Passenger Therapy does just that. It has proved so successful, I now even look forward to my journeys. Something I would never have thought possible.
So what is it and how does it work?
Well, simply put: it is the use of knitting as a distractant, predominantly in situations where you find yourself a passenger of circumstance, travelling, as it were, against your free will.
I mostly use it in the car, but it also works on buses, trains, aeroplanes, boats and, I dare say, bicycles, if they happen to accommodate two. Wherever you are a passenger, and here the term can be applied as loosely as you like (for example: queuing at the post office, waiting for a doctor’s appointment, etc…), it can be used to positive effect. You literally take your current project and pick up your needles where you left off.
How do I do it?
Initially, it is advisable to pick a pattern with few complications and to use at least a 4 ply wool – the bigger the better, in my opinion. But as you advance, your concentration increasing, your ability to juggle at speed around corners and roundabouts, compensating for G-force and blurred vision, improving with every trip, you can branch out, experimenting with more delicate yarns and detailed patterns.
I have made mohair hats on impossibly small needles, lace gloves on 4 dpns, cabled cowls worked in the round and turned the heel on several pairs of socks. Practice, as they say, makes perfect. As long as you are prepared to sacrifice the occasional project to an unexpected corner or an abrupt emergency brake, you can push yourself to your heart’s content.
Relax. Work slowly. Knit without expectation or pressure. As with any form of creative therapy, the most important thing is the process. The product and the quality of that product is merely a bonus that comes as a result of having gotten the hang of it and of having cured the trauma which necessitated the need for that therapy in the first place.
Be gentle with yourself and love whatever comes out. Everything we make is precious, holding within it a story about a time and a place in our lives.
Obligatory words of caution
Be careful with your needles. They are sharp, pointy objects and you are travelling at speed. Keep them away from your eyes and don’t point them at either yourself or the driver. Switch metal needles for wooden ones. Heaven forbid you should do yourself an injury, they will at least bend or snap.
For more information
If you would like to know more about knitting as a form of therapy, take a trip over to my other website where there is an article detailing all of the amazing facts.
To view my completed projects, visit my clothing and accessories page.
To see read all about my pieces as I make them, complete with instructions, photos and anecdotes, check out the following pages:
• It’s ok to judge a book by its cover…
• I spy with my little i
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