Sock Therapy (or How I Made It through the Holiday Blues)

I’ve been furiously knitting socks lately. As soon as I weave in the ends of one, I immediately cast on another.

Simple Skyp Sock #1 in progress

I have always found knitting to be soothing. As I knit, I can feel worries and angst slowly evaporate. Mostly, focusing on knitting helps me drown everything else out. For those moments, I am in a state of calm.

Turning the Heel

Lately, a sadness has enveloped me. Nothing has happened. On the contrary, I am living a blessed life surrounded by people whom I love and who love me. I want for little. I am very fortunate. But I am sad. Often.

Monkey Sock #1 in progress

It comes and goes. At this moment, all is joyous and warm. But some days, just getting out of bed and dressing seems like an insurmountable challenge. Maybe it was a case of the holiday blues. Maybe it’s hormones. Maybe it’s just life.

Monkey Sock #2 in progress

The one activity that helped me through the holidays was knitting. Knits, purls, yarn overs and slipped stitches forced me to focus. The rhythmic motions of my hands on the needles soothed me. I was creating something and in that process of creation I found peace.

Knit Coffee Mug

I have read articles (like this one and this one) where experts share results of research studies on the positive effects that crafts like knitting have. They serve to reinforce what I already knew – knitting is like “chicken soup for the soul.” Knitting to me is comforting. And it snaps me out of my doldrums. A simple pair of socks is a victory to celebrate.

Self-Striping Yarn Sock #1 in progress

There is something incredibly special and satisfying about making something with my own hands. I am reminded of a few lines from one of my favorite poems:

And in time, I plant geraniums

I tie up my hair into loose braids,

And trust only what I have built

with my own hands.

From Beneath the Shadow of the Freeway by Lorna Dee Cervantes

The last sock that I knit fit perfectly. Now to cast on the second. A warmth fills my heart and a smile lights up my face as I reach for the yarn and needles.

24 thoughts on “Sock Therapy (or How I Made It through the Holiday Blues)

  1. I don’t knit but I know exactly what you’re writing about here–I just get the same benefit from weaving and hand sewing. Keep making beautiful things and soothing your soul!

    1. I think there is something magical and therapeutic about making something with your hands, whether knitting, sewing or other crafts. Particularly if it has a rhythmic quality. You get lost in the process of creating and that is what helps.

  2. I completely understand. Knitting is what helps me get through bouts of melancholy and helps my soul celebrate when things are good. It’s the rhythm and the textures, I think. Beautiful post, by the way. It really struck me.

  3. There is something particularly comforting about sock knitting. Perhaps it is the size of the garment fitting neatly into the hands, the manipulation of multiple needles or just the sense of going around and around around. This is a difficult time of year for many people. I hope you can knit yourself out of your gloom soon.

    1. Thank you. You’re right about knitting socks in particular. I had never been a huge fan of knitting socks but now I’m hooked. I look forward to putting them on – so comforting.

  4. You aren’t alone in this. Knitting and spinning has been a lifeline for my mental health during some pretty awful times. Right now, I’m dealing with the recent, surprise death of my father. Just keep on knitting.

  5. Knitting, sewing and I guess crafts in general are very good for us. And you get a gorgeous product at the end – love your socks.

  6. Love your words. Feel the same about sewing in general and quilting in particular. There’s nothing as satisfying as making something with your own two hands.

  7. Beautiful post all around! I love yarn therapy. Your yarn colors and your work are gorgeous! Someday I will learn how to knit just to have those socks! , for now I’m crochet crazed. I struggle with depression and I know how you feel… All in life can be well and it still pulls you down.
    The poem is lovely… Happy to meet you Veronica 😊

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