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January 31, 2022 2 min read

I am always happy to be at a table of knitters. They are among the kindest and most generous people in the world.  Whether it’s showing a beginner how to cast on, offering up a stitch marker, or celebrating another’s project fresh off the needles, they are loving and giving, and lavish with praise and encouragement.  Usually.  

Sometimes, though, I hear knitters say some not so nice things. 

I’m such an idiot

I’ll never get this

What a stupid mistake

I’m so {insert disparaging adjective}

Why is it that the words of kindness and encouragement that come so quickly to our lips for others are not available for ourselves?  We’d never say such mean things to another person because we know that words have power.  If we hear it often enough, we begin to believe it.  

This month, when the world is buying roses and proclaiming unending romantic love, I’d like to celebrate a different kind of love.  Self love.  

Self love doesn’t mean being vain or prideful.  It’s about treating ourselves with gentleness and compassion, the way we would treat someone we care about. Our knitting is a good place to practice self love. Here are some ways to start.    

  • Talk encouragingly to ourselves, especially as we face something challenging
  • Be patient with ourselves as we learn
  • Forgive ourselves when we make a mistake
  • Give ourselves a pat on the back from time to time
  • Prioritize our own needs - it’s okay to sit and knit even if “everything else” isn’t done
  • Spend some time knitting mindfully. 
  • Practice gratitude for our hands and eyes and bodies
  • Give ourselves permission to be less than perfect

When we hear things often enough, we begin to believe them, so affirmations are a powerful tool in developing self love. It can be kind of strange at first, but try saying some nice things to yourself  You can say them silently to yourself at first, but it's even more powerful when you say them out loud.  Try some simple things like, 

  • I can do this
  • I learn from my mistakes
  • I am getting better all the time
  • I deserve to do what makes me happy

Happy February, to you, my beautiful, competent, confident fiber artist. I look forward to seeing you soon.  You are always welcome here, my friend.

Warmly,

Ellen