When my son was two, we lived in a house that had an apartment building next door. A woman used to sit on her balcony and knit and watch the baby play in the backyard every day in the afternoon. One day I invited her to come down for coffee and to sit in the yard to knit. I watched her carefully. The fourth time she came down I asked her to teach me, which she did. We had a LYS right on the corner of the street so I went and got some yarn and needles and started knitting that same day.
I knit two items, one was a sweater for my son and one was a hoodie (which never got finished and I have no idea where it even is these days). Life got busy, I had another baby and I put the needles away and didn't knit for a long time. When I moved to another town I met a woman who knit A LOT. I brought out the needles and made a "sweater" to teach myself how to knit again. It is horrible, the sleeves are too short and I don't like the colour, but I learned how to knit sweaters. However I was discouraged. Again the needles went away for a while when life was too busy with teenagers and work and, well, life in general.
All of a sudden I woke up one day and my DS was long gone, my DD was grown and gone and PREGNANT!! I was going to be a Gramma. I took up the needles again (9 years ago now) and have not put them down since. I made a very complicated pattern called a Teddy-All-In-One and it took me three months to finish it. I then made a matching blanket. I then made bottle warmers. I then made a teddy bear. I wrapped them all up and delivered them to her baby shower. I was totally addicted!
At first it was just one or two projects a year (usually something sizable like a blanket), but then the addiction grew and now it is more like three or four projects OTN a month.
I used to be a VERY active person. I never stopped. Then life gave me a reality check. Five years ago I got quite ill. It took the medical profession two years to find out what was wrong with me. It took another year to stabilize me with medication. I almost died twice during this process. Coming that close to death gives you a different approach to life. You become a little bit greedy and a little bit selfish and you just want more and more of the life you almost lost.
So I decided to do something fun AND useful. I knit... AND I knit... AND I knit some more. The second Christmas I was ill, I knit 10 sweaters and one baby dress as Christmas gifts for family members. I started in July and finished Christmas day as the guests were arriving.
I went from having one project on the go at a time, to three at a time during this period. I am now labelled "disabled" and I am so grateful for my knitting skills because it makes me feel somewhat useful right now, when I can't do a lot of the things I used to do. I am also labelled "addicted" because no matter where I go, I have a knitting bag with me and I am always coming up with new things to knit. I like that I can sit here with a few sticks and some yarn and make something that makes my grandchildren happy.
Knitting has taught me patience, attention to detail, endurance, determination, has given me a sense of self worth again and has given me back my sanity.