Knit the pain away | why I knit so much

16 June 2017



I confess, I knit so I don’t cry

I knit because although I know the answer I still cry out why

Knitting eases the pain

Knitting is my umbrella for my emotional rain Click To Tweet

“You work fast”, I’m often told, I bite my tongue instead of admitting this pain is not getting old

Would you believe me when I say knitting keeps the pain at bay? I woke up today feeling eh and I couldn’t put my finger on the source. I walked the puppy and went to Ravelry.

While searching for something to share an alert popped from Facebook about today’s memories. The first thing that popped up was a collage of my Mommy. I stopped breathing for a second, my breath was caught in my chest.


5 years



Today marks the 5th Year of her passing. My first thought was “I must knit now!” I felt that feeling when the tears are working their way to the surface. I had to have yarn in my hands, I needed to redirect by focusing on my WIP.

So there it is, the ultimate confession. I don’t fly through projects for any other reason than grief. This craft that I love so dearly has truly saved my life. Each stitch pushes me past the pain, keeps me sane.

This is my Mommy and I miss her


Knit on my fiber friends…knit on



More about Gaye Glasspie

I am a confessed yarn addict, who also happens to be the mom of a beautiful, almost 21 year old, young lady. Welcome to my fiber diary. Come along with me as I obsess over all things fiber :). Contact me on and most importantly, thanks for visiting :)

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    1. Love this line “Knitting is my umbrella for my emotional rain”. I knit to relieve stress. Got a bunch of that!

    1. Thank you for sharing GG. So very personal. I crochet, at times, for the same reason: grief, over not only loved ones lost to death, but loved ones lost to fading friendships that I wished I could have held on to or just to forget that I need to be an adult about the trials and tribulations in my world.

    1. Awww GG! So sorry for your loss. The waves of grief can be woven into our projects. This is my 2nd Father’s Day weekend and I can’t get my needles in hand soon enough!

    1. Great blog today knitting and crocheting is helping me go through the same thing. 3 years ago my father passed and 9 mos later my mother I went into depression I went back to using my hands and the clouds have lifted. Thank you for sharing it lets me know I’m not going through alone.
      Sister with in fiber

    1. Good morning beautiful!
      I’m crying because thus was beautiful and this month is also painful for me. My mother passed June 26, 2003. People have told me that it gets better with time. Well it’ll be 14 yrs and it feels like it just happened. I loved and miss my father too. Father’s Day is Sunday. But mama was my everything, my best friend, she had my back. So GG, I embrace you. Whenever we meet, when I give you a long hug, it’s because I want the pain to go away. I Love you my Fiber Sister. πŸ’

    1. GG,
      I always feel like that every time anniversary of my grandmother’s death or her birthday ( which is coming up very soon- June 23). I feel like I can’t breath as soon as I wake up and never know why. And then I feel as if NOTHING can be righted on those days. It has been nine years, and I wish I can say that the pain gets easier. My grandmother pretty much raised me when I was younger, so her voice is ALWAYS there! And she would say knit the pain away. So I’m Knitting with you!!! Your mother is still with you every stitch of the way

    1. Love you GG, it’s what keeps me going too. I miss my parents so much, it hurts. Knit on, I love you sis.

    1. Knitting has helped me weather many a storm. In 2003, on a nice afternoon in May, my children and I came home to find our house surrounded by firetrucks, police, news trucks and neighbours. The house had flames shooting out of windows and roof. Thankfully my kids were with me but we did lose the family pets and pretty much everything we owned.

      We were out of our house for 6 months while it was being rebuilt, living in a 1 bedroom short term rental a town over that was costing 3x what the mortgage on the house was (the mortgage we still had to pay). Insurance was dragging their feet to give us any money. Some friends and even family avoided us (I guess they didn’t know what to say) while neighbours we’d never met helped us.

      It was a long time before the shock and numbness of it all passed. The day after the fire I walked into Walmart to buy essentials (literally needed clothes, toiletries, etc.) and I also bought some cheap but cheerfully coloured yarn and a set of needles. No plan other than to knit. I knit that yarn back and forth, dropping stitches along the way just to get some of the tension out. I’d get to the end and frog it out and start knitting again. I literally knit that one skein about 20 times over until it was a fuzzy raggedy mess but I think it saved my sanity. It kept me from lashing out out my spouse or kids when the stress got to much. I kept me from biting my nails raw or drinking away the pain or a million other negative things I could have done to get through. In my mind knitting saved my life.

    1. Yes, just yes. What a blessing that you decided to share your heart with others through your blog and FB. It is wonderful to connect with someone who understands, whatever the cause of grief and anxiety. God bless you. Thank you.

    1. GG, I lost my mother on January 18, 2013, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. Knit on in memory and to ease the pain. I love you.

    1. Today would have been my & my husband’s 32nd anniversary. He died in 2006. It’s been 11 years and every year, this week gets me down. It is always like yesterday. So I so feel your pain, and mine, too. I wish I could give you a big hug, and we could sit down and knit together. Your mother was a beautiful woman! Now I know where you get it. Knit on, dear. Love surrounds you.

      1. I miswrote: today would have been his 74th birthday. Wednesday was our anniversary. Two additional “anniversaries” in this week in June make this week a pretty long one.

    1. GG- today is the 6 month anniversary of my Mother’s passing and I knit for the same reason you do! They call me the turbo knitter because I knit so many things so quickly ! The truth is instead of sleeping or wailing( yep, that kind of crying) during the times when I can’t sleep for all the sorrow and loss I have endured over the past 10 years, I knit to survive the pain. It makes me happy. When I asked my clergy why I couldn’t control my crying 4 months after Mother
      died,( Not that I expected not to cry, I would just start crying about nothing – I wasn’t even thinking of her – and it would start) he told me I was being too hard on myself. My expectations were too high. My Mother was my best friend not just my Mom. It is a monumental loss. But I had already survived the loss of my Dad and my Husband 5 months apart 9 years ago, and although the pain is there everyday, I have almost mastered carrying it gracefully. My Mother’s passing had taken me back to ground zero and I don’t like it at all. My priest and friend asked me what I did that made me happy and I told him knitting. So he told me I should knit all day, everyday if I wanted to. I should be good to myself. So I have been. Not that I needed his permission, but it was nice to know that I he approves. I joke and say it was a good thing I didn’t learn to knit while my husband was alive or I might be in big trouble. I am sure I could have taken an extensive European vacation for what I have spent on yarn in the last 4 years. So I will keep on knitting my pain away and it is an added bonus that I am actually quite good at it. Love you and so glad our worlds collided on your FL stint last year. I have a guest room with your name on it whenever you want to venture back here.

        1. 😘😘😘❀️❀️❀️

      1. Your words to Gaye were more confirmation for me that while going through this adjustment period without my Mom, who I lost in November last year, is again part of my new normal. As her caregiver I developed an even greater bond than I thought possible and she is so my heart. Everyday since has been so hard to move but I do to honor her fight. But it’s so hard. Your words in response to this post of Gaye’s helped me so!!! It feels like a kinship to see that others find the same kind of peace and comfort that I do. Thank you for sharing in this forum. Even now as I just let the tears flow I know that when I go back to those needles that it will soothe me beyond the well-meaning words of comfort from others. I appreciate every person that sends up prayers and offers a kind word. But God truly gave me such an overwhelming gift to be able to knit my tears away.

        1. Phyllis, know that you are in my prayers. There is nothing in this life that prepares you for losing your Mother. She was the first person you fell in love with and a source of comfort and wisdom throughout life. For those of us who had a close relationship with our Moms, she was more, she was our friend and often our best friend. This is a monumental loss and I look at this way with the previous lossss I have had- those losses I have moved through the infancy stage and this one I am just beginning . Be kind to yourself- it is the only thing we can do for ourselves. Only we know where we are in this process, crying is healing and just proves the enormity of our love for our Mother. The greater the love, the greater the pain. We should wear it like a badge of honor that we were so lucky that we loved and were loved so well.

    1. My mother died almost 20 years ago. It’s a lot better now, but I still miss her. I doubt we ever “get over” losing our mothers. We learn a new normal.

      Your mother looks beautiful. Have a good cry and a good knit.

    1. A hug and a skein of yarn for each of you. Especially you, GG, for bringing us all together. We may never all actually meet in person, but this craft and this community bind us and support us as nothing else can.

    1. Your mom is so beautiful. Can’t imagine that loss…..
      You write beautifully about this, thank you for sharing your ❀️

    1. Because you’re BEAUTIFUL β€οΈπŸ™πŸΎπŸ™πŸΎπŸŒΉπŸ˜πŸ’‹πŸ™ŒπŸ½

    1. I lost my dearest Moeder (as I called my mom) and sometimes I wonder when this 54 year old will grow up and stop missing her mom. I crochet mostly but when I’m down any yarn activity will do. Your post made me realise that its ok. Thank you for your bravery and honesty. Bless you!

    1. Thank you Gaye for this! Your truth and honesty is helping me through my losses. I’ve already told you how you inspired me in this and other ways, but what I have been afraid to say out loud was the crippling effect that grief can have and hearing from you and other knitters and crafters that knitting my way through it is “ok” and often encouraged! Thank you for being you! My sincerest prayers are with you and your family.

    1. I lost my Mom, my best friend 24 years ago! I can say through all of life’s ups and downs, the only consistencies were my children and my knitting. Six months after my Mom’s death, I started knitting a dress for a coworker and through the solitude and the making of every stitch, sanity came to light. I only charged for the price of the yarn and told her my ‘labor’ on the dress was priceless. Knitting does wonderful things. I hope your knitting in the future is not from grief, but an inner peace that you have with the death of your parents!

    1. I can relate. I gave up overeating and have had lifelong struggles with depression and anxiety. I don’t know of anything that helps me as much as knitting! The colors and yarns bring me joy. Feel free to friend me on Ravelry, my name there is Yarnmaniac. Peace, Wendy

    1. Hi Gayle. Started following you on Instagram a few days ago and had to check out your blog, I LOVE IT!! I’m so sorry for your loss but I love how you took your grief and channel it into your knitting for therapy. As I told you the other day, I had lost my father this April7th and before that I was crocheting more often and trying to get back into my knitting but still haven’t been able to either. I know I’m still grieving but it feels more like I’m depressed alittle because I guess I’m fearful of losing my Mom now. My father was 88 and my mother just turned 82 and they were together for 61 years so I’m trying to work through it but I feel that finding you and your site was meant to happen, you give me hope that I can get through this and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing such a personal story and inspiring others, have a blessed day Gayle. πŸ™‚

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