Knitting in the Dark

I don’t like to sit idle for long periods of time. I get antsy. I want to do something or move or talk. I’m told it can be a bit distracting if I’m watching a movie, for example. So it is very helpful to have something to do with my hands. It keeps my hands and brain busy and actually allows me to pay more attention to whatever I’m sitting and watching. In college I loved knitting while watching a lecture. (I stop take notes at key times.) I’ll also doodle or use a fidget-friendly pen. You know- in situations when knitting isn’t socially acceptable. (In person work meetings.)

Simple knitting patterns, I can even work without looking at what I’m doing. I made a scarf as a gift that I called the “Black Box scarf” for it’s color AND the fact that most of it was completed while watching movies- so in the dark.

black box2

Enter Eye Surgery. I’ve need glasses since about second grade, with a moderately intense prescription. As an adult it pretty much stabilized, making me a good candidate for vision corrective surgery. I decided to pull the trigger this Spring, thinking that while I recovered where I couldn’t use screens, watch movies, read, etc., I could probably still knit by feel instead of by sight.

Oh boy, was I wrong!

I did not realize how much I cheat in a quick glance at my work. The first 3 days or so after surgery, I was feeling kind of blah. While I could work with a heavier weight yarn (worsted or bigger) it wasn’t super enjoyable.

After 5 days, my eyes didn’t hurt or feel irritated any more, but I couldn’t see super fine details. After a week, they cleared me to drive and said my vision should improve relatively steadily for the following 5-10 days. I thought that meant I would see perfectly at the end of that time… well apparently, the normal healing process takes 6-7 weeks up to 3 months to gain full clarity.

If you’ve been reading some of my other blog posts, you may be aware that I’m working on an intricate lace project right now. I took a total of 10 days off from that, but then I decided even if I can’t see perfectly, I’ve got to start making progress again.


There have been a few snags- literally! Threading a tiny beading wire through a tiny lace-weight stitch… there have been a few misses or slight misses where a thread is missed. At first I would get a little upset and redo a stitch a few times, but as my vision has remained a little blurry for several weeks, I’ve lightened up. After all, I’m probably the only one who will notice a detail that small. It’s amazing that the big picture comes into focus as I’m freed up from the perfectionism of the little details!

What about you?

What have you mastered so you no longer have to pay attention to it?

Have you had a “big picture” moment where taking a step back has given you clarity?


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