When Rin Simpson learned to knit in junior high school, she never dreamed that it would one day help her get through one of the hardest times of her life.
“Knitting was something old ladies did,” she says. “I wouldn’t have dreamed of admitting that I knew what to do with a pair of size 5s and a 50g ball of extra chunky.”
As it turns out, though, Rin would eventually get extremely familiar with all aspects of knitting.
Married right out of college to her best friend, whom she was passionate about, made plans with, and loved very much. In the beginning, things were smooth. They had their bad moments just like any other couple, but for the most part, their marriage was good.
However, an unfortunate change began to overtake Rin and her husband’s lives. Their fights grew worse. Silences got longer. They grew more distant. When he took a job 100 miles away from their home, Rin found herself inside an empty house nearly every day.
After trying to adapt by keeping herself busy with chores, friends, movies, and projects, Rin began to find herself focusing on negative things: why her husband hadn’t called, why they had to fight constantly, how lonely she was. The hours of silence started to weigh down on her.
Then one night, she decided she’d start to knit.
“Something strange happened,” Rin says. “As I cast on and began the…repetitive process of layering up row upon row of stitches, I began to relax.”
She discovered that she could spend hours working on knitting without worrying about her husband or her loneliness. It began with a scarf, and began turning into more and more.
“The feeling of control over even this small thing, the satisfaction of creating something, was captivating,” Rin says. “It became so much more than a hobby to me. It became a kind of therapy.”
However, as her knitting passion grew, her marriage shrank. Two months later, her husband left. “Though there was relief that such an unhappy situation was at an end, there was also sadness like I had never known before,” Rin says. “The life we’d built, the future we had dreamed of, the many happy moments we had shared were all gone.”
Through the first weeks apart from her husband, Rin found solace in friends and family, learning how to live alone and be an adult. She had support from loved ones, yet those long, lonely evenings still followed her, and so she kept picking up the knitting needles. She completed more and more pieces, from scarves and hats to baby jumpers and a cardigan for herself.
“With my hands busy, my mind was free to wander. In this safe, relaxed way, I began to process…to work through some of the hurt and the heartbreak,” Rin says.
It’s now been years since Rin’s marriage ended. “I don’t dread the odd evening when I’m not seeing friends or doing chores,” she says. “In fact, I can’t wait for those times when I can snuggle up on my sofa and get a few more rows of my latest project done.”
She also began a job as a crafts teacher in a local prison. “I’m hoping to find a way to bring knitting into my lessons before long,” she says. “After all, I know first hand how therapeutic it can be.”
Story via DailyMail.co.uk