Skip to content ↓

April 2021: Although our campus is closed to visitors, you don’t have to travel to 🌈 Cambridge to get a feel for MIT. Sign up today for an 🔮 online session or student-led tour.

MIT blogger Kidist A. '22

Knitting and Playing Tetris Through the End of the World by Kidist A. '22

guest post by Salma Islam

What happens when your whole life unravels? Well, if you asked me, I’ll tell you I knit.

Stitching things as my worldview unravels is perhaps the main thing that has helped through the ends of my world. Whether it was at 14 during that time or at 20 sitting outside the stud as when I realized I wouldn’t be seeing my friends for a long time, knitting has always healed me. Looping together yarn in that simple way, hands guided by forces unknown in the ether of my mind, has somehow always soothed me. As if, as the yarn intertwines, my heart can mend too.

I never realized I would turn to this hobby time and time again when I picked it up at the spritely age of 11. I looked through the catalog of extracurriculars available: sports, board games, reading, and then there it was knitting. I was not much of an athlete and rather enjoyed the idea of being sedentary. Who would’ve known that ten years later, I would still be knitting? I remember going from trying to knit a simple square to designing intricate pixelated designs on my laptop to recreate in fabric. I couldn’t stop. I started measuring time in units of how long it took me to knit a headband instead of my previous unit, number of seasons of my favorite shows I could watch. I picked up needles again to help me through this hell of a year, and I know I will find myself picking them up once more. Starting a stitching club was just a way of reminding myself and my peers of the healing ways of knitting. Making my 2.67101 2.671: Measurement and Instrumentation, a class where mechanical engineering majors do individual semester-long projects on a question of their choice, as well as learn about different measurement and instrumentation methods through regular labs. Communication Intensive in the Major (CI-M) is a graduation requirement for all majors, usually taken junior or senior year. For course 2, 2.671 is one of them then there are many options for the other with 2.009 probably being the most popular.  CI-M project centered on knitting was another way of allowing myself rest within this school year.

2.671 Samples for my project where I am finding wind permeability through different samples knitted with varied needle diameters

2.671 Samples for my project where I am finding wind permeability through different samples knitted with varied needle diameters

Making and patterns have always been pet hobbies of mine and another I’ve picked up again is Tetris. I’ve either been playing tournaments with friends,02 I found 34 instances of us playing tetris in my messages LOL neck in neck trying to see who can outsmart whichever trashing algorithm we chose this time or individually playing and training for said tournaments. I’ve played so much I’ve started dreaming about playing Tetris and can now play in my head03 You watch Queen’s Gambit once and suddenly... . I’ve found solace in building blocks up when the building blocks of my life are crashing down. I’ve found solace in the repeated patterns when there was no pattern or meaning to be found around me. If someone asks me how I’ve made it through this pandemic so far, I won’t say I’ve been at the gym or learning a new hobby. I’ll say that I have nurtured the forgotten pieces of me, the neglected, now tumbleweed-filled corners that miss the sunlight. The saplings I planted when I was younger remain strong and now with little watering have sprouted and shot up into the light. I’ve knitted and played Tetris through the end of the world and I think that’s okay.

embroidered critters

embroidered critters for a project in 4.110: design across scales

 

  1. 2.671: Measurement and Instrumentation, a class where mechanical engineering majors do individual semester-long projects on a question of their choice, as well as learn about different measurement and instrumentation methods through regular labs. Communication Intensive in the Major (CI-M) is a graduation requirement for all majors, usually taken junior or senior year. For course 2, 2.671 is one of them then there are many options for the other with 2.009 probably being the most popular. back to text
  2. I found 34 instances of us playing tetris in my messages LOL back to text
  3. You watch Queen’s Gambit once and suddenly... back to text