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Knitting Spirituality

May 16, 2010

I’m beginning to realise that I knit oddly. Not in terms of technique (I knit English with a very traditional hand hold) but in terms of my psychology. I’ve discussed elsewhere on my blog my belief that knitting is magic but as I continue I see more and more that this “knitting spirituality” has taken over my knitting practice.

I finally managed to abandon the heartache over the skein of Manos del Uruguay that was stolen (I told you all about the lace scarf I was knitting with it, but I didn’t mention that some complete bumberclunge stole it. Sorry, it was just too painful to bring up.) and cast on with the second skein. The pattern, a simple eyelet lace, is easily memorised and lends itself to contemplative knitting. I chose it largely because I thought it would make the most of the yardage. But what I’ve noticed, as I knit, is that I’ve trained my internal dialogue to change when I pick up the needles. It’s not that I’ve acquired any degree of Zen focus. Samadhi is probably still a way off. It’s more like, I step away from my usual chatter. I start to hear two conversations in my head instead of the usual one. The first is all my normal stuff; boredom, anxiety, arousal…the white noise of the unenlightened mind. The other conversation is, I don’t know, finer? The second conversation makes my heart buoyant. It’s about the knitting and about who I am knitting for.

As I knit, the other part of me gently guides my mind back to memories of the person I am knitting for. It collages those memories with prayers of support and my intention that they be loved. It’s as if I’m trying knit strength into the stitches, trying to layer the yarn with a reminder of how wonderful the recipient is.

My aim isn’t just to make a scarf (don’t get me wrong, I still care about the scarf, lace ftw) but also to dwell closely on the world and hold it my heart. The knitted object has become secondary to the love it represents.

I promised myself, when I started this blog, that it wouldn’t be a soapbox for my emotional experience. But the more I experience my knitting, the more I see that what I knit is myself. Writing about my knitting can’t help but to have a confessional tone.

The yarn is beautiful and I can’t over compliment it. Barbara Walker, once again, has made picking lace patterns super easy. I think I’ll be releasing the pattern for the scarf some time before June. My other two, long promised, garments (the underpants and the bagtopus) are currently with the test knitters and will be available as soon as the corrections have taken place.

I hope you are all having as nice a summer as I am and, I promise, more pictures of all the projects are to follow.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2010 3:54 pm

    You should read, or see the movie, “Like Water for Chocolate.” It’s about a woman who puts all the love she feels for a man into cooking for him. Same notion as your knitting, how the object embodies the love you invest it with as you’re creating it. Happy knitting.

  2. May 17, 2010 1:37 am

    Well said! That blissful state of mind, the love that goes into the stitches… magic. How horrible to have wip stolen!

    • May 17, 2010 8:04 am

      @dominokey

      You have a really intriguing username! I’ll look up that book/film. Thanks for the recomendation!

      @Melissa

      I was so angry! Espescially as I know they will have just binned all those hours of work But I am over it…. sort of.

  3. May 17, 2010 12:38 pm

    Really wonderful blog. Many of us feel the same way about the knitting state. Cheers!

  4. May 17, 2010 3:22 pm

    Nice to know that others have mental conversations about and around thier knitting! Knitting calms me, helps me work through issues and problems, and, darn it, it’s fun! wanna see the bagopus!

  5. May 19, 2010 9:26 pm

    Ever read “The Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley? here’s a quote I thought fitting (chapter 18):
    “She worked into the crimson velvet the signs of the magical elements…there were times when it seemed that needle and thread moved through…There were times when, from a great distance within her own mind, she seemed to look out on her fingers working without any concious choice, the spells wove themselves…” Not to imply dark witchy things, but this is such a fabulous book and references the very thing you are talking about throughout. Keep up the great blog!

  6. May 20, 2010 7:21 pm

    So many people have recommended that book to me, but not one person had mentioned the needle craft. I’ll put it onto my list!

    And dark and witchy is a part of it, definitely. But I keep quite about that… wouldn’t like to let my victims friends know too much about that side of the the whole thing.

  7. June 8, 2010 7:46 pm

    You MUST keep writing. I so look forward to your posts!

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