knitting as meditation

i took to knitting very late in life.  my neighbor taught me to crochet when i was 9, but knitting was something i could never wrap my mind around.  my mother tried no less than 7 times to teach me, and it finally stuck when i was 23 and ready to boost my image as an indie kid.  after that i attended several knitting meetups in various locations, jealously working my slow stockinette as the other girls showed off their socks, scarves and sweaters.  i loved knitting because it seemed so smooth, so refined- but the fact that it took me three weeks to finish a hat, as opposed to three hours with crochet, was a huge turnoff.  i considered myself one of those closet knitters who could keep a project in the basket to work on in spare moments, like the afghan you start and plan on finishing in twenty years.

another turnoff was the stress of it.  knitting to relax?  what a joke!  aside from the frustration of my slow hands, dropped stitches never failed to send me into a tizzy, and, once i learned to properly “frog” (which i just recently learned is the term for tearing something apart) the problem was then how to attempt projects with written patterns.  it’s one thing to slip into a zen coma while performing the same stitch in a circle for hours, but reading a pattern where things are constantly changing required a level of attention i did not find relaxing in the slightest.

but a recent turnaround occurred when i actually finished a project from a pattern, and then another.  i realized that maybe i could knit a little faster than i had originally thought.  and then tonight, counting two by two as i worked a rib pattern, i was startled out of my counting by the obnoxious sound of a taco john’s ad.  it took me a minute to realize that i had been so into my knitting that i had zoned out completely- and it had felt pretty damn peaceful.

maybe there’s a potential for knitting as meditation after all.  i’ll try to find out this weekend at the love your mother earth festival and report back for your reading pleasure.

peace and love.

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