Knitting it all together
Posted August 7, 2008on:
I tend to get lots of comments about my knitting when I pull out the sticks and string in public. Anything from the typical “what are you making”, “is that knitting or crocheting”, to stories about how people have tried knitting or tales about people they know who knit (usually grandmothers, aunts, or moms.) But I always get some sort of reaction. It’s interesting. And it made me think more about why I knit and what it means in my life.
Sure I could buy things cheaper than I can knit them. If you figured up the cost of supplies and the time involved, there is no doubt that any cost analysis would come out on the side of just walking into the local department store and picking up a pair of socks. But it’s just not the same as wearing something (or giving something) that I’ve made with my own hands.
When I’m knitting a gift for someone, I can imagine that my good thoughts and feelings for that person are transferred through my needles into the object. Maybe it sounds silly, but maybe there is something to it as well. If you ever received a hand-knit scarf, doesn’t it feel warmer around your neck when you think of the person who spent the time crafting it for you? Much better than some scratchy scarf snagged off the rack at Walmart. And most knitters I know spend time thinking about patterns and colors and all sorts of other things when they are preparing to knit a gift. There is much energy and thought that goes into this.
Another thing that I like about knitting is the connection I feel to generations of people who have wielded needles and yarn. Knitting is a very old craft that has crossed national boundaries, oceans, and cultures. When I’m working with yarn, I become part of a greater community of people who have practiced the same craft for centuries. That is a pretty awesome idea!
For me, knitting is also much like meditation. When I’m working on a project, I find myself relaxing (and there are statistics to back this up) and generally slowing down. It requires focus, yet generally isn’t mentally taxing. Plus I get to exercise different parts of my brain, which is never a bad thing. I like the Zen aspect of the experience.
The next time you see someone knitting, take a moment to observe the motion of the needles through the yarn and you might understand what I’m talking about. You might even get hooked and decide to learn this wonderful craft for yourself.