Saturday, October 14, 2006

Endlessly Fascinating

Saturday is my day to knit and I see no reason to change that, just because my life is topsy turvy. So, yet again, I picked up two sticks and some string. I've been doing this for 40-some years. Why does it still captivate me? (And not my sisters, who learned at roughly the same time I did?)

The project of the day is a top-down raglan in green cotton, for my 2-year-old nephew, Carter, for Christmas. I'm thinking of doing a Charlie Brown zig-zag across the tummy, maybe in blue and white. We'll see if I get bored -or am running short of the green yarn.

And the projects are queueing up behind it. I need to make some toys for baby Thomas, about 10 miles of I-cord for a felted backpack for my niece Colleen, mittens for her sister Katie, something unknown for baby Carlos and his mother Cristen, a lace table runner for Terri.... you don't even want to know how long the list is. I have two theories about this. One is that it must be a very dull woman who can't think up projects faster than she can do them. I, therefore, am endlessly fascinating ;)

And secondly -and this theory is not new with me- craft can be a spiritual practice. The Japanese do it with flower arranging and claim that the earth laughs with flowers. My world laughs with yarn. My grandmother taught me to knit, in the vain hope that it would help me to hold still for two minutes together. Actually it wasn't a vain hope; I was just a slow learner.

Now, when things are wrong and bad and sad and lonely and crabby making, one of the things that works best for me is to sit, breathe, and pick up my knitting needles. Everything soothes me... the warm wood of the needles, the color of the yarn, the evolving three-dimensional fabric, the thoughts of the intended recipient....If that's not seated meditation, then I don't know what it is. It's fierce attention on the thing right in front of me -and no more. When my mind wanders back to my troubles, attention to the pattern returns me to meditation.

Thank God for my grandmother's wisdom. Not only has she saved me a bundle in therapist's fees, she taught me to comfort myself, to meditate, and to give sweet gifts to loved ones. That woman was quite a teacher!

But if I ever decide to knit this, you are fully authorized to euthanize me. Painless would be nice, but the real issue would be speed. Just do it!


Lisa :-] said...

Oh....I thought that was something you HAD knitted... ;)

jill said...

That's some weird, kinky stuff... purple, too. Hm...

breadchick said...

oh my... reminds me of some of the "patterns" I saw in a kitchy book recently. The patterns were from those great late 60's/early 70's craft magazines. Hope your feeling a bit better after this therapy session