Knitting~joy and memories
Needles and Yarn~I hear the familiar click like a hand-held metronome of yarn slipping effortlessly through needles. The moving sound is comforting and brings familiarity and calming, a seated meditation.
Recently a friend Mary Anne invited me to go with her to a free Beginning Knitting Group at the local library. I was eager to attend since I had not touched yarn and needles for the past 20 years at least. Would I even remember how to cast on and enjoy the quiet rhythm of the stitches?
To prepare, I bought a ball of 100% cotton Suger and Cream Yarn in denim blue figuring the cotton might have less chemical reactions on sensitive skin than a worsted or wool blend. I pulled out a bright gold pair of #9 needles, a large size, for easy access and tucked them into my to go bag. I resisted looking up "how to" instructions in my knitting books or glancing at You Tube's knitting tutorials.
I will enter the group with a clean slate. I will remain quiet, listen to others, and joyfully absorb the fully present Now.
The evening of the meeting, we got there on time but there were 30 people already there knitting away! Were we late? No! Knitters came early! There were four teachers to help us if needed. There were some empty seats with yarn balls and needles already at the places. We chose our seats. I took the needles out of their Sugar and Cream skein and guess what? The cast on was already done!
I eagerly picked up my yarn and began to knit right away, carefully throwing the yarn with the right hand over the needle "American Style" my Mom had taught me. Mary Anne knit in the European Continental Style her Grandma from Germany had taught her! Both hands are more closely centered in Continental Knitting, and the yarn is not thrown so far. Some say the Continental Style, unlike the American Style, actually helps to relieve extra pressure on the right hand and shoulder created by repetitive motions.
As I sat in silence, I "re-lived" learning to knit:
That was a slow process! What a snail I was juggling the two bright pink needles and figuring out how to knit loosely enough to let the yarn slip easily through my fingers. My uneven unruly stitches were forged as tough as cast iron! My Mom helped by "loosening up" my tightly woven stitches. She picked up the many dropped stitches and replaced them on the needles. Then she knit a couple of relaxed even rows rows so I could "begin again."
I was angry and flustered by the tedious event of learning to knit when painting and drawing were so effortless. Why did I persist? I am not sure. Now I can feel the benefits of left and right brain connections forming by knitting. Gradually the stitches came easier and I learned cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. I still have these bright pink metal needles in my collection! I love picking them up and "remembering."
My Mom added, "With these four techniques, you can knit anything you want!"
Take Home Gift
At the end of the evening, we received the yarn and needles we had used in Knitting Group to take with us! What a great unexpected treat!
Someone added, "I have a spinning wheel, and I spin at bedtime. It is so relaxing after my day at work."
Knitting is relaxing and creative at the same time, a blend of harmony (Yin: color and yarn type in right brain) and ececuted design (Yang: mathematical structure and precision in left brain).
* "Make Time for Yarn Everyday."
What would you like to revisit from your past activities that you might like to "try again." Or, try something new!
Knitting Stories: A Stitch in Time (Feb 2012), Call to Colors and Find A Voice (Mar 2012)
Fully Present (May 2012), Already Done (June 2012) and Time and Pace (0ct 2013).
* Knitting Daily TV and online, "Make Time for Yarn Everyday."
Begin Again music and lyrics by Taylor Swift from the Red album.
Lincoln Township Public Library in Stevensville, Michigan USA provides a variety of activities for learning and enjoyment online and in person.
Marilu Henner, actress and author, book Total Memory Makeover. Help for acquiring, storing, and retrieving your memories. Picking up yarn and needles unleashed fresh inspiration as well as a treasure of stored memories.
Featured Yarn and Needles
Sugar 'N Cream by Lily, Worsted 4-ply, 100% USA grown Cotton
Takumi Velvet Knitting Needles
"Go Green! Knit Green! The Takumi Velvet Knitting Needles are eco friendly with no petrochemicals to harm the environment [or sensitive skin]. Knit faster with the velvety smooth finish...."
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Dahlis Roy: Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor
Photo by Dahlis:
Begin Again, Yarn and Needles