Got a gulilty stash of yarn? Invest in Mindful Knitting, and find your creative soul…
Let you knitting stand up against fear, let it be truly inspirational… and rewarding, knit one, breathe 1, knit 1 breathe 1… welcome to mindful knitting.
Why do we knit? Why do we crochet? Why do we have a need to make, to be doing something so simple, so archaic in an age of speed and digital dependence…. Its repetitive, its slow, its quite a daft way to spend our time actually… yes we end up with something, but come on, lets be honest – how often are you overwhelmed with joy with the end result…? Projects remain unfinished, before we start the next one… and socks become our mantra… Yet back we go again to our favorite knitting store and buy more yarn, add it to the stash… waiting for the inspiration to arrive, until the next impulsive purchase comes along… I am interested in really getting to the nifty gritty of things – to know why we do the things we do, is to be mindful.
Lets start with shopping and buying yarn. There is a joyful expectation of something when we touch the yarn, hold it carefully, it becomes an unconscious contemplation and expectation of ourselves, in that moment of purchase we can see it oh so clearly, our prefect creative life, a moment of pure inspiration and deep longing to be so much more. The purchase offers a brief spell of escapement from the everyday reality of our lives… never more so than with an impulsive buy… of luscious texture and colour…. No we do not know what we are going to do with it, its an offering to the creative gods in the hope that it will shine down on us, but ahh there it remains, in the skein or ball for a while on our work surface, soon to be pushed into the depths of bulging guilty cupboards. The need and dream of being creative not gone, just manifesting itself into another impulsive buy of delightful yarn… Better to remain a dream, it feels far more comforting, dreams are about the future, of things to come… the simple joy of hope… why crush a dream with reality… Have you ever been there, you have your tools and materials and have a plan in your head to make something… it starts out with such hopeful joy, but how long is it before we feel the sadness of failure when things are not working out as we expected…. We took a risk, the skein of yarn was oh so beautiful, we discover quite quickly it becomes something so very different on the needles… it requires your time to unpick, start again with a different tension, different ideas, but this time fear of failure has started to seep in deep, the joy, the inspiration diminishes… we give ourselves the final blow when we compare ourselves to the successful design of another – and our dreams sink further into the future. It is a painful journey to creative freedom, a successful outcome… can appear so simple, yet within its depths lurks failure… because to risk failure is the only way to creative success… and unless we are mindful our whole being cries out against failure… and we run for the comfort of a the good old unfailing sock pattern… don’t get me wrong, I love sock knitting…
So this time you have the pattern, you have the right yarn, and you lap up the joy of the repetitive nature of knitting, it is without doubt something quite intriguing… what is it we are actually doing? We are told its good for the brain, its sociable… but it is so much more than that. “I’ll just do one row” while having a quick coffee, turns into a quick hour and self indulgent guilty pleasure and why not… you know what I am talking about, we’ve all been there more times than we care to admit. Yes sometimes it is about completion of something, but usually only so we can go onto the next project… even if you have a couple on the go at the same time… its an addiction it happens… an addiction to the physical act of knitting….
Like all things that come with an addiction label, from watching TV, shopping, drinking, exercise, dieting, facebook, instagram…. It’s about escape, escape from the pressure and stress of our relentless lives to be more. And knitting feels rather more healthy than most addictions, its even sociable… although mastering the skill of knitting and nattering its still way beyond me, and just means I have to undo most of my efforts if it involves tea, cakes and being sociable… yet that’s all part of the pleasure… sharing, the knitting community… its part of the escape plan. I even enjoy the challenge of a complicated pattern in solitude, but honestly I get more pleasure from the simplicity of just knitting, it demands less, and the process becomes soothing, light, tension dissipates, even when I feel too tired to knit, and my brain feels overloaded… knitting offers me a place to let go of all the other thoughts crowding in on me…
Knitting for me is about process… as a fine artist process is important to me – the end result secondary to the methods of making, often repetitive often slow.. it becomes something else – it becomes a meditation.
Mindful knitting is a meditation. It is a way to be in touch with they way with think. With time we can start to be in control of our thinking, and become aware of how fear dominates use. I have been working with mindfulness for many years, its not a quick fix it… it’s a gradual un-layering of years of programed thinking. Process art, knitting or crochet & weaving are ideal vehicles to use in order to see how we are thinking. It gives us a focal point, like focusing on the breath… we focus on our craft. Hour minds are like having the radio on, a constant income of noise bombarding our senses, distracting us. They are often extremely rude and hurtful – you would never talk to someone else they way you let your thoughts have a go at yourself.… and most of the time we are totally unaware.
Mindfulness and mediation is not about not thinking, that’s an impossibility, its about being conscious of what you are thinking, and with time being able to respond to our thinking in more positive ways. Fear is the daily diet fed to us by the media… it cripples us without us even being conscious of it… So let you knitting stand up against fear, let it be truly inspirational… and deeply rewarding, let it guide you to a way of being that allows you to be you….
So go on – go to that stash cupboard – and choose a skein, with no other reason other than you are just pulled towards it, its not a matter of it being right or wrong, its just calling you right at this moment… go to your needles and take a pair, again no right or wrong… cast on with out any idea of an outcome, breathe, knit, breathe, knit… feel the needles in your hand, the yarn round your fingers, breathe, how are you sitting? breathe, do not judge, just allow, breathe, if you feel a frustration (you wished you had chosen the other wool) allow it, accept it, breath… welcome to mindful knitting.