Why We Knit
Sasha Torres published a piece titled Taxonomy of Knitters in her blog, Knitting Utopias which got me thinking a bit about the transformative power of knitting.
There are so many reasons why we knit; so many reasons why we start and then continue but it is the meditative aspect of knitting which I find most compelling: it seems to me to be the vaulting canopy that covers us all. People come to knitting for different reasons because they are makers, or because they have to do something with their hands, or perhaps to make a gift, or to join their friends who like to knit but I think that people STAY with knitting because knitting is so utterly transformative.
Beyond the obvious (miraculous!) thing of taking a string and giving it a shape and a form which then gives us warmth and beauty, knitting transforms pain, fear, anger, and impatience into something else. I dont think I have ever seen a piece of finished knitting that divulged the emotional state in which it was knit (oh yes, I have seen abandoned knitting and the knitting that went fine for awhile and then this terrible thing happened, but there are still all those rows and stitches which follow one another so peacefully, so rhythmically and purposefully.) My theory is that knitting absorbs our emotions as it quietly changes them, elevating them into something purposeful, useful, and beautiful. And as the knitting changes our emotions, it changes us, the knitter. The change is temporary of course: we have to return to our knitting!
The more people knit, the more they knit with peace and love and joy; the more often we pick up our knitting, the faster, each time, our knitting moves us from discomfort to comfort. Knitting saved my life and I know I am not alone.
So we continue to knit, and we knit ourselves from one category to another, but without the Meditation, most of us would not knit at all.