One of the declarations on my bucket list is to, “Learn to knit really well.” Except for that “really well” part, I’m almost ready to check knitting off my to-do list. I’m a pretty good scarf and hot pad manufacturer, but that’s as far as it goes. Too bad I didn’t simply make, “Learn to knit,” one of my aspirations. Determining if I’m “good enough” to cross it off as being achieved has become an issue between Id and Ego.
I took a knitting class. They offered free wine and had a huge fire blazing in the fireplace. It was like sitting around in a friend’s living room, sipping Merlot and comparing skill levels and talent, chatting with the kindred. It felt very accepting and nonjudgmental. We all learned that there are no “mistakes” in knitting, there are only “signatures.” My first few pieces were wrought with signatures.
I can knit, but I can’t purl. I don’t even know what purling looks like. But it doesn’t matter to me, because I don’t knit to impress anyone. I knit, because my mind is not tied into the project with the yarn. My mind is allowed to just be; to watch with what I like to refer to as perceptive intelligence, (the I Am spirit nature of me) as my hands are busily wrapping and tying and pulling and knotting the strand mindlessly around and back off of the chosen needles.
I actually watch myself knitting, my conscious mind watching my unconscious rote activities. As each knot is formed, there is an energy flow that travels from me and into that yarn as slowly, but eventually an item begins to reveal itself (Nothing akin to Michelangelo’s David, mind you!). My energy flows smoothly with the wooly thread as it winds around the clickity-clackity long, thin needles. Each knot is a conscious effort to add to the next, and to the last, and yet it is not a conscious effort at all. Each unforced knitting motion is made in order to achieve an outcome of creation. It requires no force.
Knitting has become something I can do while the rest of my self is busy with other activities. It’s relaxing, meditative almost. For instance, I can now knit and watch television, knit and talk, and I can even knit and sip a glass of Cabernet. But I cannot knit and write this blog.
Much of the time, knitting is a very personal experience. I seek out specific yarns for the individual I will be gifting the eventual creation to. As a gift, I made a gorgeous purple scarf for a very close friend. I trimmed it with glass beads and silk threads that made it appear to be a very couture scarf. Ironically, she gave me a gorgeous purple silk scarf she had picked up in London. I’m thinking I got the better half of that deal.
It all starts with just a skein, chosen deliberately for the exact hue, softness or stiffness, fatness, fineness, and/or artistry depending on what it is that I intend that ball of yarn to eventually become. Shopping for perfect yarn and for the corresponding needle size and of course, for any accentuating trims is a large part of the process in creation of the end result. In fact, the hunting and gathering experience is almost as much a Zen process as is the actual knitting.
Once the perfectly suited materials for the envisioned final outcome have been purchased, the relaxing and rewarding art of creation begins. The entire event is a very holistic experience. It is calmly exciting to know that something pretty wonderful is about to be created.
Visualizing what will eventually come into fruition, and then creating the reality of that vision takes patience and a bit of movement in that direction each day. It’s also a pretty accurate metaphor for successful fulfillment in life.
I’ve learned a lot through knitting. As an example, I learned that agitating certain yarns will cause them to change, to transform into solid and very different conditions than they were in originally. All the care and concern must be taken with fragile hearts, err, I mean, with fragile wool yarns. Some of the most beautiful are the most difficult to handle, and some of the least expensive turn out to be surprisingly lovely. It’s a lot like interacting with people, I think. And each individual has his or her personal signatures.
Two people can take the exact ball of yarn, and the exact gauge needles, and create something extraordinarily dissimilar. One may create a tight, close-knit effect, and the other may have a loose and relaxed result. Neither is any better or worse; there is no right or wrong in knitting. In knitting, it is the process that makes the difference in the outcome.
I’m vowing to take at least as much time planning my next destination in life, as I spend choosing the perfect pieces for my latest creation in yarn. Life can be just as soft, or rigid, or rough, or flexible, or as colorful or muted as we determine to make it. It’s just like those scarves and hot pads. The end result is a simple matter of intention.
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~As always, with love & light.