Monday, 9 April 2012

Knitting Project Block 1

I began the project on Maundy Thursday, 5th April, so there will be a couple of posts in a hurry to catch up with where I've got to. Don't worry, I have no intention of turning this into a blog for crafters and knitters! If are interested in the details, there is a separate page. I realize that knitting blogs are desperately boring for anyone not interested in knitting.

And yet...

Knitting creates space to reflect. The repetition is like telling beads on a rosary, or singng the chants in a Taize service.

This first block was so simple - just a row of "plain" stitches and then a row of "purl", the very foundation of knitting, over and over, until completed. Every so often the pattern is interrupted by the introduction of a new colour, requiring a sharpening of focus and concentration, jolting one out of the routine. Somehow, the rhythm of the routine has to be maintained while absorbing the interloping threads, so that the overall pattern of stiches and shapes is not lost.

The last row was not the end of the work. This pattern, a simple 6 inch square piece of fabric, resulted in over twenty loose ends to be invisibly sewn in to the reverse side. This process took nearly as much time, and a good deal more patience that the actual knitting.

From this first square, I learned that

repeating an action, or words, is calming, an aid to meditation. It frees the mind to float beyond the words or actions and pursue other lines of thought.

this freedom of thought is a fragile thing; something will come along to burst the bubble and bring you back into the present moment.

finishing something completely usually means two stages; at the end of a piece of music there is often a coda, and at then end of the knitting comes the "making good".

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