November 11, 2007

How do you get your Zen On?

I began "officially" knitting in 2003 when I took a class. Before that, I had taught myself how to cast on, knit some rows and how to bind off. I was not sure what to do beyond that and I am not very good with "instructions". I needed someone to actually show me the moves and I knew no one at the time who could knit. But I had always wanted to knit and therefore, I took a class and never looked back.

Over the years, I have knit ONE sweater, ONE sock, ONE mitten, ONE fingerless glove, ONE cell phone case, ONE baby blanket, a few purses, a slew of hats and too many scarves to count. Knitting wise, I am a jack of many trades, master of none, save for the Hat and Scarf. To say that knitting is a creative venture for me would simply not be true, either. I always need a pattern and it must be followed meticulously or I will get hopelessly lost beyond repair. I am not even a prolific knitter these days, I only get in a few hours each week so my projects are slow going, at best. However, for me knitting is all about the Zen. And never before has it been as important.

Any few moments that can be set aside for knitting is precious. I am currently working on a blanket for Anjali and it requires counting. When I knit that blanket, I have to concentrate solely on the task at hand, I can barely listen to music because I become lost in my thoughts and get off track from the rhythm of the knitting. The blanket will consist of 4 central blocks in a reversible cable, the border will be a simple garter stitch. I am on the last of the central blocks and am so sad that I will be coming to an end with the pattern.

When I was struggling shortly after Anjali was born, knitting that blanket was a refuge of sorts. I could lose myself in the pattern and think of nothing else. I admit, I even cried a few times, feeling overwhelmed with everything going on.

.....knit, knit..... (purl, knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, knit, knit)4x......

I am not the first to compare knitting to meditation. It was just simply the first time I had felt it for myself.

When I am done with the blanket, I have no idea if it will become a comfort object for Anjali. She has several other blankets and a myriad of stuffed animals from which to choose. However, it does not matter because that blanket has already been such a comfort object for me.


Mamma Sarah said...

Cross stitching was that way for me before the big baby boom in our family happened. Then quilting became my zen. Focusing on straight lines, matching edges, measuring and measuring again... before I knew it hours had gone by sometimes.

Christy said...

I crochet, but it isn't really a type of meditation for me. I get consumed with a project, and work on it obsessively until its done. It takes all the fun out of it.