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Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Zen of Knitting

Long ago, in a galaxy far away, when I was producing needlepoint kits to outfit my original designs, a repeat customer called me at home.  “Can I come out and get something?” she pleaded.  “The stores are all closed, and I have to have something to do with my hands.”

Who knows from what demons yarn and needles protect us?

My mother-in-law knitted dresses, in the fanciest lace pattern she could find.  “So I won’t be able to think about anything else,” she once confessed.  She knew what demons.

Mrs. Peters knitted “So I’ll have something to do while he’s talking.” 

A knitted garment can be a rosary, each stitch recording a loving thought about its intended recipient.  I can call back those thoughts, giving that final inspection to a scarf or vest.  There they lie, engrams embedded in the body of the fabric.

And knitting can be a link to our mentors, all those known and anonymous knitters who devised or passed along some felicity of mind.  Those who invented them, those who recorded them, those who lovingly showed us how to interpret them:  One loop through another, back through the ages. 

Can you feel them as you knit?

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