When we are faced with challenges, we can cope better if we are resilient. One way to build resilience is to practice being comfortable in the face of challenges. By having a willingness to explore a challenging knitting pattern or stitch, we can practice staying present and focused as we knit. A challenging pattern can allow us to release self-limiting thoughts and show us that we are capable of more than we thought. And even if we struggle, knitting allows us to fix our mistakes or start over. Approaching our projects with openness and curiosity is key, just like with meditation. Combining knitting and meditation offers this expansive awareness with compassion.
During the pandemic, I experienced the resilience-building power of trying a new stitch. I decided to learn brioche, which is a two-color knitting technique that I have admired for many years. Everytime I would see a pattern using this technique, I could hear a little voice in my head saying, "I couldn't knit that" over and over, and I believed that voice. During the pandemic, I had the time-and more importantly, the desire-to take on a challenge. While the world dealt with its own set of challenges, I worked towards tackling brioche, which was something that I felt I could control and find gratification in during this tough time. I took it row by row, stitch by stitch. Using the Chakra stitch markers by Knitter’s Pride, I kept my focus and reminded myself why I started. I watched countless YouTube videos and started over more times than I'd like to admit. I learned a lot about myself and my resilience. There is no greater pride than being able to wear a finished piece that took true commitment to complete, and I found that with my brioche shawl.
Use a blank sheet of paper to cover up the portion of the pattern you are not working on. Stay in the present moment and focus on the current row.
Short Bio: Mary Ann began knitting at the age of seven and started yoga in her twenties. Yoga transformed her life while knitting became increasingly more meditative and calming as she felt the fibers slip through her fingers. Picking up her needles and quietly sitting to knit is pure peace for Mary Ann.