Mindful Blog

The Mindful Collection

Why I Knit? A Path to Mindfulness

Knitting and other forms of fiber work have enriched my life in ways that transcend its initial reason for being – namely, to provide clothing and/or warmth and shelter. I have been knitting and making things since the age of 7 and, without going into details, let’s just say that’s decades. Knitting needles and yarn have been my companions for almost all my life. Over the years many types, materials, and sizes joined my collection as did many beautiful yarns.  I have learned and re-learned many things. I have been the talk of the town due to my many creations and have made some beautiful gifts for loved ones that still grace their homes and wardrobes. While I have spoken of its importance many times, as a writer I feel that nothing pays respect quite like the written word. Following is my modest way of expressing my love for this important craft.

● First, and of paramount importance, is the fact that it has taught me patience – no easy trait to develop. I grew up in a vibrant and diverse city that has no time for standing still. Knitting demands nothing less than a willingness to do exactly that! I have learned to be patient with strangers, with loved ones and with the little ones making their way into the world.

● Next, it taught me to be less critical of myself – and others. When you knit, you are bound to make mistakes – and, in time, you learn to welcome them as a learning exercise. You can refer to our previous post on knitting mistakes. It has been instrumental in showing me that errors are inevitable. To err is human, to forgive (yourself) is divine. That’s a lesson much needed when dealing with the larger losses in life. I’m thinking here of the loss of a person or a marriage. My knitting came with me every step of the way in both cases.

The beauty of knitting, of course, is that it allows you to rip out and begin again.  Not so true of the large mistakes in life that are inevitable, but I do cherish knitting for that benefit.

● Knitting has also brought home to me the importance of acceptance and questioning my own assumptions. I think of the 6-year-old child who showed me something “new” in her crochet practice that helped me work better. (All along, I had mistakenly assumed she was the one who needed help.)  I also recall the artist who used the language of her culture in her fiber designs that were featured on stage. This resulted in a lesson that the world will see forevermore.

● Knitting has helped me cross borders and make friends with people who I never, ever would have met in real-time.  I now have relationships with people and cultures that have enriched me in ways I cannot count.

● Knitting has also been a vital path to health. It’s no secret that the concentration required when making things has a calming effect on a racing mind and pulse.  In its purest form, it is a meditative exercise that frees the mind.  Perhaps it’s the rhythm of repetition or the tactile enjoyment of yarn running through your fingers that encourages an elevation of consciousness.  Whatever it is, physical and psychological professionals extol its virtues. I am thinking here of a well-known physician who keeps knitting needles in his waiting room to help his patients maintain peace of mind. Our previous post on knitting as a healthcare tool will help you with the details.

● Knitting has also broadened me creatively, as an artist, through my use of color and design techniques that are steeped in history.  It has improved me as a writer by encouraging me to use my ability with words.  I once stopped at a farmyard filled with Jacob sheep and wound up knowing and writing about a local farmer who had a world of knowledge that benefited me and the people who read my story about his enterprise.

● Knitting has opened the world of nature in a way that has enriched me spiritually and physically.  Because I knit, I explore. A regular walk in the woods yields inspiration from a variety of sources and results in a better understanding of the small but important part that humans play in protecting our resources.

● My relationship with animals – not just the wool-producing ones – has made me more aware of the sanctity of life. I cannot, and hopefully never will look into the eyes of a fellow creature without being aware of what we share in this time and place. Of course, I have a special affinity with the four-legged creatures for the lovely wool that gives us warm hand-knit wear.

● I have been honored to work with companies and people that support the world of fiber art and design.  I have been asked to help design implements and yarns that reflect my reverence for the importance of craft. In that way, I get the joy of passing on information that may be of help or assistance to others.  At the end of the day, that is gratification enough.

● One of my favorite cards – which I keep mounted on my office desk says the following, “I knit. Therefore I am.” I know I am more than my knitting, but my identity as a knitter defines me in these and a variety of other ways.  

Now that you know more about why I knit. I am sure that you too will agree that the craft of knitting is a meditative craft with plenty of benefits. As the New Year approaches, it is time to start with knitting or bring more mindfulness to the craft.

Mindful Knitting Needles Set

I would like to introduce each one of you to the Mindful Collection. The range of stainless steel knitting needles reinforces the meditative qualities of the craft by utilizing words that are associated with meditative practice. Each needle tip carries an imprint of an inspirational word that is unique to that size only. Complementing the extraordinary needle collection is a whole range of knitting needle sets, bags and accessories. For this entire theme and all the products, keeping in mind the theme of mindfulness paper or fabric-based packaging has been used. Furthermore, to enjoy the concept of the healing powers of knitting, the line is backed by soothing imagery and graphics.

So, whether you have been a seasoned knitter like me or are just thinking of beginning to knit, make knitting your mindful practice. You will have a lot of fun expressing your creativity, making wonderful gifts for loved ones and be thankful for the benefits of the craft.

Happy Knitting!

Guest writer, Phyllis Howe

stainless steel knitting needles