Friday, October 19, 2007

Mantra Knitting

Mantra Knitting
Originally uploaded by iamsalad.
So I recently read "Eat, Love, Pray" and was really into the idea of mantras, and how they focus the mind and control the "monkey mind"--that has a tendency to wander. I've long said that I kind of like the more complicated lace patterns as they really keep me focused and when things get really stressful at work it is nice to concentrate on something that won't allow my mind to wander back to the stress. So as I thought about the similarity of repeating "Knit one, Yarn Over, Slip one, knit one, pass slip stitch over, etc..." over and over I thought it would be better to be using words that meant something. I Googled mantra knitting and found that some people were repeating the word "love" over and over while knitting something, hoping to infuse a bit of that spirit into the object knitted, but didn't find anything that really focused on the activity of knitting and mantras. So I made my own.

I thought first about the mantra I would want to repeat. I had been meditating on a few words recently : Humility, Love, and Patience.
Humility I thought was most like a knit stitch--the basic and unobtrusive, the most common and humble-ist of stitches. Love I thought would be to knit 2 together into one. Patience (and I laughed out loud when I thought of this) would be a slipped stitch--as one would be so patient that you would not knit it until later. But looking at these stitches I realized I'd have a decreasing pattern and I needed an increase stitch. A yarn over seemed the most likely increase and as soon as I thought of the opening created I thought "oh, like open and honest"

So: "Humble, Loving, Patient, Honest" became my mantra. I picked up stitches and, no knowing how it would turn out started knitting. I picked up rather randomly and ended up with one extra stitch at the end of the row which became a little bit more Humility. I turned the piece over and repeated my mantras, again with a stitch of humility at the end.

It worked beautifully and I continued knitting my mantras and repeating the words with each stitch until I had run out of yarn (it was a remnant and I had no idea how long it would last.)

It was really a great exercise and I now find myself using my mantra words while knitting other patterns that include the same stitches now--it adds even more peace and calming power to my knitting time. I highly recommend it.


Krista said...

Not many posts about knitting would fall into what I'd call the food-for-thought category. This one does. Intriguing idea.

Anonymous said...

i saw a very interesting and beautiful mind here.