Today I want to talk a bit about meditation knitting. It seems to be a popular phrase these days, I have seen many articles talk about knitting as mediation but they don’t really go into detail. They just say that knitting is good for you and your mind. So I have decided to write a series of blog posts about mediation knitting.(I would like to note that although I have written this is knitting most of this applies to crochet too! )
What the internet says it is:
Here is an example of one of the articles which tells you about the benefits of knitting. These articles are nice articles but they generally just tell you the benefits (lower blood pressure, reduced loneliness etc) but they don’t really tell you how to do it or even define what it is. They only really talk about knitting as knitting. If you are interested in the medical benefits of knitting here is the Mental Health America Article on knitting.
What it is for me:
As an experienced and avid knittter, meditative knitting is not the same as “standard knitting”. It is a conscious choice. When I knit standardly I often knit projects which I consider intersting and maybe a little complex. There is often a lot of thinking and note taking involved. I will knit anywhere and with anyone, or on my own. Often if the pattern doesn’t requite my full attention I will knit while watching TV. None of this is meditative knitting for me.
For me when I want to knit meditatively I make a conscious choice and choose my pattern and environment accordingly (I will talk about this in more detail in my next post) I choose to focus on what I am doing with my hands and this all creates a very different experience for me.
How knitting helps me:
Standard knitting helps me by keeping my hands busy, I am an anxiety fidgeter, it also helps me find friends in the form of my knitting groups, and it gives me a sense of purpose because of the things that I create.
Meditative knitting on the other hand; helps me stay calm, it gives me time to be introspective, it reduces my anxiety, it brings me happiness, it has a lasting affect on my day.
Why is meditation suited to knitting:
There are two reasons that knitting and meditation go so well together, in my opinion. Sometimes they depend on the skill of the knitter but they can also be acivated by choice.
The first is the conscious focus on the hands and the stitches. Knitting and focusing on what you are doing draws you into the present / the now, and takes you away from the worry / whirlwind of thougts. Knitting can be used in place of a mantra, instead of focusing on a phrase you are focusing on your repetative actions. Remember repetition can be soothing, like a mother rocking her baby. This style is very suitable for a beginner knitter but it can also be done by the advanced knitter by choice.
The second reason is the way that knitting works for most people. As (most) people improve their skills at knitting it becomes muscle memory and the simple steps don’t really take much actual thought, your hands seem to move on their own. You’ll know that you’re at this place when you can knit and watch TV. In this instance you can use the meditation to meditate on something while you knit, or just explore your quiet experience in your mind without dwelling on one thing specifially.
Different kinds of knitting meditation:
There are probably lots of different ways to do this but I want to talk about the 3 ways that I do it.
- Meditation – For me this is when I use the space and time to think upon something specifically. Something that is outside of myself and my circumstance. You can also use this method for visualisations.
- Mindfulness – This is when I use the space and time to bring myself to the present. To allow thoughts to move through my mind without dwelling on one of them specifically. I also use this to be “mindful” of what my hands and doing.
- Prayer – If you are someone who likes to pray, you can also use this time and space to pray. If I am knitting something for someone else I like to pray for the recipient of the project. (Note: I am not linking this to a specific religion, there are many people out there who choose to pray for many different reasons.)
In my experience, if I set aside enough time for this then I tend to flow between the three kinds as something is brought up in my mindfullness I might choose to meditate on it and after a period of meditation I might choose to pray about it.
Well that is it for my introduction, next week I will cover the steps that I take to do this practice. And the next post after that will be hints and tips for what to meditate on if you are looking for direction.
I hope that you enjoyed this post.
Peace and Love,