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  • The practice of knitting

    June 20, 2011 2 min read

    When knitting first started making its grand come-back in early 2003 or so, I’m sure you remember how it was hailed as the new yoga. People saw knitting’s calm meditative quality and certainly, there is an undeniable similarity between knitting and yoga. However, many totally Western, Type-A people have moved yoga away from a meditative practice into a competitive sport. When my son showed me the P90X yoga portion, most of their fast, forced moves were nearly unrecognizable as yoga at all.

    Certainly yoga moves are excellent for stretching muscles and building core strength, but these interpretations have all but lost the practice of yoga. Yoga is not something a practitioner learns quickly in order to move onto the next thing. Yoga masters spend a lifetime practicing each move until it is perfect. Each move is a destination in itself, with the goal being the ability to relax into the posture and ultimately be so comfortable in it that you can hold the pose and meditate there for a virtually unlimited period of time. I do plenty of yoga, but have yet to find a posture in which I could actually stay and meditate forever, except maybe child’s pose. That’s okay, though, because I’m not in competition with anyone. Although I primarily prefer yoga class to doing it on my own, yoga is not, nor should it ever be, a competitive practice.

    Likewise, knitting is not competitive. You work each stitch one at a time at your own pace, on your own schedule. We come together for events like The Thursday Afternoon Scarf Club, but we’re working at our own pace. Some of us are still working to master the cables in our scarf first project, Here and There Cables. That’s totally fine. Some of us are focused on Midwest Moonlight, while others are doing their second or third Phiaro. Some are itching to start a new project. It’s perfectly all right to be wherever you are in your knitting. It’s a private, personal journey. You may work on a project, or struggle with a lace pattern for a long time, and that’s okay. After years of four inch pumps, I may never get my heels to the floor in downward-facing dog, but I still go to yoga class, I still try, and I still enjoy the time I spend working at it. I do what I can, I improve as I’m able, and I am happy for any progress I make on my personal journey.

    The Thursday Afternoon Scarf Club is here for you to enjoy the pleasant company of others on their own personal knitting journey. At times your project paths will be very different as someone works to master a particular technique you may already know. At times your project paths may be the same, but your experience will be far different because we have different skill sets, and we’re different people. But wherever you are on your journey, whichever scarf you’re working to master, and however much you're looking to challenge yourself, please know that there is a patient and encouraging hand here to guide you, and there is always a place for you at the table.

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