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Knitting as active rest

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Knitting as active rest

Meet Malcolm, our new puppy.  We were very lucky to find  him, and the Saturday after Thanksgiving we brought home an 8 week old bundle of cuddles and happiness.  I still miss my Dorey every day but this little guy is working very hard to fill the hole in my  heart.  He is also working very hard to understand the secrets of my knitting bag, and why it fascinates me.  He already knows that yarn is not very tasty, but he seems to lack a discriminating palate.  I have never had a brand new puppy before, so there is a lot for me to learn. It's only been a few days, but I can see that he's pretty much just a furry cyclone destroying everything in his path until he collapses. 

That's not exactly true.  Malcolm gets a good bit of focused exercise running around outside exploring his new digs and then he usually has a nice nap.  According to Cesar Millan, this is good because a dog needs a balance of energy - part exercise, part mental stimulation, part sleep.   Not so different from our needs, is it?  Great in principle, but harder to effect.  Malcolm can race around and crumple into a dreaming heap, but for us humans, it's more difficult.  We're all so busy and stressed, especially this time of year, trying to get everything done, that we either can't sleep, or we don't sleep.  But we can get rest, which is almost as good.   

While not a replacement for sleep active rest can be almost as curative as sleep, and provides a graceful transition from one mental state to another.  I'm not talking about plopping in front of the TV and tuning out - that's passive rest.  Active rest is like what runners do after a long race.  They don't just cross the finish line and fall on the ground -- they walk to catch their breath, slow their heartbeat, and stretch their muscles.  That's active rest, and it's so important to our health.  We all need a chance to catch our breath.  We need a  transition from exertion and stress. Knitters understand this concept intuitively, whether we say it out loud or not.  For us, knitting is an active rest from the physical, mental, and emotional demands of the day, and we need it the way we need air.  Knitting provides a gentle space in which our bodies become still, our minds begin to clear, and a sense of calm settles over us.  In this space, we can reflect on the day, consider tomorrow, or just be present in the moment with the peaceful undemanding rhythm of the needles.

I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table.  You are always welcome here.


Back to 4 December 2018 Newsletter

Comments on this post (11)

  • Dec 05, 2018

    Congrats on the new puppy. He is adorable and looks like he will keep you very warm on those cold winter nights ahead. Give him lots of love. My Mack says hello.
    Happy Holidays!

    — Alisa

  • Dec 04, 2018

    What breed or mix is this adorable puppy? In our 80’s, my husband and I know we cannot manage another puppy. So
    I do envy you! But if there were an adult version of Malcolm
    - great name, by the way - we would have to send him an invitation.

    — Ann Boyer

  • Dec 04, 2018

    Malcolm may be the cutest little bundle of fur I have ever seen. So adorable! Thanks for the thoughtful message today. Happy Holidays!

    — Susan Dyer

  • Dec 04, 2018

    Congratulations on the new adorable addition to your family!

    — Norma Woodburn

  • Dec 04, 2018

    I love all your posts, especially this one at this time of year. So true and I do find myself on the floor stretching after a long active rest, my knitting. So happy i found Crazy for Ewe, knitting has added so much to my life. Welcome Malcolm, such an adorable fur baby addition. Happy Holidays❣

    — Heidi

  • Dec 04, 2018

    Another thoughtful and thought-provoling message, perfect for this time of year.

    Congratulations on the new addition to your family! I hope that Malcolm will be making regular appearances at the shop.

    — Susan

  • Dec 04, 2018

    Thank you Kaite. Yes, his paws are as large as they appear. He’s going to be a big boy, I think :)

    — Ellen

  • Dec 04, 2018

    Malcolm is adorable! What a lovely early holiday gift he is.

    — Jal Jimreivat

  • Dec 04, 2018

    He is beautiful, his fur design very striking!

    — Andrea Swierczek

  • Dec 04, 2018

    He’s very handsome. He should bring you a lot of joy.

    — Patty Mattingly

  • Dec 04, 2018

    Adorable! Love his ears. Are his paws as big as they appear? I appreciate knitting as active rest. ’Tend to have “ah-ha” moments in states of active rest, so I always knit with pen and paper at the ready. Holiday Cheer!

    — Kaite Hanlon

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