Meditation, Hold the Frustration

April 15, 2022

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  • Well said. I will try to remember this whenever I pick up my needles.

  • Wholeheartedly agree. My blog is called Knitatation for all of these reasons. Thanks for sharing.

  • I have always loved the sound of knitting, heard in the company of silence. Now that it is Spring-ish-time, the birds now singalong with my needles. Now, I can add the sound of my breath and the feel of muscles melting! Thank you!

  • I am both a knitter and a yogi. This essay is perfect.

  • As much as I agree (and I do) … what is that yarn in the middle picture. Bobbly blue (garter stitch?) I must play with it…

    • Hi Aoifse, I think that bobbly blue might be Malabrigo “Caracol”

      • YES!!

        • That’s exactly what it is! Good eye!

  • Thank you for this advice! And for the step-by-step approach. Lovely.

  • As I read your excellent guidance, I’m reflecting about how much I enjoy knitting outside and connecting the two thoughts – no electronics, no multi-tasking while knitting in the park, at the beach (granted, some distractions there!), or just on the back porch. Thank you!

  • After this particularly stressful week I have returned to knitting dish clothes. Maybe my knitting mind knew I needed something simple and calming.

    • Same here! Linoleum dishcloths are my go to for calming my mind and body. Have made a lot of them during these times. The bonus is giving them to friends and family as a random little treat.

  • I do knit while watching and listening, and there is a slight meditative quality present even with something going on in the background. Often the background totally fades away, and I am left with myself and my needles. I also meditate every day and I am going to start to start to marry the two together.
    Intuitively, I know my knitting is good for my mental health which is one of the reasons knit. Thank you for your article.

  • As a handwork teacher for elementary students, I have seen the benefits of working with the hands for the anxious child. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have felt that the healing aspect of knitting and crochet has come to be even more important. Self directed work with your hands to make something useful can help children redirect their feelings and feel positive about themselves.

  • Thank you Suzan. While I am not always successful, I do try to gift myself 15 minutes of knitting time each day expressly for grounding myself. This article is a wonderful reminder of the power of crafting.

  • Wonderful article. Although I have always recognized this to be true, it is always a good reminder. Thank you.

  • You have just described my life! I love yoga and meditation but I really really LOVE knitting. The magic is in the doing and paying attention to that doing, with just a light touch. Nice article!

  • Thank you for this post. I find a temperature blanket to be the perfect daily meditative project.

  • Suzan, this is such a perfect introduction to meditation. Thank you so much—really wonderful.

    • Thank you so much, Ann and everybody!

  • This is perfect for me today. Thank you!

  • I really love this. Thank you.

  • This is just what recent days call for, thank you.

  • I enjoy knitting most of the time, but it’s not my religion. I do it because I can make nice things. It is sometimes frustrating and sometimes boring. It is not the center of my life. It does not affect my blood pressure, except in some of the frustrating parts. I’m glad it works for many people but it’s not the be end all for everyone.

  • Thank you!
    I plan to try this!

  • Absolutely. When denied knitting for8 weeks because of hand surgery, I felt mt attitude and patience in severe decline. Now I’m authorized to knit for 15 min twice a day. I can feel the mood lifting! Amazing to realize the power of knitting in my life.

  • As usual, Suzan give us excellent information. Medknitation changed my life. Thank you once more.

  • Thank you so much. I needed this today.

  • This is very doable. Organizing the qualities, adding intention, very helpful for seeing how to improve my technique. Crochet, and more recently knitting, have saved my life. Now, I want them to contribute to my longevity. . . .

  • As a former LYO, we felt knitting was cheaper than a psychiatrist. We also found our customers who would come from chemo infusions would totally relax while knitting. It is indeed, a gift, this craft we do called knitting.

  • I really loved this. It makes it sound easy to try and I’ll try to include it in my day. I also find this works with spinning for me because it requires my full attention to get going and then the rhythm of the wheel and the quiet take over. Does this happen for anyone else out there spins?

  • Thank you for column! I will be mindful of my knitting! Knitting has truly helped me thru the last few years.

  • Lovely.
    Sometimes when I’m having trouble falling asleep I will sit on the floor in the dark with just the faintest hint of glow from something (so I can’t see my knitting) — I will just sit and knit, silently, enjoying the peace and the still house and the softly snoring dog nearby — it settles me and then after 10 or 15 minutes I can crawl back into bed and finally sleep.

  • I enjoyed reading this post, and have saved it for future reference. I was very touched reading how knitting helped to calm your sister during your dad’s illness. Knitting helped me through those initial days of shock and grief after the passing of each of my parents.

    While reading your post, I was reminded of a book that I read a few years back, Knit for Health and Wellness by Betsan Corkhill. Ms. Corkhill, originally a physical therapist by profession, also wrote a second such book about crochet. While reading her book, I remember thinking that every LYS should have the book on display. It is a benefit to knitters; and, I imagined that knitters would also be using the information to encourage their friends to learn knitting. Sadly, I haven’t seen this kind of subject matter in yarn shops. So, I was doubly happy to see your post here in MDK.

  • Thank you Suzan! I often comment to my best friend; “…and I didn’t even have time to knit today!” Or…”and today I got to sit and knit a few rows!”.

    It is indeed calming and centering, I’ve always known that. But the thought of actually making it a daily practice might just be the perspective I need to allow myself the time, rather than feeling I need to “steal the time”, to do something I love, and not feel guilty that I am not getting other things accomplished.

    • Super interesting article and thoughts. I would definitely agree that knitting is meditative as well as calming and relaxing (maybe some day we can call this exercise and cover all bases in life). I am a pretty hyper Type A person in my intense and high level day job and I knit most nights even if only for 20 minutes and it takes my body and brain to a different plane. I have a project which is just basic stitches (ie: mindless) as well as a more complex project which requires more thought and creativity

  • Amen to all this! I have used knitting and needlepoint as go to meditation techniques for years. Not only do you gain the benefits of a calmer, more centered and peaceful self, but, you ultimately create a useful thing of beauty. A win-win situation for sure.

    Keep knitting or crafting. It makes a big difference in life.

  • I couldn’t agree more with this article. Knitting has brought me calm and peace since I first started after a devastating loss in my family. It continues to be the gift that keeps on giving and I can’t even imagine where I’d be without it.

  • Thank you, Suzan, for your timely and helpful article! I needed this today.

  • What an interesting way to approach meditation. Thanks for telling me I don’t have to clear my mind of thoughts. I’ve never be able to do that! This actually reminds me of what I experience when I’m doing work in the garden. Sometimes I have music or an audio book with me. When I am out in the garden without either of those the brain runs rampant. Sometimes, though, I can reach a place where I’m just listening to the birds and am so focused on what I’m doing. It really feels different when that happens.

  • I hope you will receive loads of comfort from friends and family as you journey through this time with your Dad. ♥️

  • YES! YES! YES! I’ve known this for all my life, and I’m not young any more. 🙂 Knitting…crochet, tatting, embroidery….it’s all meditation, all calming to my brain and soothing to my soul.

    Weaving in affirmations and prayers into the fabric as I go along is essential, especially for the wee tiny items that will clothe babies!