Skip to content

Today, I gave myself a present: today.

The stars had aligned in a perfect setup. The Beloved Husband would be out with a friend for hours. I’d already rescheduled with the nephew in grad school because, in the current heatwave, the trip would’ve become torture. Now damn near giddy with possibility, I canceled a morning meeting. Suddenly, I found myself with the most precious non-renewable resource known to knitterkind: time.

I am not the busiest person alive, yet somehow each day feels like someone slipped me the cheaper, 12-hour version instead of the economy-sized 24. I have given up on the idea of the “to do” list ever being done; it should just be on a large, continuous roll of paper. I have work to do. I have classes to teach, classes to take, and a cache of online classes I’ve started but never finished because when? When? And I keep buying those online classes, even though I know they, too, will likely gather virtual dust.

Recently, I read (in the vast library known as Somewhere) the real reason people buy new books before they’ve finished the ones they have: It’s because buying books creates the illusion—the fantasy, if not the reality—of having the time to read those books. Whenever I buy a new book, which, according to my nearly-worn-smooth credit card, is often, I have a vision of being that person curled up with said book as I wear a pair of homemade socks, my purring cat by my side, something lovely to drink on the nearby table, lighting perfect, smooth jazz on low … (When you get to a certain age, fantasies about having time to read books replace fantasies about George Clooney. And I know that’s not just me.)

Knitters know the value of time. Anyone who has laughed until tears fell from their eyes when a well-meaning person asked, “Wouldn’t it be easier to just buy a sweater?” knows that time is as precious as a sale on limited-edition fingering. The things we make, no matter how fast we may stitch, take time. And the time we spend making them is gold to us.

Our handmades hold time in knitterly measures. The time spent knitting between appointments. The time spent knitting away anxious nerves in the hospital waiting room. The time that can’t go fast enough before that precious baby arrives. The time spent figuring out a new pattern, only to figure out then that the. Count. Is. OFF. The time spent frogging, and the moment of patting oneself on the back for being willing to start again. (And, in my case, again and again.)

What to do when there’s not enough time? I’ve relieved myself of the burden of trying to be some sort of expert on time management. When I was the person who wrote magazine headlines like “Ten Tips on Saving Time!” I was never actually able to use any of those tips, being constantly up against tight deadlines.

Whatever amount of time you have, this knitting meditation, like something loosely woven, can expand to fit the space you have for it. This is best done with a very simple project that doesn’t require referring to a pattern. 

  1. Sit in a chair that allows you to be comfortable and upright, rather than curved into a squishy seat. Sitting tall creates more space for your breathing. 
  2. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths, inhaling through your nose, exhaling slowly through your mouth (as though blowing softly on warm food). 
  3. Let your body return to its natural breathing pattern. Gently open your eyes. Pick up your project and, going a bit more slowly than your usual rhythm, knit a few stitches. Bring your awareness to the spaces between your inhalations and exhalations, and the spaces between each stitch. Think of these spaces as pockets of time; when we bring our full awareness to these “moments,” they can expand. 
  4. Bring your meditation to a close whenever you need or want to with three deep breaths. 

Knitting is an activity with time built into it; it takes up so much, yet it gives us back twice, three times what we put into it. It’s meditative, it’s satisfying—and it is worth our time. Knitting is an understanding friend, waiting patiently, rewarding us for whatever time we can put into it. 

Did I mention, in my list of All the Things, the bag of UFOs in my living room? I’ve gifted myself with this day. Now I get to spend time with time well spent. 

Keep it handy. Here’s how to save this article in your MDK account with one click so you can refer to it whenever you like … or need to.

About The Author

Suzan Colón is a writer, a reader of the tarot, and a teacher of MedKNITation, a system she developed for meditation with knitting and crochet.


  • As for books (and yarn and fabric) I find myself buying because I think possession will turn to action. Thanks so much for naming that and for showing a way to use the precious time we have for creating meaning

    • Love this thank you!:)

    • Bang on!
      Bull’s eye!
      10 points for this, or rather 11? I mean 11 stitches!
      Did you read my mind while writing this?
      It’s nice to know – I am not alone!

    • This is such a great article! Thank you!

      • Thank you. Beautifully put.

  • So true! This is exactly what I needed to read this morning!

  • Although retired this applies to me too! More books than I’ll ever read and more patterns than I’ll ever knit. But it’s fun to dream…

  • I finally figured this out for myself! Whenever I buy a craft kit or yarn, or a coloring book or book, I was trying to buy the TIME to do them all! It hasn’t stopped me from the buying, but I do understand the why!

    • Ditto!

  • Needed this today!

  • “Whatever amount of time you have, this knitting meditation, like something loosely woven, can expand to fit the space you have for it.”

    Yes, that’s why I don’t have deadlines for projects, and don’t feel guilty about not finishing, and have portable projects.

  • Thank you for sharing your perspective and wisdom!

    Breathing. Meditating. Body posture. Balance. You covered it al!


  • Amen!

  • My knitting students laugh when I say, “knitting is a meditative practice.” In the beginning, they’re filled with anxiety about mistakes, dropped stitches, and starting over. Knitting becomes meditative when one accepts that mistakes happen and starting over is normal.

    • @Ruth, amen to that!
      And thank you Suzanne for this letter, such good points!

  • I needed this today more than usual. I am getting new carpeting in my bedrooms and ‘office’ and had to empty closets. Eegads, I now have a bathtub full of books and yarn for the ages. I will be practicing breathing as I put things back together.

  • Thank you for this! I so feel the same way, and your article is so helpful!

  • AMEN, sister!

  • Thank you for sharing! It’s so reassuring to hear from others exactly how I’ve been feeling about so many books I buy to read and projects to knit. And reminding me to practice my meditation while I knit.

  • Beautifully said!!!!!

  • I love what you said, “Knitting is an understanding friend, waiting patiently…..” That’s said so well about knitting, but certainly about our best/closest friends.

    • Yes! Lovely comment on knitting, it’s my most patient & closest friend. It’s always there for me at any time. Peace everyone!

  • Thank you for helping me realized what I’ve been doing all these years!

  • I see myself in every word you wrote. So insightful! It’s nice to know that there are others out there in Yarnland that have the same challenges (why do we always think it’s just us? LOL)

  • You & I must be twin sisters from different mothers. I very much enjoyed your writing

  • I used to attend a knitting group every other Saturday. It disbanded several years ago, for various reasons. I did not find another group because of work obligations, as most other groups met weekday afternoons. There was something about being there that was wonderful. Once I arrived at group, time no longer mattered. It would always seem as if time stood still. For a little while, I was able to just be in the present. I always felt renewed at the end. It was sort of amazing to me. Gee, I miss those people and that time.

  • Although I don’t find knitting particularly meditative unless I’m knitting a flat piece of garter stitch, I do find plenty of opportunities to practice patience. Knitting if interesting but not the be-all end-all of my world.

  • Simply: Yes.

  • Yes! I am retired and theoretically have all the time I want to do anything, but this still speaks to me. My Monday evening knitwits zoom with like-minded individuals is always a good time even if we don’t usually meet in person (which is harder since we are now more geographically located). A set-aside ‘me’ time for each of us, once a week.

  • Thanks so much! Kindred spirit here!❣️

  • I can never seem to find time for a meditation practice, and yet always find time to knit. It’s a genius idea to combine the two.

  • Well said!!

Come Shop With Us

My Cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping