Saturday, January 15, 2005

Stitch by Stitch, Row by Row

I spent the afternoon at Healing Arts at a knitting workshop. It was a really great setting: a roaring fire and hot cider and cookies with 10 women of varying ages, who all had a desire for knitting therapy.

Ruth Ann, a massage therapist at Healing Arts, and her sister Meagan, both of whom are master knitters, were the instructors. They started by reading some really great quotations about the healing potential of knitting and the way knitting has affirmed and united women. They passed around books and samples of all sorts of yarn. The colors and textures of the yarn are so interesting.

We each introduced ourselves and said something about why we were there. I related my lack-of-patience story about how I stayed up all night crocheting a poncho because I just had to get it done. Rebecca keeps telling me that it’s the trip, not the destination. Obviously this is a lesson I need in other parts of my life as well. One person, who has obviously traveled a lot, mentioned how when she pulls out her knitting in a foreign airport, there is an instant bond with other women that goes beyond language.

Each participant started with a set of needles, a skein of yarn, and 20 stitches already cast on. We worked in twos and threes to learn the basic knit stitch. Once that was instinctive, we also learned how to pearl. That’s all there is – knit and pearl. Everything else is just a combination of the two. So then I started mixing them up and learned how to alternate stitches. It was all coming back.

We saw beautiful finished projects – sweaters, scarves, socks. I determined that I really want to make socks. This seems like a project that won’t take forever and will result in something I need. Maybe then I will take on a really big long-term project.

One quote that stuck in my mind was: Time is the only gift that we have. Meaning don’t push it, enjoy it. So maybe after all these years, I will learn to be happy with stitch by stitch, row by row, put it away, and do the same thing all over again the next time I pick it up.

Hope springs eternal...

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