As Kathy and I chatted and made coffee, we talked about the books and how they each speak to the particular way that knitting and community go together. The term “Stitch ‘n Bitch,” coined and copyrighted by Debbie Stoller, has spawned hundreds of knitting groups, not unlike our Friday morning Coffee for Ewe and the Wednesday Workshop. At these kinds of events, we come together to knit and to be connected. When we are here we are somehow with our own kind. We are in a place where we are understood and accepted. And there is tremendous power in that kind of community.
There is also power in the ability to quiet and calm with the simple act of knitting. In her book, Mindful Knitting, Tara Jon Manning talks about how knitting is like meditation. We find comfort and a clarity of focus in the repetitive stitches. We all tend to have at least one simple project on our needles at all times when we need to just immerse ourselves in the soothing silence of knitting. I find that knitting makes me better able to handle stressful or anxious situations – like waiting. If I have my knitting, I’m a much more patient person. An hour in the waiting room is almost like a gift – an hour to knit and think quietly that I might not have otherwise taken for myself.
And finally, Knitting for Peace – a new book that addresses the basic human principle of service to others. This book details dozens of charitable programs in which knitters can participate. It’s a beautiful book with a beautiful message. There are so many opportunities to serve others and bring peace to the world one step at a time. There is enormous power in knowing that you are part of something larger, and that you can do your part to improve the life of another human being with a simple act of kindness.
As we go through life, we pass back and forth on a continuum of giving and receiving. There are times in our life when we are drained and need renewal and comfort from others. It is those times that we crave the time spent knitting in community. And there are those times when we are blessed and in a position to give of ourselves. And there is always a need for reflection and contemplation as we discern where we are on that continuum.
Knit in Peace