Knitting My Life Together…


Beginning A Knitted Tapestry…

Dear Ones…

This year has been a very contemplative year and a year when, for the first time in my life, I have made decisions about my life strictly on my own. It has been exhilarating, frightening, a teetering one way and then the other kind of time. And I sit everyday knitting for a portion of the day, each stitch knitting pieces of me back together. 

I arrange pieces of myself, like loose puzzle pieces, on the table before me. What have I got? Woman, mother, grandmother, writer, interfaith minister, fiber artist, knitter, crocheter, weaver, spinner (of yarn and yarns — with words — and dreams…), animal advocate, companion to a bevy of pugs and parrots and Big Dog Moe, a gardener, nurturer of plants galore indoors, and a collector, from mermaids to flamingos to vintage buttons and beads and more. And that is just the beginning, and you could toss all of those pieces up in the air and each day they would land in different places and aspects to one another.

 
I was thinking this morning how completely I live as an intuitive, much like my work as a fiber artist. I follow no patterns, am self-taught in everything that I do, and never start a project with a goal in mind. When I knitted the piece at the top that I call a “knitted tapestry” I had no idea with each stitch where I was going. It was a difficult time in my life and knitting always puts me to rights somehow. I just started and let the needles and yarn lead the way. In everything I create, no matter what it comes out like in the end, I have a feeling of creating a patchwork quilt of sorts. I think that’s because I always have a sense of knitting, crocheting, or weaving lots of pieces and stitching them all together (…which is rather metaphorical since most “pieces” are, like the knitted tapestry above, a continuous piece and not separate pieces put together, although I have made lots of small pieces and putting them together was a great adventure and a deep meditation.). This knitted tapestry was a Shamanic Journey of sorts for me…
As long as I kept knitting, the pieces of myself held together. With each completed stitch it was as if a little glue was spread between the pieces of myself holding them a little more firmly together. I could relax and feel safe in this space. I could breathe easier.

We all need a practice in our lives to keep us going as whole human beings so that we might move through our day, intact, and tread through the minutes and hours all of a piece. When bits of ourselves feel as if they are jangling around, our practice brings the myriad pieces of our self back together. For some people their practice is prayer, or meditation, or tending the garden, or washing the dishes. I do all of these, they are part of my life, but it is only when I am doing fiber work am I held together in such as way as to move forward without falling apart. Knitting is the most powerful tool of all for me, the rhythmic motions, the clicking of the needles, the piece growing in your hands, deep comfort indeed.

I haven’t been knitting in quite awhile. I have been spinning and crocheting quite a lot but somehow knitting slipped out of my daily repertoire, the rounds of my days somehow pulling the pieces of me further and further apart until they sagged between the spaces. The sagging interstices leave room for depression, a feeling of being lost, tethered to nothing at all, and finally about to come apart completely. Quite alarmed at the state of affairs, seeing the direction I was heading, that kind of place where all of the puzzle pieces are dumped out of the box and scattered hither and yon I did the only thing I could do. I picked up my needles and started knitting again, and it was an unconscious act, like taking a drink of water when you’re thirsty, you don’t think about it, you just do it because your body is crying out for water.

And so I am knitting again, aligning all the pieces of myself and knitting them back together. This time I hope I don’t forget, but if I don’t find knitting, it will find me. Somehow or another, even when coming very close to the sagging places tearing apart completely, I will find knitting needles in my hands, and I will feel myself coming together again, all of a piece. Now, like Miss Marple who knits her way through all of her stories, I will carry my knitting with me wherever I go. You can only stretch the seams so far before they tear apart completely. I cannot afford that, and now I am the only one who can prevent it. Even in the years when I thought other people were holding me together it was me all along. I’m stronger than I ever knew, and knowing this lifts my heart and helps me move more steadily through each and every day. “Keep knitting Maitri,” I tell myself, “Keep knitting.”

Clickety-clackety, clickety-clackety… sweet relief…


If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…

Comments

  1. As i look at the photos, I remembered a cross stitch project I’d never touched since I gave birth to my little princess. I guess I have to work on it again and just follow what you did. I’ll just tell myself to keep cross stitching and complete the project.

    But there’s more to this article than just knitting right? Life is much more complicated than yarns but I’m praying all the stitches will be completed. God bless!

  2. my mother gave us a ball of yarn and a crochet needle whenwew were youg and got us all started, sometimes to see how long of chain we could make. I have given needles I make to many people, and taught them how working with fiber is relaxing. I worked with behavioral choldren and had them all going strong.It keeps our brain working and the result is something to show many.

  3. I had not thought of knitting in this way. You have inspired me to start knitting.
    Love your beautiful creation!

  4. I don’t knit….but I do quilt and I see that very much as you describe. I pick out fabrics based on my mood or feeling. Create patterns that speak to me and mix them all together the same way. Sometimes you just have to create and not have a goal in mind.

  5. . . . and so we knit, my Friend, strong and true.

  6. Interesting. I’m participating in a project called Knitayear. Everyday I knit at least two rows in a color that matches my mood for the day. I’m not sure what it will be in the end but I look at it and I remember some days and wonder why I picked the yarn for others. I am keeping track of my progress on a blog. Anyway, I really am glad I started. It gives me some focus for each day.

    Jamye
    http://knitrageous1.blogspot.com/

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  8. I have given needles I make to many people, and taught them how working with fiber is relaxing.Sometimes you just have to create and not have a goal in mind.

  9. Some of my VERY favorite child hood memories are snuggling up to my grandma in front of the fire while she knitted away. All six kids spent their winters in her warm slippers and toasty sweaters. I can’t picture her without her bag of knitting by her side and her knitting in her lap. I miss her – but I STILL, 20 years after she’s gone have a couple of the beautiful sweaters she made.

  10. It’s beautiful. You always make such wonderful, colourful, wool crafts 🙂

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