Sunday, May 3, 2015

Mindfulness and the art of knitting

I'm not a knitter and at this point in my life, I'm not likely to take lessons and master the art. But I can tell you this: after reading Barbara Hannah Grufferman's post, Why Knitting Is the Must-Have Life Skill, I wish I'd picked up a pair of knitting needles decades ago.  Grufferman's comment that knitting enforces mindfulness meditation jumped out at me, as I've been practicing mindfulness meditation for several years. However, I'm also intrigued by her several other reasons for claiming that knitting is a "must have life skill."

Grufferman writes:

Growing up in Brooklyn, my no-nonsense German grandmother tried to teach me how to knit -- a life skill she believed was the key to happiness. 

Like any adolescent, I rebelled and made excuses. "Tomorrow, Grandma, okay? Studying for a math test now, but I promise we'll sit down and you can teach me. Can't wait . . . "

Of course I regret it. That goes without saying. For sure, I spent lots of quality time with my grandparents, loving people who embraced the job of raising two more kids (my sister and me) in midlife after having raised five of their own, including my mother. When my father left my mother with two daughters under four, her only choice-- and a very good one, indeed-- was to move back home so she could work full time to support us. 

My grandmother showered us with things my mother was too young and inexperienced to give: unconditional love; patience during a rocky time in our lives; structure (dinner on the table every night at 6pm); and essential life lessons like how to make the perfect roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, apple strudel and Christmas cookies. 

We learned a great deal from her, but my sister and I drew the line at knitting. 

It wasn't until I turned 50, many years after my beloved grandmother had passed on from Alzheimer's, that I decided to step into my local knitting store and finally get that lesson. To say that I am hooked is an understatement.

 Here's why I knit:

Read more:

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