(Note: This post was actually published on October 3, 2013. I’m placing it here for purposes of searchabitity.)
I started knitting because of scarves. My first project was an enormous scarf in four shades of cheap acrylic yarn. Somewhere in the middle of all those acres of stockinette stitch, I discovered the amazing meditative quality of knitting.
I’m no good at emptying my mind. The minute I cease all activity and try to sit still, my brain enters squirrel on speed mode. But when knitting was a new activity, and therefore difficult, it absorbed all my focus–and crowded out every thought except my needles and yarn. After an hour of knit and purl, I felt refreshed, calm, and centered.
Of course over time I became proficient at knitting, and the repetitive stitches ceased to absorb my attention enough to quiet my thoughts. Now if I want to clear my mind I have to do something like elaborate cables. The nice thing about this is I get really beautiful end results from my meditative practice. (Though admittedly, 25 cable-knit tarot bags is an embarrassment of riches).
And now my mind wanders when I do boring knitting–but this is useful too. Repetitive knitting is a fantastic magical tool.
You can use boring knitting as a focus for a mantra or affirmation. Repeat it as you knit: the knitting will keep your hands busy, and the longer you knit the more you’ll enter that trance-like state where ideas take root so easily. I think smaller projects are best for this kind of chanting.
Taking the idea further, you can knit a spell. Choose fibers and colors that represent your intention for the finished object; you can also research stitch patterns that seem to symbolize the desired result of your spell. You can chant to yourself as you knit, focusing on the energy you want to create. When you’ve finished, you’ll have an intensely charged object for yourself or someone else. This is especially wonderful for healing magic on behalf of someone else. And they will have the pleasure of wearing or using the object you created. So as an example: say you want to knit a healing scarf for someone you love who is going through a long battle with illness, and this person loves the ocean. You could choose very soft yarns in colors that remind you of the sea, and you could choose stitches that create a wave like pattern. As you knit you could visualize your loved one wearing the scarf at the shore, in good health. When you aren’t working, you can put the project on an altar with healing stones and plants, and a picture of the recipient. It’s very simple magic, but it could affect you very profoundly.
Knitting is one of those wonderful ways to bring your spirituality into your daily life–and yarn is pretty.