Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Rhythm of the Needles

There is a time in knitting when I’ve memorized the pattern and suddenly I become one with my project. It is in that moment when my breathing slows and my heart follows the rhythm of my fingers.

It is a well known fact that your heart will follow a sustained beat. In shamanic drumming a beat can take you on an inner journey and reveal hidden knowledge. Rhythm is very powerful

In knitting I find there is an underlying beat. A song forms from the sound that the needles make when they “kiss” as they create a stitch, the quiet “swoosh” of yarn as it moves from needle to needle and the unseen element of muscle memory as my hands follow the pattern’s journey. The result is a lulling quiet place where my mind starts to furiously fill the void with to do lists and things I could be doing.

But I quiet my mind wish a gentle, “Shhhh,” and ask it to enjoy the moment of serenity and it sits and waits and speaks up again and once more I gently urge it to enjoy the moment. This time and so many others it tries to break in and muddle my thoughts and I take its hand like a small child and lead it back to the place of stillness.

My mind may be stubborn but my body is more then willing as I feel my breath slow and each muscle gives up its stored stresses. Finally my mind is quiet and I am totally serene and blissful as I sit and knit.

Soon my mind will wake up and begin again and this time I let it unload, surprised it cautiously hands me my to do list but now it has changed. There are things that no longer need doing or the way they need doing has changed. I think secretly my mind likes our little sparring matches and is more then happy to be at peace for once in the day…but I don’t let on that I know that. :)

As much as knitting is to make beautiful projects it is also a place to come to think or to let go. Either way take time once and a while to visit that place that comes out of the mists like Avalon when the knitter, yarn and needles are one.

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