The Zen Of Knitting

Nov 20 2013 @ 8:04pm

Jenny Diski contemplates one of her favorite activities:

As everyone says who knits, there is a dreamy, calming pleasure to knitting. You want to do more. The edges of anxiety are rounded off, you can feel the drip of endorphins soothing the rat in the solar plexus. Needles clicking, mind half on the pattern, half drifting. People liken it to meditation and gym work. I’ve done both, and it’s true. Trancelike sometimes. That simple repetitive work with the hands has a tranquillising effect is not a new insight, but it does work.

… The main thing that had changed since I used to knit was the existence of YouTube. There is no stitch or technique that you can’t find explained to you by a patient expert. Google s1k1psso and you find a dozen videos. Stop and start it, knit along, freeze frame. Even I can follow and practise until I can do it. There are courses online that show you how to knit whole garments, with a teacher leading you through it, talking about variations, giving tips on how to make wrong right again.