Our Sunday class at retreat wasn’t really a class, but more of an exercise. Anne led us in a morning of meditation and contemplative knitting. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work for me. I’ve never been good at meditation. Things are always popping into my head — what’s for dinner, need to email that file, got to finish the laundry. When Anne suggested we try for 10 minutes I didn’t think I would make it, but she offered a tip that really worked for me. You pick a word — something with no emotional attachment — and when a random thought enters your mind, you say that word to bring yourself back to meditation. It worked. I was really surprised. I went the whole 10 minutes.
Then we tried contemplative knitting. It’s the same type of meditation, but this time with a few balls of yarn and needles in hand. We knit for 15 minutes: any amount of stitches, any stitch pattern. The key is to be aware of the yarn in your hands making each stitch. This time something amazing happened. The random thoughts that went through my mind were no longer about mundane things. They were creative ideas about patterns, designs, projects, color and texture. I still used my word to shake them away, but I was excited that they were there and that I remembered them afterward.
I’m so glad Anne came and shared this with us. I’m hoping to incorporate contemplative knitting into my daily life and creative process. Now I just need find a quiet time in which to practice it.