Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Little Bit Each Day

As I've posted elsewhere on the interwebs, I've come to a conclusion about my Knitting in Red.

I am in the process of establishing new, healthy routines for myself. My change is slow, steady and deliberate, rather than lightning-quick.

I very much have a tendency to get excited about something and to focus on it very heavily for a little while, and then to either get bored and wander off, or to get excited about something else, or… anyway, I’m as inconstant as the moon. (Long time readers and the observant among you will note that this explains my little WIP “problem.”)

Since I am knitting this shawl as a piece of representational magic -- something that physically embodies the changes that I am making, I can not, must not abandon it. My decision, therefore, is not to worry about doing a lot of the shawl at any given time, but rather to pick it up every single day and do just a little.

I need to touch it, to add a row or a few stitches regularly, consistently. It will grow slowly over time, but slowly is okay. Slowly is good even, as slow steady change will last longer.

I'm working on new habits. To walk each day, to eat healthier foods in reasonable quantities, and knit a little bit to remind me of what I'm doing and why.

Kadollan's Knitting in Red

Sunday, March 18, 2012

And by then I was knitting red.

It became apparent that as I knitted yarn, I was also naturally knitting myself together and also nurturing myself with one of the most appropriate metaphors, and also physical realities, that I could have chosen for myself. I was not only knitting together a garment, but also the seen and the unseen, the solid and the evanescent, the conscious and the unconscious and the light and the dark in myself. 
And by then I was knitting red. (Bergman 31)
Red thread or yarn—physical, literal, red yarn, and it has to be red—helps to retrieve souls, and memories and energy. (38) 
Red thread or yarn is a tremendous ally for those women who are in transition, finding lost pieces, giving any kind of birth, or needing protection of any kind. Working with or wearing something made of red yarn, preferably hand spun or dyed, and, if at all possible, worked by one’s own hands, is a tremendous ally when moving from one level to the next. (39)
I first read and reviewed Deborah Bergman's The Knitting Goddess back in 2005 (the original post can be found here).   Overall, I remember that I enjoyed the book, although I was initially surprised to find that it was more about the author's spiritual journey than it was about knitting.

But the part about knitting in red...that part really stuck with me.  When my dear friend's daughter started her period, I bought her some red yarn and some knitting needles and gave them to her along with the quote.  If you aren't going through a period of transformation during puberty, when are you?

I thought of the quote again very recently when another friend was talking about her own (sometimes painful) period of transformation.  I was suddenly moved to find the quote and to give it to her -- I try to pay attention when I have an instinctive reaction that strong.   I am glad that I did, as it was as meaningful for her as it has been for me, and she herself decided it was time to knit in red.

When she and I talked about the quote, I started wondering again if it was time for my own red project.  For all that I found this quote that resonated for me so strongly seven years ago, I've never acted on it with my own project.

Once she stated her intention to start her own transformative red knitting magick (although I am not sure that she would use those exact words) she very graciously offered for others to join her in that journey.  It has been amazing how many women in our on-line community are in a place of change right now.  And how many have responded to the shared experience of making a red project in community.

My own project is born out of a need to move myself out of this place of Stuckness that I find myself in.   I have a happy life, I'm successful in my chosen profession, I have beautiful children and an active spiritual life.  And yet.  And yet I am disconnected and sullen and withdrawn.

So, the question is why?  I am hoping to find the answer as I knit.

Madrona by Rosemary (Romi) Hill
March is for Making Mates

And lest you think I forgot -- I am also working on some Mates for March.   I have my second Nemesis sock cast on (although I confess me I've done little more than knit the first 20 rounds or so), and I cast on Kirsten Kapur's Sweet Maize Anklets for Morgan.

Sweet Green Tea Anklets
 (I also just got a new camera.  I love my HTC phone with every fiber of my being, but I could NOT get good knitting pictures with it.)