Karie Bookish Dot Net

About Handknitted Scarves

June 2015 022

Just a very brief note as I catch my breath. Workshop season is in full swing and this means I am not home much. On the road I get to meet so many wonderful people and I see so many wonderful projects. This keeps me going until I am home on my sofa, snuggled up under the crochet blanket my mother once made me.

Knitting is one of the most soothing and calming activities I know. There is something so meditative about the repetitive hand actions and the small pattern repeats we keep in our heads: k2, p1, k8, p1.. As we sit there working, we ward off the troubles of life and can focus on something that makes sense. And then we put that scarf around our neck and it keeps us warm both in body and soul. We are reminded of that little meditative space as we go out to meet others and challenge a world that feels cold and fractured. And then when the world gets really cold and we face a very long winter, we know how to stay warm.

People talk a lot about symbols these days. They talk about baseball caps and safety pins. For me, a handknitted scarf is a symbol as well. It is a symbol of patience and perseverance. Tiny stitches are joined up in wonderful, joyful patterns to create a colourful scarf that keep us warm and happier. There is beauty in complexity and we should not forget that.

I don’t have any answers. But I try to pass on skills that will let you knit a handknitted scarf that you will be wearing in the years ahead.

Stay warm.

8 Thoughts on “About Handknitted Scarves

  1. Knit Potion on November 15, 2016 at 4:17 pm said:

    Yes! A zillion times – YES!!

  2. Ah, yes – thank you for these words. I have been preparing to teach a very complex weaving class and one of my students asked that I request no political discussion during class time, which was a good idea and a welcome relief after the shock and grief of the last week here in the US. It made for an oasis of creativity – just what we all seek much of the time.

    So, can we extend this idea to imagine that a person we see wearing a handknit scarf or shawl is either a maker who possesses patience and perseverance or someone who is loved by such a person? I like that idea. Yes, I am excluding the consumer…

    • Elizabeth on November 17, 2016 at 12:19 am said:

      Melissa Weaver Dunning: What do you mean …” after the shock and grief of the last week.” The shock and grief of what ? Trump getting elected? I voted for Trump. It is, actually a great RELIEF that he WAS elected. Your student asked you to not discuss politics in class but you discuss it here?

      • Hi, Elizabeth. While I understand the temptation, I’d prefer it if people did not pick a fight in the comments section. If you have an issue with a comment, please let me know and I will have a look at it.

        We are all knitters and makers here. Some may knit with other yarns or purl in different ways, but we are fundamentally all the same.


  3. Yes, we get a lot of meditative power from knitting. What a gift we give to ourselves!

  4. I have had a hard time focusing on any knitting, try though I might. Knitting lives in a different part of my brain than I have had access to lately. I have also had my two boisterous grandsons here whilst their parents are away on a Pacific Ocean getaway. I hope I can tap into that p lace of knitting and making and peace again soon. I know when I am there that I am in the right place.
    The place I am in want to put a tattoo on my forehead that says something angry and not helpful at all. So I think I will just put a chill on that.

  5. So well said Karie. Couldn’t have described any better the feeling of the calm that comes over me when I pick up my current WIP after a particularly long hard day!

  6. we need the self care of crafting so we can go out into the world and change it… http://thebaffler.com/blog/laurie-penny-self-care

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