by Seth Schreiber
Got to thinking and kept doing so after a conversation with an old friend and a recent unexpected trip. I got to thinking about knitting and my yearning for yarn. Over the past year or so, I have found myself fantastically intrigued and entertained by the practice of knitting. Who would have known that stitches could be so helpful (maybe grandmothers worldwide already knew this)!
It’s amazing how such simple tools and basic supplies provide a way for me to become more clearly focused on a specific task, yet also provide an escape from the imposing elements of my day-to-day life. This simple diversion offers so much, yet generally costs very little and requires no batteries, no Wifi, no service contract or subscription, and when flying the friendly skies I never have to shut it down for takeoff and landing.
I am become increasingly aware of the benefits that the act of knitting provides me; this is outside of the useable item I am left with after completing a project. Knitting is a key component to my repertoire of self-regulation. Knitting is a fiber-focused form of mindfulness that helps me maintain balance when faced with the more chaotic elements of life, whether this is turbulence on a bouncy flight across the Rockies or an unstable ride through the ICU in a family medical crisis. When presented with life’s challenges now, a large space in my toolbox will always be taken up by a few knitting needles and some yarn.
Knitting isn’t just a tool that I have come to use to wade through the unpleasant sludge of life. It’s a conversation starter with strangers, a rapport builder with clients at work, a craft to work on with my niece, and an activity in which my fiancé and I enjoy a healthy competition in both our skills and our end products.
At this point in my knitting experience, I have made many items. Small and large, my objects are usually simple and functional. Yet I am the most proud not of my own projects, but the 4 rows of 4 stitches that my 6-year-old niece completed by herself after a simple pre-bedtime lesson with her uncle. That is something I am truly proud of.
Seth is my childhood friend and a skilled knitter–his rows are neat and even, and the tension in his work looks really great. But even beyond his raw skill, I sense that knitting brings him a lot of joy. So I asked him if he’d do a guest post on Play Mindful about his knitting. He agreed. Thanks Seth!