Knitting and Meditation
Hello and welcome back to the blog! I wonder, how many of you have tried meditation? I have tried it a few times (I can particularly remember doing a few sessions at school) but there's something about it that doesn't really work for me. Often, the breathing exercises can feel a little forced and I really hate sitting still. However, life can be stressful and having an outlet or taking time out of your day to relax can really help. Recently, I have discovered the world of knitting meditation, where people knit and do meditation exercises at the same time. Today, I thought I would look at some of the things you can do to make your knitting even more soothing and meditative.
Picking your Meditation Project
First of all, you need to find a project that you enjoy, ideally one that takes little thought and is simple or familiar. For me, that's something like a chunky blanket, scarf or even a jumper if I have done one like it before, whereas Sharon prefers to knit socks while meditating. Also, the colour and texture are important too - personally, I like to work with pastel colours (I find colour-changing pastel yarns particularly soothing) and I like slightly fluffy yarn, such as chenille, but nothing too fluffy as that can be tricky to work with, which is not ideal for meditating!
Your surroundings play a key role in all types of meditation. A great way to ensure that your space is perfect for meditating in is by focusing in on the five senses and how you would like those to be whilst you meditate. Here is what I like to have for each of the senses when I am relaxing, as some alternative options:
Sight: In the videos that I have seen of knitting meditation, people will often knit in very tidy areas, but for me, that is not too important. Also many people like to surround themselves with their favourite things, such as pebbles or stationary, but again this is not too important for me either; so long as I have everything that I need to knit, I am good to go. What does matter to me is the lighting. My room is pretty dark, as I have a blackout curtain and very few lights. However, for the sake of being able to see my project, I may open the curtain and window if knitting during the day or turn on my small lamp and colour changing bulb and set it to either a shade of green, blue or purple when knitting at night.
Smell: Some people love candles, though as my house is made of wood and I am a very clumsy person, I could not trust myself with that. Instead, I like to use perfumes or pillow sprays, particularly if they have lavender in. Also, it's pretty important for me that the wool doesn't smell too strong, though I know that many knitters love the smell of pure wool.
Sound: On my phone, I have a playlist full of calming music. I love to plug in my headphones and listen to that as even at lower volumes, it manages to block out the rest of my surroundings pretty well. Some people prefer background noise and ASMR, which is when people record the sounds of tasks, such as eating, cutting hair, doing makeup and many other things. Personally, I'm not a big fan of this and I particularly dislike the eating sounds but some ASMR videos can be very soothing. On the other hand, knitting in silence can be really relaxing and the clicking of the needles could be its own form of ASMR
Taste: This one is less important, though it can be nice to have a snack whilst knitting. Personally, I think chocolates, cake or shortbread are the best knitting snacks.
Touch: This is more to do with the garment itself, though touch can also link to other things such as where you are sitting. Make sure you are really comfortable, ideally with a supported back and perhaps some soft cushions too.
The Type of Meditation
What type will you do? Will it be centred around breathing, visualisation or something else? Will you incorporate your knitting or will you just use your knitting to allow you to keep still? Here are some classic types of meditation that you can either do with your knitting or just whilst you knit.
That's all from me this week. Relaxing can sometimes feel like a chore but taking just ten minutes out of your day to do something for you can be really beneficial. Next week, I will be sharing some final knitting tips but until then, happy crafting.
My name is Sharon the Sheep, the owner of Avicraft Wool Shop in Bromley Kent..