Knit One, Purl Two: The Art of Taking Time
How knitting is an act of peace and creates an inner tranquility
I joined a conversation that sometimes falls into silence as someone casts off, or retrieves a dropped stitch, or counts rows. The woman next to me, a teetotaler who wore earrings that looked like red peppers, had become fascinated by websites about homemade liqueurs. I don’t really like strong alcohol but I love Limoncello, an Italian liqueur. I told her my recipe which is basically vodka poured into a glass jar, with an equal part of sugar, juice of a couple of lemons, zest of those lemons, and then I pop a whole lemon in with slits cut into it and leave it for about three weeks. It thickens and becomes syrupy; it’s good over creamy vanilla ice cream. Other women discussed cruise and shipping lines, while an elegant woman discussed shares.
As I sat in the sun today, one inch complete of the sixteen I need to finish for the back of the cardigan, I thought of how knitting is a crafts more should try. It is a meditation, and a stress reliever, science tells us that it lowers cholesterol, and improves brain function. I knit in lectures because it improves my concentration. Next time you see a knitter, contemplate on how peaceful she or he looks, and how they seem to create an island of tranquility around them. We’ve forgotten how simple it is to create peace within.
Charlene Smith is an award-winning journalist and an authorized biographer of Nelson Mandela. She lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts.