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What the heck is a Knit-Along?
A Knit-Along or KAL for short is any event where people get together and knit for a common purpose.
PBP KAL Social Knitwork Scarf
Here is how the PBP Knit-Along will work. The project I picked for the PBP summer Knit-Along is called the Social Knitwork Scarf. The pattern can be found from Leafcutter Designs. It is an easy pattern for those with beginner skills: cast on, knit, cast off. For those who would like to learn how to knit through this KAL I have references below to youtube videos to get you started.
Lea from Leafcutter Designs describes this scarf as a playful way to connect your knitting life with your social life. It is a way to involve your friends, family, and acquaintances met on PBP. Each person’s scarf will be unique. You will be asking folks to pick a color and tell you why. The rows of the scarf are knitted from the responses you receive. The pattern encourages you to use your social networks for responses.
The common purpose of this project is – you are to give it away. My completed scarf will be donated to a sale for Cat Welfare.
History of Knitting
No one knows when the first yarn was cast onto needles. The oldest evidence of knitting in its present form on two sticks is a “Coptic sock” from Egypt dating around 4-5th Centuries CE. The Oxford dictionary states “to knit” was introduced into the English language around the 1400. Compared to weaving, knitting is considered a new invention.
In the Goddess tradition, there are a lot of references to spinning and weaving but not to knitting. My first thought that knitting could have a place in the pagan tradition came from a novel I read in high school about WWII that was loosely based on the story of Osiris. To seal the fate of the prince, three women, reminding me a lot of the three Fates came to knit a spell for England to be saved. The three women gathered around a fireplace and knitted away. The prince died and England was saved.
Knitting as a Spiritual Practice
I use knitting as a spiritual practice. It becomes this when I create a purpose for my project. In the case of the PBP KAL its purpose is to meet people and help orphan cats in Central Ohio. This project, like most of my projects that I donate uses only one stitch. Unique to this project, I have no idea what the scarf will look like – it is all based on faith. I know that I will be casting on 32 stitches and there will be rows knitted in one of 4 colors and that my social network will choose the colors that I will knit, but I don’t know what it will look like in the end.
When I knit I am put into another space. As Thomas Merton suggests, it is another way for me to hear my true self talk or my belief Motherfather Spirit. It shuts up the monkey brain chatter with an activity that is slow and deliberate and focused on one stitch at a time.
Like other contemplative knitters, I sometimes like to use a mantra or chant. When I do this somehow the rhythm of the knitting matches the chant. Again, this helps me to slow down and put things into perspective.
Chants I like:
OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti (Hail, Peace, Peace, Peace)
Be still and know that I am God
My favorite is a portion of the Navajo’s Beauty Way
With Beauty before me may I walkWith Beauty behind me may I walk
With Beauty below me may I walk
With Beauty above me may I walk
With Beauty all around me may I walk…..
Join the PBP KAL and let me know - please feel free to post on my blog about how it is going. Show pictures.
Pick a color for me to knit. And, tell me why you picked that color.
Yarn I’m using: Naturally Caron.com Joy! Colors – Aquatica, Cerise, Kiwi, Naturally. I am also changing my needle to a size 5 to get the gauge.
Also note: Every independent knitting shop has very helpful people. I have brought in my free directions and they have helped me out. This is what knitters do.