To knit with intent. what can, or does, that mean exactly?
First let us define Intention, or to be intent.
Intention means that one has a plan, an aim towards something. It can also reference the process of healing.
To be intent is to be determined to do something, be something, accomplish something.
Am I determined? Determined to knit? Yes.
It brings me joy to be a crafter.
It engenders a feeling of accomplishment each time I master a project or a new technique.
Finally knitting brings a sense of peace and healing into my life; providing space for the hurt and time for the healing process as each stitch is methodically placed and the mind enters into a trance like state.
To knit intentionally for me means to be aware. To challenge myself. To set goals and to set aside time to accomplish those goals.
But then it also means that I am with my knitting. I do not pick it up just to fill my hands when I am watching TV, although I will still do that, but there will be times when I pick up my knitting and sit with the quite clicking and swishing of the fiber and needles allowing my mind to drift, or maybe just….be still.
These last two weeks I’ve contemplated the above ideas, sitting and wondering if I am capable of knitting with intent.
This morning I wonder no more. As I sit here I am watching waves crash into the Oregon coastline. My husband gently snores in the bed across the room, playing a peaceful counter rhythm to the sound of the crashing waves. All is still. I pick up my needles and begin the age old practice of twining the fiber around and through itself, twisting and clicking the needles. Peace descends and for awhile nothing exists outside of the movement and sound that surrounds me. I am intent.
In a counter point I have taken time and space to contemplate what I wish my goals of knitting intention to be over this next year.
- Set aside time to heal by means of the knitting process.
- Accomplish new mastery through expansion of my knitting knowledge.
- Learn more about the different sheep and fiber breads.
- Learn and knit new techniques. In particular brioche knitting
- Understand the construction of shawl design, and design my shawl.
- Explore my relationship with fair isle in more depth.
- Knit for those I love, which includes myself.
- Knit for self care.
I have gone so far as to make a list of what I intend to knit this year for those I love. This is an ever revolving, expanding, and shifting list. I allow myself the space to grow and change with the needs of the soul of my knitting.
Today my knitting list/goals include the following:
- Knitting for my new in laws
- Fingerless mitts for my father in law
- socks for my step son
- a scarf for my mother in law
- Hats for my menfolk
- 5 hats for my brothers and brothers in law
- 2 pairs of socks for my husband
- one pair for my step son
- one pair for my mother for mothers day
- one pair for my older sister for her birthday
- one pair for my younger sister and her birthday.
- one pair for my grandmother for mothers day.
- Knit the sock pattern Curling tendril gifted to me at Christmas.
- Finish the 2 sweaters I have on the needles for myself.
- Cast on the the sweater pattern portage gifted to me for Christmas.
- Knit my niece her shawl using the yarn she requested.
- Knit the shawl pattern Nutmeg gifted to me at Christmas.
- Everyday scarf for mom.
- Baby sweater and hat for a good friend.
- Find your fade shawl for me. and
- knit a sweater for my dog – fair isle perhaps???
However knitting with intention is more then making a list of intended knits; it’s thinking about who I am knitting this for and why. What is my intention behind this process?
For my new in laws, I will admit the knitting is a bid of acceptance. But it is a a two way acceptance bid. I want to be accepted by them, and I want to accept them in myself. So I knit and think about them, my aspirations for our future relationship, and what they mean to me now versus what I intend for them to mean to me.
For my other loved ones that I have intentions to knit for this year, it is more that I intend to put my love and good wishes into each garment. Think of a prayer shawl. The knitter prays for the intended recipient as they knit mindfully on the shawl. I am taking that concept and expanding it. As I knit for my loved ones I will be praying for them, however I will also be thinking about who they are, the beauty that is them, their hopes and dreams, and our memories together. I will be knitting my love and good will into each garment.
So knitting intentionally is not necessarily about making a plan and sticking strictly to it. It’s about the ebb and flow of my emotions: What am I emotionally prepared to work on? What is my intent behind this object? Why knit it for this individual? etc.
This will mean that my intention list will ebb and flow, not because I love the intended recipients any less, but because my energy, emotions, and intentions will ebb and flow.
Knitting has always been a grand adventure for me, going where the whim takes me. My hope is that by creating this road map I will grow in my knitting both in knowledge and emotion. However every road trip is meant to take side trips. Perhaps that scenic route is calling your name. It’s not necessarily a straight shot from point A to point B but an exploration of the landscape that surrounds you all throughout the journey. It is, in the end, still an adventure.