It’s Not About Then, It’s About the Here and Now

The other day, I was talking to an acquaintance and, when I mentioned knitting, he said, “It’s nice to see that people still do these old-fashioned things.”  And I know he meant well so I smiled and nodded but — oh! — I was cringing inside.  It isn’t the first time someone’s assumed that I knit to somehow embrace old-fashionedness or history or something equally off the mark, but it never ceases to surprise me that there are people out there for whom knitting and crocheting are so unusual that the only explanation can be something to do with the past.  Whaaaat?!?

Why I knit

But it got me thinking about why I knit  (…and why I dye, for that matter).   I know some knitters and crocheters do it for the finished object but that, if I’m honest, that has never been me.  And I know others who do it for the creative outlet: they modify patterns to put their own mark on them, or just skip that and create designs all their own.  That’s a little closer to my reasons — I’m always coming up with design ideas, but I’m just not skilled enough to turn them into patterns.

But the real reason I knit has nothing to do with being old-fashioned …and everything to do with being in the here and the now.  When I pick up my  needles and begin that rhythm of moving stitches from left to right, I feel everything start to slow down.  My breathing slows, my thinking slows…  There is something about knitting that seems to just take over the part of my brain that is always fretting, nagging, analysing and instead occupies it with the simple acts of knit and purl.

Why I knit

And with that most pesky part of my mind thus quietened, I find I can think clearly.  I can focus.  Be it on the conversation when I’m with friends or the sound of the breeze when I’m alone, knitting changes the experience.  It makes it better — and that’s why I knit.


But why do I dye?  Because I truly believe the world would be a better place if everyone were knitting or crocheting.  I mean, c’mon, you know it, don’t you?  And nothing encourages that more than having beautiful, natural yarn in gorgeous, vibrant colours.  So, dyeing is sort of my way of bringing about world peace   …or at least, bringing a little peace into a few people’s lives.  When I dye my yarns, I’m thinking of the person it will go to, and the quiet joy they will experience as the yarn moves through their fingers and the colours change before their eyes.

Why I dye

Oh, and it’s because I really love colour — really really love colour.  There’s always that too.

The Pau Hana KAL starts in less than a week!  And our KALers are swatching their yarns, pinning their ombre and gradient inspirations, and getting ready for cast on on Oct 17!

Most of the last pre-order kits are going in the post today, so there’s time for swatching and colour-play before the start date.  But if you haven’t joined us yet, you can order a Pau Hana kit for custom dyeing, and we will get it into the dyepots for you as quickly as possible so you can join in the fun!  Click here for all the details!

Pau Hana KAL


5 thoughts on “It’s Not About Then, It’s About the Here and Now

  1. I loved your meditation on this! It was very thoughtfully written. My bestie Brittany and I actually had a conversation about this on our podcast Just One More Row on episode 68, when we reviewed “Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing The New Domesticity” by Emily Matchar. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. I don’t agree with everything she postulates, but it was obviously well-researched and thoughtfully written.

    I have to know… what are you knitting in the top two pictures?? I love the stitch pattern!

    1. Dana, thanks for your reply. I will definitely have to check out that episode of Just One More Row, and the book!

      The pattern is the Dublin Tee by Melissa Jean Designs, being knit in SpaceCadet Lyra yarn in the colourway Honey. Isn’t it lovely?

  2. YAY Steph!! I Loved your reflection on knitting NOT as an old-fashioned craft but as a present day meditation (and MORE!!!). I had a similar exchange with Laura Nelkin about the experience of knitting that you describe. It does centre me and bring me back to myself after a hectic day. And it is a lovely feeling to think about the person i might be knitting the piece for – holding that intent provides a focusing and calming. There are so many reasons that I knit!! (not to mention the beauty of the textures and colours of the yarn, the intrigue of a new pattern, and of course the lovely finished product!!)Thanks for giving it voice! (and colour and texture…!)

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