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