Books on Meditation through Knitting
- Creative expression
- A way to cure writer's block
- A gift to express love
- A way for children to develop fine motor skills
- A way to connect generations, past and present
Bernadette Murphy is an essayist, fiction writer, book critic, and a knitter of seventeen years. She is regularly published in the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsday, and Book Magazine. Ms. Murphy, who teaches creative writing at the UCLA Extension Writers Program, lives in Los Angeles.
The new book was inspired by Lydon's advancement as a knitter. As her stitches grew finer, she found that her life came into focus and her emotional wounds began to heal. When faced with a series of wrenching events-a heartbreaking romance, the death of her father, a devastating diagnosis of breast cancer—Lydon found new reserves of strength in knitting. Through it all, the skeins of sumptuous yarn and colorful thread helped her make sense of the trials of the heart.
Bringing elements of spiritual and historical lore into play, Lydon explores the connections that handicrafts forge, both in knitting circles and across generations, through her own experience and her encounters in the knitting community. Woven into the story are vivid accounts of projects she has undertaken, from a luxurious and fantastically expensive scarf that comforted her friends in their own dark hours, to the texture of the cashmere sweater knitted at her father's deathbed. More than the gifts of scarves and sweaters to the ones she loves, it is the knowledge that she is passing her knitting knowledge to anew generation—like her daughter, Shuna—that buoys her spirits and gives her hope. As the author writes, "Let a thousand knitters bloom."
When Susan Gordon Lydon was coping with a broken arm, her craft took on new significance. While knitting was essential to strengthening her hands, it also provided her with a newfound sense of peace and creativity. Immersed in brilliant colors, textures, and images of beautiful sweaters, Lydon found healing and enlightenment in a way she had never imagined. Capturing this journey of discovery, The Knitting Sutra recounts her remarkable membership in a community of craftswomen around the world, from sweater makers in Scotland to Navajo weavers, and the adventures that her craft led her on.
As she masters new techniques and conquers old obstacles, Lydon's story conveys how the lessons she learned from knitting, such as stillness and interdependence, later sustained her through a cancer diagnosis and even the incapacitation of her hands. The Knitting Sutra is both a meditation on craft and an affirmation for anyone seeking heartfelt comfort.
This book is about seeing and listening. It's about becoming aware that through knitting you can hear and give attention to what's in your heart and soul-that knitting can be a place of rest and thought and a place for the Divine. It's about connection-to yourself, to the world, to others and to the Holy. -from the Preface
What can you learn about yourself through your knitting? What deeper symbolism lies behind the loops and patterns that you create? How can this simple activity help you make your way down a spiritual path? Delve into these questions and more in this imaginative book that will become your spiritual friend, your teacher and your sanctuary. Follow the knitting journeys of the authors and other knitters to discover how they have used their knitting to explore and strengthen their spiritual selves, and how you can do the same. In this joyful and engaging look at a time-honored craft you are invited to:
Find time and space that was previously hidden in plain sight
Try creative, thought-provoking original knitting patterns
Recognize and deepen spiritual connections through knitting
Meet other knitters on the journey to spiritual and self-discovery
Explore new ways to expand and savor your knitting community
Recognize your own power to pass along the knitting wisdom
Knitting as Meditation
A friend recently taught me to knit. So I took my needles on retreat with me last week to practice knitting mindfully. As I completed a row of stitches, a Persian woman sat down next to me and told me her story.
Her daughter is a yoga teacher who was preparing to embark on a yatra to India. She wanted to take a gift as an offering to the swami, so the mother knitted her daughter a shawl. When the daughter's group arrived at the ashram, they began to unpack their offerings. The swami immediately moved toward the shawl and declared, "This is for me."
What was so special about the shawl that it drew the swami's attention? As the mother was knitting, she mentally chanted "Om" with every stitch, infusing the garment with a vibration of the divine. Her story inspired me to incorporate chanting into my own knitting. The physical manifestation of my meditations, when completed, will go to loved ones for a bit of warmth and divine grace this winter.
Click on link to read the interview.