Being able to knit certainly isn't a requirement of Waldorf-inspired education, it does seem like that though, with all those crafty Mama bloggers who share their beautiful knitted work and all the posts and links on social media about the benefits of knitting - mostly come from the Waldorf promoting Mamas like me.
I did not know how to knit.
I wanted to learn. Ms. Eva, my handwork friend, comes every Monday and spends time teaching my family all sorts of cool fiber art skills. Knitting is one of them. My girls ages 6 and 8 picked up knitting much faster than me and their scarves look better than mine. For me learning to knit was a lesson in humility and perseverance. My first scarf kind of looks like the story of my life. Messed up in the beginning, lots of odd stitches , some holes, and finally some neat, even rows, and once in a while a hole and an extra stitch, then neat rows again. Of course the girls had struggles in their scarves, but the struggles are short-lived because when they ask for help it is offered, they don't have to do it alone. I was comforted that Ms. Eva was there to fix the mistakes.
Knitting while my children played in the same room created a magical harmony between us. I was with them, present, aware, not lost in a screen. I could answer a question, or help zip the zipper on back of their dress up clothes without feeling disturbed or frustrated that I was taken out of a conversation that I was having online. They felt this connection, the hum of our energies working side by side. Play lasted longer and was more peaceful than if I had been sitting in the same spot with a screen on my lap. It is hard for me to sit down, I am always happily busy doing something, and I do enjoy connecting with friends on FB, but knitting has allowed me to stop my busyness, exhale, regain myself and ultimately create a space for us to be in each other's company without major distraction. I say "just one more row" a lot.
I was knitting a space.
I was knitting a space.
For me knitting isn't about the final product, it is all about the process. Not at first though. At first, I had visions of knitting a cool scarf, then maybe a warm waldorfy-looking hat. I had beautiful expectations of myself. But, instead of experiencing making something beautiful, I instead felt internal struggles. Knitting did not come easy to me. I am a perfectionist and I am also very visual. My scarf was raggedy looking. The beauty that I experienced was the time spent knitting, not the scarf itself. I never give up. I kept at it, adding rows and stitches then subtracting them back again. I must have started my scarf over at least 25 times!!! But it didn't matter I was knitting the whole time, creating that space that we all felt good in. The scarf was just the afterthought.
|I made my second scarf for Vivian, |
and she thinks it is beautiful blue and very soft.
The knitting needles became my magic wands and are very useful when I need to add a little magic and peace-fullness to our day.
The girls though, they pick up their needles because they are making beauty, with their hands. They are so proud of their handwork. They are in complete concentration. They are determined and never feel like it is not pretty enough. I feel a sense of awe about them when I watch them knit.
So if you ever had the desire to knit, find a friend to teach you. But if the desire is not there, and you only feel pressure to knit, let it go. Find another way to create that space.