There is a word in Hindi, “satsang”–Association with the good. Though it is used to refer to spiritual gatherings and discourses, I use the word to describe a gathering which does me good, or which brings out the good in me…in any way possible.
Knitting, for me, is the method for bringing rhythm and flow into my mind. As I knit, the mind settles down to some introspection and discussion on the ways of the world, the hands and shoulders relax into their positions and I can read the newspapers or watch a movie while the fingers and knitting needles click away. Its a solitary activity on most days, since there are such few knitters now.
I remember my mother and aunts settling into a comfortable, companionable circle in the sun, knitting and talking and sharing their projects. They would learn tricks and techniques from each other, have their own KAL ( knit along) projects and share knitting books and patterns.
KALs and sharing techniques have been replaced with Ravelry and Youtube. A knitter can learn in the comfort of her space, and be taught endlessly by a patient youtube video tutorial. The teacher never gets tired or impatient. Similarly, one can spend hours and hours searching and looking at patterns and projects on Ravelry. There are millions of pictures to admire-even if you cannot hold those projects and feel the softness or the fabric texture.
This Saturday, we started on establishing a knitting circle in our little hamlet. Seven knitters, or varying expertise and passion, met up for a knit and chat session on the sunlit lawns of the Ranikhet Club. Though a couple of knitters had no project on their needles, we ended up teaching and learning from each other. Different ways to cast on, things which every knitter should have, shall we swatch or not, and where do we get some good yarn from. It was an afternoon of sharing and knitting, and there was no other topic which could take centerstage. We plan to do this regularly and I have put the date of the next meeting on top of the calendar.
What a joy it was, to have knitting talk flow all around me. Yardage, colour combinations and so much more. I did not feel like a solitary soul in space, knitting my way through vast acres of time and light. There are others who share my delight in the “perfectly cast on edge”, the matching socks from one hank of self striping yarn, the neat finish which can be achieved by doing some smart weaving of ends. I just needed to reach out and call out to knitters and there would be a circle around me.
And then, it struck me..there are zillions of knitters out there in the world. I can connect with them by just going online and giving a shout into cyberspace.
There are knitting groups galore in Ravelry.com, the lounge in Masondixon knitting and Knitters review.
I can learn techniques and methods at verypink.com , Knittersreview and of course, Google and Youtube.
The first step has been taken today…sharing the progress of my current knitting project on Ravelry by opening a project page. Its a new way of life, but then, isnt life all about learning and moving on?!