By: Krista Blakelock – Inspired Yoga Teacher | Birthing Expert | Kitchener Doula, Avid Traveler
I see him glance over at me for a second time. He’s trying hard to focus on the basketball game playing on the television behind the bar, but he’s looking over at me completely perplexed.
I figure I should help him out.
“You’re at a bar watching television, I don’t care for sports so i’m doing this instead.”
“But you could do that at home,” he retorts.
“You could watch basketball at home too.”
He hesitates; commercials come on and he looks back at me, “So? Why would you come here to knit?”
Shockingly, not all people who knit are crazy cat ladies with agoraphobia.
“I just finished work, I like wine and occasionally talking to people at a bar is pretty cool,” I tell him.
“Last week a group of eight ladies came into the bar that I work at. They all ordered a beer and then pulled out knitting! They stayed for like, five hours!” He tells me.
From a servers perspective I totally understand the frustration of having a large part of your section taken up by people who are not spending a lot of money. It limits the amount of tips that can be earned and the amount of tables he can serve throughout the night. However, not all women who knit have apartments that would comfortably host eight friends, their bags of wool and needles. So, I decide his evil eye towards my speckled blue wool is not because he believes knitting to be terrible, but because of the tips he missed out on a week ago.
Personally, I don’t like to knit in big groups. Maybe with one or two other people, but typically i’ll knit alone. It is a way of grounding myself, and at the same time challenging myself to maintain focus on my breath, relaxation in my shoulders and proper posture through my spine. Sounds strange but if my body is hunched up and tense, the stitches in my wool become tighter making the subsequent row difficult to knit. So, in a way knitting is like a yogic practise to me.
In French, the verb “to knit” is “tricoter.” In Sanskrit, triangle pose is called “Trikonasana.” For some reason my brain made this connection and while practicing a flow sequence involving triangle I decided that this pose felt like my knitting meditation.
A triangle is formed between the knitting needles and the stitches. Similarly the legs form a triangle with the ground creating a sturdy base from which to lift up the torso and create space for breath and length in the spine. When the upper arm lifts towards upwards the third arm of the triangle is created connecting my body from the ground to the sky. I always feel at peace when I am holding my core, aligning my shoulders and really rooting my feet down into my mat.
Growing a knitted piece takes patience, alignment and attention. Stitches may slip off the needle, I may misread a pattern, or lose a stitch and some days my fingers and brain just don’t want to communicate. On the mat, trikonasana requires the same virtues. Patience to support weight and resist pressure, attention to breath and to alignment.
Furthermore, in chemistry a triangle is used to represent “change.” Reflecting on trikonasana I believe that my breath is able to facilitate change throughout my body, mind and heart. The triangle between my knitting needles is constantly changing a raveled ball of yarn into a functional piece of something. Currently, I’m working on a headband for a lovely lady who wants to live in a hobbit house, with a garden rooftop and a distillery in her basement. Bringing us full circle, or more appropriately: Complete triangle, back to why I am knitting in a bar…
A glass of wine after work, a knitting project and a bit of time to reflect on my breath, body and heart feels like the perfect thing to do in a bar on a Monday night.