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The Tao Of Knitting

As Winter is slowly giving way to Spring, it is easy to look around at all the new beginnings. Slowly, little plants are beginning to poke their heads out of the ground, and trees are blossoming into pretty shades of new pink, white, and lavender. Spring is a wonderful time of the year to think about knitting. What it means to be knitting. Why I knit, and why I love it so much.

What about knitting, is so fulfilling to me. I think anyone who knits and loves to knit, will tell you they love to knit for a variety of reasons. At their core, those reasons all hold the same essence. Passion.

Another word for it would be fulfillment. There is something beyond money, beyond fame, beyond ego, that has us knitting. That something I like to call "the tao of knitting." Like the Bible, the Tao Te Ching is a spiritual guide; one that has been around for centuries. It inspires, teaches, assists with the rigors of daily life, and provides examples of how best to find peace within ourselves, for each other, and for the world in which we live.

Whether we be learning from the Tao Te Ching or learning how to knit, purl, and yarn-over, the lessons are very much the same. A few examples would be: -- building self-esteem and self-acceptance. Knitting is a great way to formulate self-esteem. In today's harried, rushed world in which we all live, finding substance in the things we do is often a difficult endeavor. Too often we are left wondering if our talents are needed, and even if we have talents at all! By learning to knit, there is no doubt that when finished with our projects, that we always have something to show for our efforts; the trappings of our "yarn life" are always useful.

-- bringing greater joy and creativity to daily life. Why, when you knit, it is practically a given, that those simple rhythms, those quiet needle clicks, and back-and-forth cadences of creating row upon row of our patterns, help to create endorphins in our brains; those key receptors which produce a calming effect in our lives. This is documented behavior. But, we knitters could have told you that.

-- understand life as a series of changes and challenges. For life is transformation. It is always evolving into something else, something more, not less; yet, we have to see that for ourselves. Not a day goes by where we can say, joy is mixed with sadness, serenity is suffused with conflict, ease blends with difficulty. When we knit, oftentimes there are challenges to patterns, stitch work which may be initially foreign to anything which we've tried before, even words and phrases new to us, which make the going slow, indeed. Perserverance prevails, and when we stick to our resolve, we come away with knitted creations that are sublime; just this side of heaven, and truly our masterpieces.

So many of life's little lessons are learned along the way, when we knit. Patience, self-awareness, growing in harmony with ourselves and other knitters we meet along the way, welcoming challenges as good things, allowing even the mistakes to have a place in our lives. Follow your heart to all things knitted. It is the road which leads you to life.

Alice Seidel works as a freelance writer. She is the author of dozens of articles, a full-length book on knitting, and is the Author and Publisher of "Knit Stitch & Whimsy", a monthly knitting newsletter. For details, visit ==> http://www.theknitstitch.com

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