What is it about knitting?
The flick of yarn over needle and finger, the repetition – the duplication – of a stitch over and over, until the end. Almost meditative, almost like a song: knit and purl, knit knit purl, purl knit purl.
The charm lies in the act of creation it ensures. You begin with a ball of green yarn, and you end up with a pair of gloves (or a beach bag, a tweed owl, a soap case, a sweater).
Some say knitting originated in Europe, thousands of years ago. Items such as knitted gloves and cushion covers were uncovered, deep in royal tombs. Then, there was the treasury of Spain, where knitted accessories and garments were unraveled in scatters, bundles. Many stitches weren't used at the time – they hadn't been invented yet – and it's interesting to see what a long way we've come. Yet the fact that knitting has existed for over centuries makes you wonder if we have come far, at all.
So why don't more people knit (why don't more people do t'ai chi, for that matter)? Maybe because of stereotypes – the image of the grandmother, knitting a sweater in front of a television, remains recurrent. The truth is knitting is wonderfully reflective – it requires focus and patience and creates a sense of balance in your day. If you haven't as yet, try it sometime.