Rusted browns and muted purples blend with a subtly saturated red for a colourway that is compelling, almost … mystical. It makes me think of those royal reddish-purple pillows that lined the hall of a Buddhist hermitage I had the great fortune of visiting, matching the tones of the monks’ long robes that they tucked around their knees when seated in meditation. It’s like … the color of memories. I know, I know, that’s a pretty weird way to describe a colour!
In Ayurveda, there’s a term known as “sadhana.” Sadhana is, essentially, the practice of meditation in motion and is related to the work of the lotus. Rooted deeply in the muck of mud, the lotus blossom pushes to the surface of water, ever so slowly and gradually, yet continually, to unfold its petals. Sadhana is like that – a slow, intimate, steady movement that brings a sense of connection to nature, the Divine, the Universe. The reason, the ancient Vedic monks say, is to awaken those ancestral memories, locked in our DNA, so that we can achieve a sense of oneness, as well as to “remember” the path to self-healing, renewal, and meaning. When you add in the importance of hands, according to Vedic thought, in that they are conduits of the five elements, with a sacred vitality that connects us to all things, we enter the territory of some pretty deep stuff (my fave resource for Ayruveda study is from Maya Tiwari).
I think back on the history of knitting, how so many women (and men!) going back generations moved their hands, rhythmically, with the needles, slipping one stitch at a time with attention, focus, and love. Those women that I am connected to, whether by blood or by heart, seem to almost whisper in my ear about the power of our craft – it’s ability to bring joy, peace, comfort, calm, and delight to everyone we knit for.
I don’t know if any of this awakened memories stuff is real, but the notion of it brings me such a great comfort, while simultaneously compelling me to continue. And so, knitting becomes a sadhana of my hands, allowing me to still my thoughts, bringing me closer to self and taking me further from ego. Perhaps, in the end, that’s the real purpose …
Anyways, this colourway, potent enough to lull you into imagining the dappled sunlight glinting off of the tiny flecks of strawberry seeds, reminds me of those ancient ideas. Of those same knitting women walking through fields of dahlias and zinnias, working with their hands, reading to their children, crafting with their hearts as much as their own hands … it’s a colour of … memories.
In that spirit, this month’s stitch is about meditation. Quiet, simple, repetitive stitches that invoke contentment and relaxation. I decided to use CashLuxe Fine with US 2 needles for a soft, delicate look; a perfect balance to the richness of the red tones.
Meditative Texture (mult of 4 sts + 2)
Row 1 (RS): K1, p1, *k2, p2; rep from * to last 4 sts, k2, p1, k1.
Row 2 (WS): K1, *k2, p2; rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 3: K2, *p2, k2; rep from * to end.
Row 4: K1, *p2, k2; rep from * to last st, k1.
Repeat Rows 1 – 4 for pattern.
What does knitting truly mean to you? How does colour impact that experience?