I recently grabbed a knitting book from the library called Sereknity (sidenote: Adelaide libraries are fantastic!) It includes patterns inspired by yoga positions and concepts of mindfulness. I probably wouldn’t buy it for myself because more than half of the patterns are actually crochet, but it really is a lovely book.
I decided to knit a very meditative pattern called infinite. It is a garter stitch möbius cowl, meaning that you knit it in the round, being sure to twist your stitches when you join. For years, I’ve hated garter stitch for being boring and not aesthetically pleasing, but I have recently started to appreciate it for its meditative qualities. There is a beauty to performing the same stitch over and over and over again.
I knit in the round a lot, and I’m always careful not to twist my stitches when joining, but every now and again, I get a few rows into the pattern and find that I’ve twisted them. At this point, there is nothing you can do to untwist; you either frog it and start over, or you knit a jumper that is half inside out. Hm…pattern ideas forming…just kidding.
Anyway, the twist in the infinite pattern is intentional, to make a finished object that doesn’t lay flat, that is non-orientable. As the author says, sometimes life feels this way, non-orientable, like you’re walking a long, winding path that somehow leads you right back where you started. While that can be frustrating, it can also be pleasantly surprising, even magical. Or at least a learning opportunity!
I started infinite the other night and made sure I had a twist in there. And then I knitted several rows and realised that I didn’t have a twist in there…I had two. This presents a quandary, a decision to be made.
Do I practice non-attachment towards the hours of work I’ve already put into it and undo the whole thing to start fresh?
Or do I accept mistakes and imperfections as a normal part of life (and knitting) and commit to my over-twisted cowl?
If I continue on, will I end up with a beautiful representation of the chaos of everyday life? Or will I end up with the equivalent of a jumper that’s half inside out? Will the extra twist be an intriguing design element, or an awkward design failure?
Is it weird that I’m willing to knit the whole thing just to find out??