Prayer, hope, warmth, and better reading!

It was 5:00 this morning when Charlotte, my Muse, dragged me out of bed. Charlotte is, just occasionally, a bit more persistent than feels optimal!

Charlotte thought it was the perfect time to work on the “final” edits for our Grandmother Archetype quiz-in-progress, prompted, no doubt, by the book on Julian of Norwich I was reading at bed time.

I needed a bit slower start.

Tea and prayer scarves, to be exact.

I had a very special scarf to finish, for a dear friend and Art-sister leaving tomorrow to move to Chicago.

I am, as you may have noticed, hooked on the prayer scarf thing.

Like prayer dots in paintings, it’s an embodied, more or less whole brain practice in which each stitch is a word or two of a repetitive, mantra-like prayer.

In addition to all the normally auspicious things about prayer or intention, it’s a soothing journey. A cross-lateral brain movement, to be exact, known to be stress reducing.

And, yes, there’s some stress that, at least in my view, could use some reducing!

Even more important, it’s easier on a sleepy, cranky sacro-iliac joint than painting big canvases!

So, here’s my “recipe” for prayer scarves.

I use Lion Brand Landscape yarn in a variety of self-striping colorways. It’s a #4 medium weight acrylic yarn. I love the feel of natural fibers but a lot of the scarves I make go to homeless people and something easy to dry is important!

Next, circular knitting needles. In my case, bamboo, US #10 or 6 mm with a short connecting cable.

(I started with the circular needles when I was teaching the girls to knit. They’re easier for little beginner hands to hold and less likely to get loose in the couch and stab someone. It’s just one more degree of freedom for the praying!)

Then, I cast on 24 stitches. Why 24? Well, it’s a good width for scarves and it’s divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 which gives lots of choices for the prayers. Think beads on a rosary.

And, because I can only keep track of so many things at once, I knit every stitch, every row. Cozy, pretty scarves which are hard to mess up. (Unknitting is way less fun than knitting!)

I get two scarves out of three skeins of the Landscape yarn, roughly 6 feet long each.

So, Hope, hope, hope, with every stitch. Or, Help me. Or Heal her. You get the drift. One of my favorites is Holy Mother – hear – our prayers.

And it gets even better, if you have some handy littles!

Waldorf schools use knitting with 1st graders for reading readiness and then again in about 5th grade as students move into more complicated math.

There are an enormous number of neural pathways – connections if you will – that need to come online before a child can learn to read. Knitting builds those connections! Ditto, math.

And, if you add in the notion of prayer or meditation, that’s more connections and a big batch of empowerment for littles with a concrete way to help immigrant families and those nearby with very limited resources.

It’s also a whole lot of positive, peaceful energy being set loose into the world.

You probably don’t have to guess a long time to get why I’ve chosen this story just now. In the face of so many, many things we can’t fix, this is something we can do.

That may just be the best gift we can give the littles we love so much!

ps… a large-eyed plastic needle is helpful for weaving in the ends!

pps… new fun stuff to see in the land of the Shop elves!

2 comments on “Prayer, hope, warmth, and better reading!”

Comments are closed.

Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach