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  • Writer's pictureAmber Rose Ostaszewski

Comfort Knitting

It’s already May. How did that happen? My garden is starting to bloom and I’ve even harvested a few meals worth of leafy greens and strawberries. Amidst all the to-do’s however, I’ll admit that I’ve been feeling rather overwhelmed. It’s no surprise the intensity has heightened since the Full Scorpio Moon, Pluto going retrograde and the incumbent Gemini eclipse season that is upon us. I am mentally, emotionally, and spiritually trying to prepare myself for it all--funny that spirit keeps giving me daily pulls reminding me to go with the flow--Queen of Cups, Temperance, the Star, The Well (an extra card in the Ethereal Visions deck by Matt Hughes that I use for my morning readings)--underscored by the urge to connect with plant spirits through the creation of flower essences.

I’ve also been feeling the need for comfort knitting. The type of knitting done not really for skill or end-product in mind, but for the tactile sensation of doing, being. Garter stitch is of particular comfort to me, the repetitive needle movements over and over, and the softness of the yarn between my fingers is something that soothes my soul. I’ve come to find that this is the driving force for many blanket-knitters. For me; however, it’s shawls. I just find that knitting shawls is so comforting. Like a blanket, one can wrap up in a shawl for warmth, but they have the added benefit of being both portable, fashionable, and spiritual. Prayer shawls have been made for centuries, and are found all over the world in different cultures and faiths. I think of the Tallith in Judaism, or the Khata in Buddhism as just two top-of-mind examples. I myself have written about this in my Saffron Devotional Shawl: Fibercraft in Honor of Hekate booklet.

The shawl pattern that I have gone to the most when I’m in need for some comfort knitting is the Odyssey Shawl by Joji Locatelli. It’s a simple enough pattern that I can knit and let my mind drift, but not too simple that the finished shawl is uninteresting. So, far I’ve knitted this shawl three times: once for my mom for Mother’s Day out of purple cotton, another in a pink and purple blended wool I handspun and dyed with hibiscus for my sister-in-law for her birthday, and one for myself of cotton in shades that reminded me of my trip to Zion National Park. This week, I started my fourth one, in purples and greens that are reminiscent of the wild violets that I am so fond of, especially this time of year. I plan to give it to my aunt for the holidays, after all, it’s never too early to start thinking about holiday gifts when you make them all from hand each year!

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