Monday, September 25, 2006

Beginning Anew

As I sat in Rosh Hashanah services this weekend, I thought about how knitting through them would have made me feel a lot calmer, more focussed, less critical, more spiritual. Unfortunately, many observant Jews feel that knitting violates Shabbat and holiday restrictions against work. Although I do not abide by these, these teachings are integral enough to Judaism that I feel it would be a slap in the face to many in my community for me to knit during services. But my hands felt really empty. For hours and hours.

Instead, at David's suggestion, I tried to envision God as a knitter. (Theoretically I love this idea. Practically, it got me not a whit closer to envisioning God. Luckily, Judaism has room for nonbelief.)

Rosh Hashanah is a time to think back on what has come before and use that knowledge to decide the future direction of our lives, a direction that brings us peace and wholeness.

As the holiday ended this evening, I thought, "What better way to bring a new beginning and a time of peace than by starting a new project?" (It also helped me heal from the Time of No Knitting.)

I bring you the start of Adamas, designed by the same brilliant person who brought us Icarus:

After the upper chart:

After the first repeat of the body chart:

After the second:

And it just keeps marching on, orderly and dependable, after the third:

I was not the only person who started a new project. David, facing a week-long meeting, decided to cast on for his own Irish Hiking Scarf! (I am so pleased to have a partner who understands my reasoning for having several projects going at once.)


Mouse said...

the shawl looks gorgeous! how wonderful to have a mate who knits- mine just absolutely doesn't get why I waste my time fiddling about with string and sticks.

Stuntmother said...

I like the idea of trying to envision God as a knitter and I am going to try it.

I also love that new shawl and agree that a new year needs a new project.

xmasberry said...

i like the idea of a religion having room for non-belief. Goes against the religion i grew up with in so many ways i can't tell you.

The irish hiking scarf is great. I'm sure David will love making it. And your new shawl? Wow!

hillary said...

I agree with you totally on the calming effect that knitting has on me and how much that could help in holiday services. I'll have to remember the idea of thinking of G-d (sorry this habit is too inbread to fight) as a knitter during Yom Kippur next week.

The funniest thing is that my whole family asked whether the knitting was coming to services.

Leslie Shelor said...

I've often thought of Creation as a wonderful tapestry woven by a talented hand!

NeedleTart said...

Ooohh! We could call outselved "Constructionists"! I would love to go to schul where there is a knitting section. At the recption after Havdalah last week, someone said,"Where are you sitting? Oh, never mind, I see the knitting." How's that for a reputation?

Sheepish Annie said...

What a lovely post! God as a knitter is a comforting thought.

The shawl is stunning!

Sara Skates said...

Excellent shawl, and excellent on the spousal knitting front! Terry thinks it's a big ole' waste of time and money to spend so much time "making knots". Though she is coveting a slow-going aran sweater that's in progress....

EGJ said...

It isn't a bad image - personally I usually think of creation as a spiritual weaving (this probably comes from growing up with the stories of the Norns, that inspired the character Flaxa Mildweather in The Glassblower's Children by Maria Gripe, who sees future patterns in her weave - but I better end this digression...).

Beautiful shawl-in-progress!

Kirsten said...

Your Adamas looks great. What yarn are you using? My Adamas pattern is waiting in the wings to be my next lace project after I finish my Swallowtail.
I love the picture of David knitting. You are so lucky to have a partner who understands. . .

CygKnit said...

I can't tell you how relieved I was to read that I am not the only one who wishes there could be knitting at services. I mean, I knew I coun't be, but reading it is such a relief. I will SO be thinking of you (and of G-d as knitter) at Yom Kippur services.

And my husband will appreciate seeing another man knit :)

Lolly said...

Love that idea of envisioning G-d as a knitter :) Good thought, H! :)

Wow, what a great partner. My Kris knows how to, but just doesn't care to! I wish he did!


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