Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Mindfulness in Knitting:Meditations on Craft and Calm

The Mindfulness in Knitting is an interesting look at the intersection of knitting and its effects on our mental and physical being. Released 14th April 2020 by Quarto on their Leaping Hare imprint, it's 144 pages and available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats. This is one of a series of books examining mindful habits, with titles including birdwatching, traveling, compassion, music, reading, silence, singing, and many others.

This is a surprisingly intimate conversation between the author and the reader. There are musings and stories about knitting and how it can be used as a method of self discovery and actualization. There are anecdotes about learning to knit and how knitting can be a solace and sometimes even a barrier between the knitter and their peers.

The chapters provide observational and practical guidance for self discovery through knitting. Each topic (structured learning, textiles and other basic needs, creativity and the concept of sacred space, activism and creativity, the complex and nuanced consequences of giving our creativity) is accompanied by varied and interesting discussions of the author's experiences as well as sidebars with interactive questions for the reader to explore alone.

This would make a brilliant read for a fibrearts friendly journaler. There are quite a surprising number of deep concepts and takeaways. I admit I came for the knitting discussion and found myself touched and affected by the philosophy. Quite a lot of the material was relevant and fascinating for me. As a lifelong knitter, I have given knitted gifts to others and been bewildered when they were 'hit or miss' without me being able to predict with any degree of accuracy whether the recipient would love or hate the item. This book gave me some good insights as to why (and how to potentially navigate future gifts to increase the odds in my favor).

All in all a surprisingly dense but useful read. This is one for contemplative reading interspersed with knitting and tea and chocolate. (Or wine, wine's good). It would also make a great buddy read or bookclub selection for fibrearts friendly groups. It's full of good discussion starters.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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