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When Susan Gordon Lydon was coping with a broken arm, her craft took on new significance. While knitting was essential to strengthening her hands, it also provided her with a newfound sense of peace and creativity. Immersed in brilliant colors, textures, and images of beautiful sweaters, Lydon found healing and enlightenment in a way she had never imagined. ...
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When Susan Gordon Lydon was coping with a broken arm, her craft took on new significance. While knitting was essential to strengthening her hands, it also provided her with a newfound sense of peace and creativity. Immersed in brilliant colors, textures, and images of beautiful sweaters, Lydon found healing and enlightenment in a way she had never imagined. Capturing this journey of discovery, The Knitting Sutra recounts her remarkable membership in a community of craftswomen around the world, from sweater makers in Scotland to Navajo weavers, and the adventures that her craft led her on.
As she masters new techniques and conquers old obstacles, Lydon's story conveys how the lessons she learned from knitting, such as stillness and interdependence, later sustained her through a cancer diagnosis and even the incapacitation of her hands. The Knitting Sutra is both a meditation on craft and an affirmation for anyone seeking heartfelt comfort.
|Introduction: The View from the Factory||1|
|1||A Broken Wing||13|
|2||Knitting the Bone||19|
|3||Transfiguration of the Blues||27|
|4||A Life Made by Hand||41|
|5||Spider Woman's Daughters||53|
|9||God and Nature, Nature and Cloth||95|
|10||Dreaming of Dragons||111|
|11||A Secret Weapon||123|
|12||The Knitting Sutra||135|
|13||The Zen of Nonattachment||145|
|Epilogue: Taking Flight||155|
1. Do you feel a personal connection between craft and spirituality?
2. What connection does your craft have to your family, cultural heritage, or history? What traditions are passed down in your family? Do you have clothes, blankets, or doilies that were made by a family member, either someone close like your mother or father, or several generations back, or even someone close enough to be family? What connection do you feel with the objects they have made?
3. Discuss the idea of "practice," in its secular and spiritual meanings, as it relates to knitting.
4. Does your craft bring you into a community? Are there people you sit around a project with, like a knitting circle or quilting bee? Is there a group that has sprung up around a craft store? Do you like being part of an on-line knitting community?
5. If you lost the use of one of your arms, what would you miss most?
6. Do you have any passion or desire, outside life's basic necessities, so strong that you would literally sell your clothes to fund it?
7. Is there a connection between work and play that comes into your craft? Is it as satisfying to craft without making something useful? Do you think you would enjoy making your livelihood as a professional crafter?
8. Is there a connection between the physical aspect of your craft and its importance to you? Do you like to "get out of your head" by spending time with your knitting needles, or keep your fingers flexible, or enjoy the texture of the materials?
9. Do you make or contribute to the production of anything else of practical use in your life? Do you grow herbs, bake, work in manufacturing?
10. Which is moreimportant to you - the process of making something, or the finished product? How do you feel when something is finished?
11. What do you think someone could learn about you from observing your hobby?
12. How willing are you to accept mistakes in your projects?
13. Many religions use beads, knots, or other objects as complements to prayer. Do you ever feel that your handwork has a religious component, whether formal or not? Have you ever made a prayer shawl, or a yarmulke, or a christening gown?
14. Who is the intended user of your finished projects? Do you knit mostly for yourself or for others? Is it more enjoyable to give a knitted item to someone you've been thinking about while you make it, or to imagine using it yourself, or to give it to someone you may never meet?