Well yes - I have to say that I can see it that way, especially after my latest summer school experience.
It all began when Jane asked me if I would run a knitting workshop again at this year's summer school. And of course me being me I said yes and then had to hunt around for a theme that would fit in with the summer school theme -
"Sacred Living: Encountering the Holy in the Everyday"How would it be possible to capture this idea in a knitting workshop which would include both novice and experienced knitters. I then decided that maybe we would knit a rainbow, because that would be able to be done in squares and squares can be as easy or as complex as they need to be.
I found this quote:
“When we knit, we place our attention over and over again on the natural rhythm of creating fabric from yarn – insert needle, wrap yarn, pull through a new stitch, repeat. Following this simple repetitive action is the basis of contemplative practice. It continually reminds us to stay focused, to stay in the moment. When we knit with this attention, we have an almost indescribable feeling of satisfaction and contentment. This is a knitting meditation.”
From ~ Mindful Knitting: Inviting Contemplative Practice to the Craft by Tara Jon Manning
and then set about collecting yarn in a variety of rainbow colours.
I began with a reading from Linda Skolnik and Janice MacDaniels' book 'The Knitting Way'
"Listen to the music of knitting. The knitting melody flows, carrying each one of us along a river of connection. Find the kind of music it is for you. It doesn't really matter what kind of music. Just let it speak to you and open your soul to wonders."
And then we began knitting:
and knitting some more.
Until finally we had knit our rainbow!!
I still don't know if there is anything to do with zen when it comes to knitting - but I do know that I knit differently now. Once I used to knit quickly but as I said to a friend recently. . .
"Now I knit every stitch" and maybe, just maybe that is knitting mindfully and there is something 'Zen-like' about that.
(Oh and the rainbow - is now winging its way to Jane!!)