Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Slice of Life: Finding parallels between knitting and writing

Every Tuesday, the writing community of Two Writing Teachers hosts Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants. 

As we wend our way to the inauguration of 2017 (purposely not put in capital letters), I know many people are struggling to make sense of how we have the situation we currently have. Our blog is not a place for political bantering, and I have worked hard to maintain the educational focus. However, on the night when a billionaire who has never---I digress...

For the last few days I have been knitting pink hats. Some of my friends are heading to Washington this weekend, and one of them sent me a link to the Pussyhat Project.  Since I can't go to Washington, I have busied myself making pink hats as quickly as I can--they need four! Until the hats leave the house, there are a lot of people who are willing to try them on for me. Here are two of my daughters proudly donning pussyhats!

What has occurred to me as I knit is how many similarities exist between the processes of knitting and writing. I haven't knit in a long time--years, actually. My first hat was a little rough. My fingers hurt, and the rows weren't as straight as I wanted them to be. By the second hat, I was back in the flow and able to knit without looking, hardly missing a stitch and having to go back and redo it. Writing is also easier the more I do it. When I am in a writing state of mind, my words flow, and I can get words down on paper or on the computer quickly, saying what I mean to without a whole lot of revision. 

When you knit, every stitch matters, just as when you write, every word matters. This concept is more apparent in a knitting project; anyone who has ever knit anything knows that if you drop a stitch and ignore it, your piece ends up with a growing hole. Every single stitch relies on others to maintain the wholeness of the piece. I love thinking about writing this way--every chapter, every scene, every word matters in a really good writing piece. 

In a couple of days, my hats will be on their way to keep some of my favorite marchers warm, and I don't know that I will make any more pussyhats. I will, however, return to knitting, as I found a lot of peace and satisfaction having something to do during car rides, football games, and movies I can't bear to miss. I'm searching for good that can come out of the election. There's not much I've found, but maybe I'll make a sweater I love. 

Happy writing,


  1. I love the hats, Melanie! Great post and I can so relate to all that you're not saying here. My daughter will be marching in Washington on Saturday and I plan to join the local march here in Raleigh.

    I think I need to dust off my knitting needles!

  2. I used to love knitting -- I think you have inspired me to get back at it!! I stopped because I have two boys and they began to refuse to wear anything I made them. Maybe it is time for me.... I love the analogy and it is so true!!! Maybe we need to knit at the next retreat!!! Thank you on many levels.

  3. Knitting, writing and politics! I LOVE the connections!

  4. I love how knitting reminds us that with 2 simple stitches, an increase, or decrease, infinite patterns are possible. So cool. An alphabet, a few words, and think of the possibilities!

  5. Things like knitting, writing and breathing will help me keep my center this week. Thanks for the reminder my friend. Love your cute girls modeling the hats you've made. You are on a roll!

  6. I just learned about this and I've yet to start my own hat for the New Orleans march. I like how you compare knitting to writing. In thinking about my prayer shawl ministry, the shawls, like my writing, are done in prayerful meditation and then given out to the world in hopes that it will mean something to someone.

  7. I love the connection you made with writing and knotting. While I've only dabbled in knitting I can certainly understand the parallel. I also appreciate the education on the pink hats. I have been avoiding the news of late for similar reasons.

  8. I love this piece, and like others here, also love your analogy of knitting to writing. I have my own knitting project almost done, yet sitting in a bag for the past year -- rather like my writing lately. This is a good reminder to get back to both. And I'll be in Washington on Saturday, with my daughter and niece, and the niece is knitting her own pussyhat. I'll be thinking about all of you at your marches around the country!

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