Pausing and Knitting

Dear Reader,

Taking a pause is an interesting experience. As you probably know, I’m not teaching my weekly Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons this month. They’ll be back in February in some form or another—maybe the same as before, maybe different.

In the meantime, it seems I’ve done more knitting than anything else during my pause. I’m not sure what makes knitting so compelling for me these days. I love that I can usually carry it around with me. I love watching the fabric emerge from the yarn and needles. It’s satisfying to make something useful, that also looks good and feels good. Knitting also gives me great opportunities to learn. I can learn new patterns and techniques. I’ve learned about different kinds of wool. And I’ve learned how to see what I’m doing more clearly.

As knitting patterns get more complicated, I find I have to devise ways of figuring out where I am in a pattern. And, oh boy, when I make mistakes—which I surely do—I have to look at what I’ve done to see what I can do to make it right. That gives a whole new meaning to that parental admonishment, “Now, look at what you’ve done!”

I’m also using what I teach—and trying to remember to practice what I preach—as I use my hands for the same motions over and over and over again. I notice that when a stitch is tight or a bit tricky, I hold the yarn and needles tighter and tighter. Somewhere along the way, I heard my own words come back to me, “How could this be easier? Go more slowly. Start with the easy movement.” Yep, it works. My hands softened, I used less effort, and the knitting was slower. Until it wasn’t. A little farther along the way, I noticed that the knitting was getting a faster—all by itself, it suddenly seemed faster—and easier and clearer.

It’s nice to know that this Feldenkrais stuff really does work. And it’s also nice to know that there’s always more to learn, more ways to improve. Here’s hoping that this new year brings lots of fun things for us to learn, and fun ways to improve. Let’s go for the fun, not the “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger” stuff.

Please mark your calendars for Saturday, February 19. I’m offering a Feldenkrais workshop through the Jung Center of Houston. You can register to take the workshop online or in person. It’s a “Non-intensive Feldenkrais Intensive.”

And, I promise I’ll teach at least one online Feldenkrais class the first week of February.

In the meantime, to quote our friend Marilyn, “Have all the fun you can!”

Sock knitting in progress
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