Maybe it's the dark winter nights, maybe it's the aftermath of the holidays but it's likely a combination of both... January is always a creative time for me. On most nights I can be found hibernating in my studio. There is always a stash of unfinished projects, a few lit candles, sometimes a cat or two and the quiet hum of the heat fan. After the hustle of the Christmas rush, I want nothing more than to be alone and quiet with my stitching.
After learning to knit two years ago from my dear friend Laura, I have found it to be a huge source of relaxation. I love the tiny clicking of my needles as I make each stitch and the comforting feeling of the yarn in my fingers.
More recently, I participated in a class with my friend Margaret where she taught the art of mending, Sashiko. I have always enjoyed this process and even wrote an earlier blog post about the meditative act of mending (see blog post here) However in this class, I got to see how the other students also had a similar response. During the class, the room went from chatty to quiet as people worked on their sashiko stitches. The rhythm of the running stitch has a way of slowing down your breath and relaxing tense muscles.
The more I allow myself the time that I need to engage in the meditative craft of stitching, the more I see its emotional benefits to a healthy well-being. I feel strongly that everyone can benefit by spending some time in a meditative craft whether it be doodling, coloring in a coloring book, painting, or a needle craft. You don't need to be good at it- you just need to do it. Over time, not only will you find your skills getting better but you will be surprised to find how much more fulfilled your life will become.