NON-FICTION//The Mindfulness in Knitting- Rachael Matthews

d7c0c1402cf703b139a7a11091e8f600I credit knitting with helping me deal with the stresses of everyday life (it’s a knitter’s joke that we knit so we don’t kill people) and I certainly believe that it has helped me through difficult times with my mental health. It’s a rare day where I don’t knit at least a few rows of whatever I’m working on for at least a few minutes. I’ve even started taking a small project- socks, what else?!- to work so that I don’t wander aimlessly about on my lunch break, spending money that I could do without spending.

My grandma bought me this book with this in mind. It’s a beautiful book to look at and I was excited to read what it had to say.

It’s an odd little book, to say the least. There’s a clear link between the way we talk about yoga and the language in this book and it’s slightly odd. Although I agreed with the core message, that knitting is calming and therapeutic, I felt that the message of the book was a bit… muddled. Like tangled yarn, in fact. There were attempts to link knitting to meditative practices of various religions, which I think were not always successful.

It’s an interesting book, but one that seems to lack a clear message- there are exercises which aim to make the reader feel more connected to their work, but didn’t really appeal. I also feel like the links between craft and mental wellbeing could be explored in more detail. This is a book in which it felt the author couldn’t really choose whether she wanted a memoir, a manifesto or a self-help book, which is a bit of a shame.

However, I have taken away the message of being more ‘present’ in my knitting, which I intend to take into the new year with enthusiasm.

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