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***Zen and the Art of Knitting

Exploring the Links Between Knitting, Spirituality, and Creativity

by Bernadette Murphy

Reviewed August 16, 2003.
Adams Media Corporation, Avon, Massachusetts, 2002.  212 pages.
$8.76 in paperback

Here’s a delightful little book about the joys of knitting.  Don’t let the “Zen” in the title put you off, as it’s simply a general book about knitting and spirituality.

I knew that knitting did me good, releasing stress and soothing me.  In this book, Bernadette Murphy analyzes this phenomenon and talks about why knitting is so good for knitters and brings us so much joy.

Knitting involves repetitive motion, which is something like Zen practice or using a Catholic rosary, and is a highly meditative act.  Knitting can make people relax, but it can also be used to express creativity and love and generosity, and results in a beautiful finished product.  People knitting together find it easy to open up and talk about life.

This is a lovely meditative book.  I read it slowly, mulling over a chapter at a time.  I already knew I loved knitting, but this book made me appreciate it all the more.  I have a tendency to knit only when I’m doing other things, but after reading this I want to spend a little more time each day simply knitting, to relax, to think, and to pray.

I already knew that knitting was therapeutic and productive.  Now I’ve realized that it can be spiritual as well.  This is a book that any knitter will love.  If you aren’t a knitter, it might convince you to find a friend to teach you and get started right away.  The book also includes some very simple stitch patterns and basic ideas of things to make with them.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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