It’s been a busy week here at Chez Wiseheart, playing catch-up after laptop crashes and family events and the attendant chaos. I’m trying to get back into some semblance of routine, which these days involves convincing the kitties that they are not hobbits and thus, they do not get second breakfast, nor second lunch.
Zoe and Dusty have been quite grumpy with me all morning, as apparently (according to them) Nicholas forgot to feed them before he left for work, and BESIDES, even if he did actually feed them breakfast, they are CATS and are thus STARVING.
You can see how abused they are.
Cat dinner hour is 4 PM. It’s going to be a looooong few hours till then. Both Zoe and Dusty have been attempting to gnaw on the corner of the external monitor screen.
They are quite pleased with themselves, because in the course of knocking the Dread Squirt Bottle off the desk, the nozzle re-adjusted, and Mom ended up squirting herself in the, ah, bosom. (I could just SEE them laughing at that one.)
Getting Down to Business: Prayer Flag Project
The very first package of handspun for the Prayer Flag Project has arrived!
This is from AnnieBeeKnits, and not only is it handspun, is is hand-dyed. If you recall, AnnieBee is the maker of the mitered-square blanket that got me started on this prayer-flag path in the first place.
The yarns she sent are left over from actual squares in her blanket! She even sent me a postcard with mitered squares on it.
I’m starting to realize I have to be a bit more organized about this, so I’ve made a spreadsheet with the yarn info, names, cities, and so on. I’m also attaching tags to each skein or ball of yarn, so I know what I am knitting with.
I’ve swatched. And swatched. I realized at some point that I was swatching so much because I wanted things to be PERFECT…and then I realized that approaching a prayer flag with an idea of perfection in my head wasn’t really going to work out so well. So I decided I was done with swatching…and I picked up one of Annie’s yarns, and started knitting.
I’m knitting both hexagons and mitered squares, and once I have enough of them to put together, I’ll show you how I think that’s going to work out in terms of making actual prayer flags. I’m trying not to get too attached to any one idea just now, because I’m trying to let the yarns speak their own stories to me, and I’m trying to stay out of their way as much as possible.
The tricky business of Prayer in the Prayer Flags
Don’t worry. I won’t be discussing religion, per se, here on my blog. Respect for all beings is the way I roll. But let’s face it: I’m making prayer flags, and implicit in this is the idea of PrayingForPeace (or compassion, or Good, or Grace, or Mojo or Juju or whatever). By the very nature of what I’m attempting to do, prayer is a huge part of the project, and if I’m going to talk about the project in any sort of depth, I’d like to be able to talk about the inner journey as well as the outer journey along the way. I want to find a way to do that and keep the project inclusive, ecumenical (if you will), and open..because I’m very conscious that I do not walk the path to peace alone; y’all are alongside me, and I like it that way.
“I’m sending you my thoughts.” “My prayers are with you.” “Good vibes coming your way.” We have many ways of saying that we are consciously directing good energies in a particular direction. I don’t think that there is a wrong or right way to do this, I’m not that sort of praying person. I do, however, want to learn about the process of sending forth peaceful prayers into the universe, because I want to, I don’t know…do it better? Be a better pray-er? Learn to be more compassionate? All of the above; but none of the above really says what I want to say.
For this first batch of motifs, I sat at my work table in the front room, surrounded, of course, by a trio of interested cats, and knit. As I knitted, I prayed for the people of New Zealand who have been so devastated by the quake in their capital city of Christchurch. I don’t know why I started my prayers for peace there, it just seemed right. It’s a terrible tragedy, it’s happening Now to people just like us on the other side of the world, and somehow, it seemed important to me to direct my efforts at something tangible, rather than just towards a generic prayer for peace in the world.
I imagined the stitches I made helping to knit together the shattered earth, even just a tiny section of it. I imagined a knitted net, holding up shaky structures so that people trapped underneath could be rescued. I pictured shawls wrapped around frightened and disoriented elders; I thought of knitted toys to comfort small children who could not understand what was happening. I hoped for warm blankets to comfort and sustain rescue workers; I prayed for soft fuzzy things to bring peace to the sad, the depressed, the anxious, the frightened.
I don’t know if that is how one is supposed to pray for peace. I don’t know if these are the sorts of prayers one is supposed to do for prayer flags. All my seminary education did not teach me to pray in the way I want my prayers to be woven into the little shapes I am knitting. I’ve led retreats for women, I’ve counseled folks. I’ve led worship services of all flavours in my adventurous little life.
And yet, when it comes to knitting prayers into prayer flags, I find I know nothing, nothing at all, about how to pray for peace, how to send compassion out into the world, how to reach out with my heart and spirit and send forth Good from where I sit to There.
I know there is no right or wrong, but there is a lot to learn here. I’m grateful that this opportunity to learn more has come my way.
Would you like to contribute your handspun sock yarn (or other yarn-with-a-story) to my Prayer Flag project? I’ve got a postal box just for yarn!
P.O. Box 26
Bolton, ON L7E 5T1
Include your name, your city/country, and a little bit about why the yarn is special to you, or what you yourself prayed for as you spun it, or anything else you’d like to share. Thank you! Knitting with your yarns is a great honour and pleasure…
Random Goods & Sillies
You knew it had to happen. Someone came up with a free pattern for knitted William and Kate dolls in honour of the royal wedding.
A Knitter’s Periodic Table of the Fibres. Funny thing is, it’s actually sort of useful.