knitting mojo

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.

Actually Starting

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.

World Peace Prayer Fountain in Arkansas

“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.

Mark Mitchell/AP

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.

Hopi Eagle Dancer, World Peace Day

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!

Sandi Wiseheart
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.

And a “LEGO enthusiast” builds vignettes of the Academy Awards’ Best Picture nominees.

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
This entry was posted in Animals, Prayer Flag Project and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to knitting mojo

  1. InJuneau says:

    I think however you or anyone else prays or knits or spins for peace is the right way. It just is.

    Will be sending along yarn(s) soon, as soon as I figure out which one(s) and if I need to spin something more the right size.

  2. Seanna Lea says:

    I think your method of praying for peace works. It isn’t just countering violence. Inner peace, serenity, are important too.

  3. Diane says:

    Knitters Periodic Table. Simply wonderous.

  4. melanie says:

    I don’t think there’s a wrong way to encourage peace, compassion, and courage…

  5. molly says:

    i can’t believe there is a ‘wrong’ way to pray for peace and compassion. the more of us who can do it in whatever our own way happens to be at the time, the better.

  6. Laura says:

    Learning to pray (in whatever way) is part of life’s journey. I think if we “know” how to pray, we may have missed the point…

    I need to remember to send you some yarn…and I need to remember to pray for peace (perhaps the Hebrew word for peace, “shalom,” which is more like restored wholeness, is the kind of peace you might be getting at? Just guessing.).

  7. stitchesandwords says:

    You are a beautiful spirit. And this project will teach you what you need to learn from it. Why else did it come to you?


  8. KathyR says:

    Thank you for your prayers for our beautiful New Zealand city (Christchurch). While not the capital of New Zealand, it is certainly the main centre in the South Island – a proud and lovely place brought to its knees by another dreadful, devastating earthquake. This time, sadly, there have been many lives lost. The people of this city, and the many who have gone in to help out, will need your prayers for some time to come, I believe.

  9. Rachel says:

    “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. ”

    I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to pray for peace or a right or wrong sort of prayer for prayer flags.

    I’m still working on spinning my yardage for you, it will be lumpy/bumpy but filled with thoughts of hope, renewal and peace. I think this is a noble project you have embarked on

  10. Karen says:

    I think by the doing of the prayer flags, by the blogging about the knitting of the flags, is a very powerful way of praying. It is as though you can feel the ‘sending forth peace and comfort’ in each stitch.

  11. Anniebee says:

    I am so thrilled that my yarns made it to you safely! I do have to admit that they weren’t from my blanket, per se, but from other projects:

    – The dark blue is Koigu Targhee fibre from a hat I made for my mother (

    – The green is Lofty Fibres BFL, from my Ravelympics project, a shawl – which was the very first thing I ever knit with my own handspun (

    – The pale blue/teal is Waterloo Wools merino/silk, which I spun and knit into a Pebble vest for a friend’s new baby (

    In other words, these are the first three of my handspun yarns that I’ve actually knit with. I kind of feel like that imbues them with something special, and I’m thrilled that they’re in your hands for this project!

  12. InJuneau says:

    You know, I just looked at that periodic table again and realized they left out yak…

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