As I was walking to lunch, I cross through a tunnel underneath a major road. The salt from melting the snow has formed stalactites along the underside of the bridge. Looking upon them made me think about when I taught my kids how to tell the difference between stalactites and stalagmites (stalactites hold tight to the ceiling, stalagmites might trip you) and how each drip of salt from the road contributes to the growth of these interesting geological formations. Knitting and sewing are much the same. Each stitch, each piece of fabric, each minute devoted to a craft develops not only the item being made but you as a person. Just like that old joke about the only way to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice; the time we put into creating, learning and growing inside our chosen craft defines us as people.
One of the students at Woolstock has spent many classes working on the Spring Surprise Twice as Charmed Project Pack baby quilt. The amount of time she spent in picking fabrics, ironing, cutting and sewing is immeasurable. Then think about the love she invested in every stitch she placed, all the prayers she included for this baby, the dreams she created about this child’s future. All of this, wrapped up in a baby quilt.
In this same premise is the Senninbari– 1,000 stitch belts from the Shinto culture of Japan. 1,000 women are asked to stitch one stitch into a belt to be given to a warrior as a form of protection and token of good luck. Originally it was used for soldiers, but the belts I have contributed to were for people fighting cancer or other deadly diseases. Each stitch is infused with good wishes and happy thoughts or prayers for the recipient.
Knitted prayer shawls work in the same way. Given to others, these shawls are made with love and good thoughts.
So how is this related to salt dripping in a tunnel? Well, each bit of salt grows that stalactite, each block in a quilt grows the love for the recipient, each stitch in a shawl grows the skill of the maker to be able to create more and spread more love. But it doesn’t happen all at one, it develops over time. Matures with age. It takes time.