A soft purple and pink background with a white border.  Inside with white letters it says "Don't Force It."

Mindful Monday - Don't Force It

If you hadn't already noticed, I enjoy teaching people how to knit.  Pretty much for every beginner that I have taught, I've had to remind them not to pull so tight; keep those stitches loose.  You shouldn't have to force the needle through the loop.  I've watched people twist the needle back and forth as they try to push that gosh darned stick through, creating a squeaking noise that makes my teeth hurt.  It's part of the learning curve that usually sinks in the next day when their hands and shoulders hurt.  Knitting shouldn't be painful; we're not boxing here. 

A soft purple and pink background with a white border.  Inside with white letters it says "Don't Force It."

There is also a learning curve when it comes to being a mindful maker.  You don't just wake up one day all calm and Zen, floating in the lotus position with your craft in your lap, butterflies fluttering about you because your very essence is serene.  In reality, most of us are probably lucky if we can find a quiet moment with our craft.  I think makers are opportunists, pulling out a travel project in the car or during some event that requires us to sit in one position and pay attention (btw, if you see someone knitting during a meeting, they are paying attention.  Probably better than you are since you are looking at what they're doing and not listening to whomever is speaking).  When it comes to being mindful, especially if you are new to this, don't force it.  If you've been following along on Mondays but you're not really getting this whole 'mindful' thing, I just want to let you know that it's ok.  Please don't push so hard that your brain makes a squeaky noise.  Instead, try to take this one step at a time. 

I think a good first step is to find the time to sit quietly with your craft, even if it's just for 5 minutes.  Try to find a place that is comfortable and makes you happy, noticing how this spot makes you feel.  Leave the phone in the other room and try to keep your mind on your craft.  As you get more comfortable with this routine, feel free to come back to these posts for prompts to try during your mindful making.  The goal is to slow down and find quiet moments to be calm and appreciate ourselves.  It's not always something that happens naturally, but it is absolutely something we cannot force.                


  • Mariah Stanford

    Thank you so much, Hazel!

  • Hazel Witherspoon

    Good article, Mariah. I always tell folks, I can remember a lot of the details around an event around what I am knitting/crocheting. It really helps me when I need to focus on something I don’t need to take written notes on. Enjoy your tensioning!

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