I am on holiday this week. I’m walking, knitting, reading and writing like I never do at home. During the past few days, I have read Rachael Matthews’ The Mindfulness in Knitting:Meditations in Craft and Calm. This reading continues my consideration of mindfulness and allowed me to understand how knitting can be a mindful as well as a practical pastime.

This is a physically beautiful book, well laid out with peaceful woodcut illustrations and short, readable prose with many ideas on how to work knitting and mindfulness into your busy schedule. The book links classical concepts of meditation with the tranquil, repetitive patterns of knitting. If you are a knitter trying to work a meditation or mindfulness practice into your life, this would be an excellent guide.

The best parts of the book are the exercises Matthews developed which are spread throughout the book in highlighted boxes. There are other boxes also, of projects and quotations. These are thought provoking but never jarring. The boxed items guide in a gentle way that encourages a meditative consideration.

The author herself is a well known British textile artist who owns an ethical yarn and textile shop, something she mentions in the book. Her approach to textiles and knitting is, in and of itself mindful.

The Mindfulness in Knitting Was a perfect holiday book, but it is also a book that would provide excellent small breaks in the middle of a busy day or a busy week. Those boxed exercises, the page or two of prose in each section and the satisfying feeling of this small book can be enjoyed in short as well as long periods.

(Note: I read the 2017 Leaping Hare Press edition of this book.)

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