A while back I decided I wanted to learn to knit. I’d been wanting to learn for years but never found someone to teach me the skill and I didn’t have the confidence to teach myself. Two years ago I bit the bullet and taught myself.
There were lots of false starts, mistakes, and eff bombs that went off in my house. But I persevered and learned the basics such as knitting and purling and how to cast on and bind off. Then, like my normal ADHD self, I got bored with the basics so I started to increase my skill. And you know what? I’m pretty damned good if I do say so myself. I’m not an expert knitter but I am an intermediate and that pleases me greatly.
All this knitting I’ve been doing has been “gift knitting.” That is, I knitted something only to give it away. There were a couple exceptions like the blanket I made for Wolf and the dishcloths I made for the house but otherwise I sent out my wares to colonize the homes of others. Earlier this year I decided on a project for myself. That project is for me to knit each of the elements into a shawl to wear to ritual. I perused Ravelry’s database of free patterns and found what I was looking for: Earth in the North, Water in the East*, Fire in the South, and Air in the West. I also chose patterns for Sun and Moon.
I finished Fire in the South a few weeks back. This shawl took over a year for me to make because when I first picked out the pattern it was way, way beyond my skill. I pulled it out and started over so many times I lost count (25 was when I stopped keeping track). There were so many times I was ready to give in and scrap the project. But I made a commitment to Grandfather Sun that I would make a shawl for me to wear to honor Him and fire. Who am I to make a commitment to a deity only to negate the promise due to frustration? So I kept trying until I finally got it right. And the finished project is so beautiful and magical. I wore it to Mabon at the Temple of Witchcraft and got lots of compliments on it.
Recently I finished a Moon Goddess shawl which is for sale on my Esty shop. It is as beautiful and magical as the Fire in the South Shawl. I will be knitting more magical items so please keep checking back if you don’t see what you like already.
Currently I am working on Water in the East. This shawl is turning out to be a much easier knit than the Candle Flame Shawl (the name the pattern maker gave to the pattern.) I hope to have it done by Samhain though I think Yule is more likely.
Originally I wanted this project to be a totally local. I wanted to buy yarn from local artisans but couldn’t find what I wanted so I decided on using Manos del Uraguay for each of the projects. The yarn I’ve been using is pretty thick so I may have to change yarns when I get to the Air in the West shawl since it’s an “airy” shawl. And I probably should’ve used a thinner yarn for the Water in the East shawl but I didn’t realize how thick it was until I knitted a good portion of it so I’ll finish it with the yarn I have.
This has been a great project for me spiritually and in a DIY manner. I like making my own ritual items and I like the sense of pride I have when I look at a finished project and think to my “I MADE THAT!”
*I celebrate Water in the East because the Atlantic Ocean is 100 miles to the east of me. Since most of New England’s weather comes from the West, that is where I celebrate Air.