The Knitting Way

I was so excited about The Knitting Way: A Guide to Spiritual Self-Discovery by Linda Skolnik and Janice MacDaniels. It was delayed from the original publication date; I even called the publisher to find out when it was shipping. I ran right out and bought it.

Never have I been so disappointed. I bought it months ago, but set it aside in disgust before I finished it. Having just read Two Sweaters for My Father, I thought I should just bite the bullet and skim to the end.

Maybe there are just too many barriers between the authors (and their experience) and I. From the introduction: “I [Skolnik] had married when I was a junior in college, working toward a BA (read: Mrs.) degree in psychology at Brooklyn College.” An Mrs. degree? Come on.

From the first chapter, “Knitting into Awareness: Escape versus Care for the Soul,” one sees that apparently “spiritual” means bad poetry:

Knitting defies a
Mass-produced culture that shuns
subsistence, handmade clothes,
clothes which will be kept forever.
This sort of activity does not
improve the GNP.

There are five more stanzas. You get the picture.

Then the chapter launches into free-association writing:

Hear the wind, the sea, and the rolling hills. Listen to the sky. Let your hands dance with the wool. Your fingers see the sheep on the gren hills. The smell of the earth that produced the grass that fed the sheep who gave their fleece lies int he wool. The sound is in the wool. Hear the waves, the sea air, the salt spray that nurtured the wild sheep in the Shetlands and Hebrides. The harmony is found there. It calls us to remember and reach for the comfort of the work of our hands.

And there’s not always much original thought. On pages 10–11:

graph 1: original writing
graph 2: quote from Brenda Ueland in Strength to Your Sword Arm
graph 3: quote from Sherry Anderson and Patricia Hopkins in The Feminine Face of God
graph 4: quote from Rene Dubos’s “masterpiece” A God Within
graph 5: “The opposite of the holy is the superficial,” according to Marc Gafni in Soul Prints. . .“
graph 6: quote from Maurice Nicoll in Living Time and the Integration of the Life
graph 7: quote from Thomas Moore in Care of the Soul
graph 8 (incomplete): continuation of Moore.

It just never got any better as far as I’m concerned. Maybe it’s just what someone else has been thirsting for.