On my way back home today, a sense of déjà vu enveloped me. I witnessed a scene familiar to my childhood – rays of the late afternoon sun, a group of beautiful women talking, laughing and knitting. Just earlier in the day, I had read an article about how we are losing our vintage skills and it struck a chord (read the full article here). Things do happen for a reason…well, I won’t digress, not just yet, anyway…
So, back to my story. My mother wanted (and still does), her two girls to learn the wonderful art of knitting from her. I still remember her guiding and teaching its nuances to innumerable neighbours, acquaintances and friends. I would be wonderstruck on seeing her fingers move so swiftly to create wonderful patterns using the two basic stitches – knit and purl.
However, little did I know that knitting has the power to change lives. The heartwarming stories of Dr. Mala Shrikanth and Shubh Chopra and their respective journeys of establishing knitting groups, connecting people with a higher purpose and rediscovering the joy of knitting, are both inspiring and endearing.
Their inspirational stories are the reason for the existence of this post. I would like nothing more than, have even a greater number of folks take up this age-old skill. Now, are you ready to be inspired, yourself?
Needlestosaymore – the knitting journal of Dr. Mala Shrikanth
Changing from being a medico to a knitter is no mean feat, and especially, when this superwoman also manages to get a whole community of women knitting alongside her! Tucked away in the beautiful and serene hills, you will find her either knitting alongside her ‘little’ army of knitters, creating goodies for us all, reading, spoiling her dogs or writing out her stories and anecdotes from her daily life for us to read. If you fancy treating yourself or a loved one to some hand-knitted magic, then do have a look at her ‘tiny shop of “Exquisite, Exclusive ( and Expensive)” knitted products‘, where with every knitted product, you will find knitted, the enthusiasm and the energy of a committed knitter. Their contact details are right here:
Chandroti – an initiative to empower women by Shubh Chopra
From knitting for family and friends to knitting for people spread across the globe – what a journey it has been for this wonderful lady! Every woman who comes along to her door, is taught how to knit (sometimes even from scratch) and empowered to live with dignity by helping with their first step towards gaining financial independence. The end result is that the knitting community continues to expand and, we, the people get to own wonderful hand-knitted home and fashion accessories; win-win, I say! Their contact details are right here too:
Website: http://www.chandroti.com/ or click, right here
Phone: +91 98 379 62208
Address: The Plateau, Village Chandroti, P.O. Sinaula, Dehra-dun, Uttaranchal 248003, India
You feeling inspired to knit?
Me too…So, I have got my hands on some yarn and knitting needles, inspired by these industrious women and of course, my mother. You could easily buy them from your local stores. Choose from acrylic, pure wool, merino, blends , cotton and a lot more. I specially love the DIY knitting kits from Peoli. You could email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and get lots of infomation and order one for yourself. Of course, you can connect with them on facebook, here.
There will be stores selling knitting equipment in your local market or alternatively you would be able to find a variety of yarns as well as knitting and crochet accessories at the following stores:
- Ooty based Pony Craft Store. In addition to a wide range, checkout the recycled cotton yarn, also called the T Shirt yarn. Connect with them on facebook here.
- Bangalore based Hachi Yarns. They have a vast range – from soft cotton and bamboo yarns to the super bulky and chunky ones you could use to knit blankets and throws. Connect with them on facebook here.
- Happy Hands Store – they have a fantastic selection of Indian and International yarns. Yarns from Italy to Uruguay, New Zealand to Bulgaria – you can find them at this fantastic online store. Connect with them on facebook here.
Knitting is known to be meditative, it boosts memory and most importantly, helps us to slow down in this fast paced world, being mindful of what we are doing in the present moment. I leave you with this beautiful song by Simon & Garfunkel :
Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy…
So, switch off the television, put down that phone and pick up some needles. Here’s to learning a new skill…knitting!