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Knitting is my panacea for all ills - a broken heart, an overloaded work schedule, a burden of sadness. Somehow as the needles click along, the heart steadies, resuming its regular beat, and the body tunes in, and, in turn, also relaxes into its customary healthy working.

Who would have thought some needles and a ball of yarn could make such claims! Yet the smoothness of the needles calms, the texture of the wool grounds one and the colors lift the spirits. The need to focus on the chosen stitches keeps one centred... if one is dreaming of the future or trying to correct the past it is impossible not to drop a stitch here or do a purl stitch instead of a plain one there. The mindfulness of the process keeps you firmly anchored in the here and now.

Quilt detail Sometimes my knitting is utilitarian - toques, scarves or sweaters, but often I will incorporate it with driftwood or embroidery and it becomes sheer play and joy. I can't recommend knitting enough to women and men (sailors and whalers and men of the Uros Islands and then there's Kaffe Fassett) and extol the therapeutic and creative value of two needles and a bit of wool.

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WRITING NAOMI WAKAN DRUMBEG HOUSE ARTWORK