Thursday, 14 April 2011

Video: Renate Hiller

Recently I discovered Renate Hiller's powerful video about thinking and making with our hands. I think with my hands: it's a kinaesthetic thing. When I need to understand an unfamiliar concept, thought or feeling, I often write it out by hand, so that I can feel it. When I want to understand how an object is made, I draw it or attempt to make it. 

Recently I bought yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles, and a basic crochet and knitting how-to guide to relearn how to crochet and knit. With a lot of trial and error, I am beginning to remember what I once knew. My grade 5 teacher taught me how to crochet and five years later my mom taught me how to knit using her colourful 1960's plastic knitting needles. My new knitting needles do the job, but I am missing my mom's knitting needles and the good memories embedded in them.

Knitting and crocheting are meditative in their repetition. Recently I read that teaching a child with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) how to knit helps calm the child enough that he/she can concentrate. Here's a link about knitting in classrooms and another link about knitting and mindfulness. Although I don't have ADHD, I find that I am able to listen better if I have something in my hands. So I draw during church, and stitch, knit, and crochet while watching DVDs.

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