Monday, July 16, 2007

Knitting Magick

The idea of knot magick has always interested me, so has the association of weaving with the complex design of life. In fiction and folklore, the "weaving" of energies by wizards and magicians is a beautiful analogy for magick. It would make sense that knitting should have the same characteristics as these types of magick to infuse intentions into a knitted piece. The only variance I can see is that the finished piece has a different nature than knotted or woven work, thus the time frame and method for its magic to take effect will differ also.

The way I see it, most knotting projects are small, ready made in several days so they are great craft projects. To the non-superstitious, they are usually meant to be decorative. To the magickally inclined, they serve a double purpose: as amulets to be hung on a belt, over a door, on the bed, etc. Sometimes they are buried or burned but the knotted piece is small that it is not a big deal when destroyed. The knot can be easily undone or cut, its energies released. Its existence is meant to add the infused intention to whatever it is attached. It is a visual & speedy approach for fast results.

Weaving is used commerically to create large pieces/rolls of fabric to make clothing, carpet, canvas, etc. In the old days, anything from cloth, paper & tapestries were made for everyday use as well. In modern times, there are probably very few people who weave their own fabrics unless they have a loom in their house which can take up a lot of space. Intricate designs can be worked into the resulting piece and the intended use is likely for a longer period of time. Honestly, I do not know much about weaving but from what is created with woven fabrics, one can infer the expected length of usage. Thus, if someone were to use weaving for magickal purposes, its magick should be expected to create/or store a background energy inducive to the magician's intent and the "information" stored could be very complex. It would be rare for magically woven fabric to be cut, buried or destroyed on purpose by its creator because of the amount of hours, possibly days of work & energy spent on its completion. Due to the large scale of this type of project, the magick in such a piece will probably be very strong. Since the creator spends so long with the work during its making, the piece will probably bind itself strongly to its maker thus if someone wanted to undo the magician's work or diminish his/her power, destroying the woven item would definitely have a great impact.

Knitting on the other hand is widely used for making commercial fabrics but also extremely popular as a craft*. It is quite unique as a skill that is often passed down through the generations whether the knitters continue with the craft in their lifetime. It is something that many people (women mostly) have at some point in their life had the opportunity to learn. The basic techniques are standardized amongst all knitters and there is almost a universal langauge that allows knitters to communicate to one another. Depending on the skill level of each individual, handknitters create a vast array of projects ranging from large throws & afghans to sweaters, socks, gloves, coasters, hair accessories, even wedding dresses! You name it, knitters have made it. These projects can be as portable as an amulet, worn to absorb/affect the energies of the wearer or placed strategically in a space to affect the atmospheric energies. For both crafting purposes, it is just so versatile!

Now, I haven't done any in-depth research in the printed world on the subject of knitting and magick but considering the popularity of knitting and its recent boom due to its proliferation on the internet; as well as the internet being a haven for pagan communities, it is surprising that there is little to no information on magickal knitting. Could it be that knitting is not thought to be appropriate for magickal use? Does it have something to do with the structure of the knitted fabric or the way the loops come together that the final piece does not actually store energy?

Here are 4 relevant articles, only 2 of which is specific to magickal workings with knitting. The other 2 verges on modern folk/netlore but at least it combines the two ideas as one and keeps the concept on the fringes of the forefront.

Knot Magick « Birch Grove
Blogickal: December 2006 Archives - December 6, 2006 entry
Knitting the World
The Keyboard Biologist Knits: The Memory of Dragons

* We can probably extend this discussion to crochet'd work but because I am not a crocheter, I do not recognize if there are many crochet'd fabrics made via large scale productions.
** Update 07/27/2007 - I actually found several magick-related patterns for crochet today on Llewellyn Journal. They were all designed by a Karen Glasgow
Cauldron Bag
Dream Pillow
Tarot Box
Rune Set

No comments:

Post a Comment