Knitting for Radical Self-Care – Knitting

If you consider knitting part of your self care ritual — not self-care in a cutesy way like people on the Internet usually describe it, but as a vital part of your means of survival — you definitely should take the time to read and knit from Knitting for Radical Self-Care by Brandi Cheyenne Harper.

The book includes essays and reflections on how knitting serves us as an act of self-care and a way to show up in the world and how to find joy, self-expression, armor and resilience within our stitches and ourselves.

Each of the 10 patterns offers a reflection on and is inspired by a word and the words of women who are meaningful to the author.

The patterns mostly use bulky and super bulky yarn and place a lot of emphasis on shaping details and the structure of the pieces that make them more than just a shawl or a sweater. For example the Ode Cardigan, one of my favorites, uses chunky yarn and begins with an I-cord cast on. Pockets and the shawl collar (which doubles as a hood) are integrated into the design and the raglan shaping adds even more movement to the piece.

There are cowls, mittens, sweaters, a hat and a shawl in this collection (you can see some of them on her website or at the Amazon link below) and all the knitting instructions you need, even if you’re totally new to knitting (I would say these are good for knitters who have a couple of projects under their belts, but everything is well explained).

The author models her designs and the joy she feels in sharing her creations is apparent and serves as a reminder to all of us that this is what we should be striving for in life: pure self-expression and acceptance. It’s not an easy thing but it’s what we’re here to create.

The health benefits of knitting are well-established, and entering the new year consciously choosing projects and materials that speak to us, as well as embracing knitting as a practice, is a great way to begin. Knitting for Radical Self-Care calls on all of us to remember why we knit and how it helps us to build connections to ourselves, our community and our ancestors.

About the book: 160 pages, hardcover, 10 patterns. Published January 2022 by Abrams. Grab the book from Amazon.

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