Hiking and Knitting Mindfulness

The other day I thought, if I could run a business based on two things I love most, it would be hiking and knitting retreats.

Just as sitting meditation and yoga compliment each other as a total mindfulness practice, it occurred to me so do knitting and hiking.

Knowing I can’t be the first person to consider this, a google search pulls up primarily one culture that offers several guided tours doing hiking and knitting: Iceland.  One of several offerings, and another.

In my current life, I tend to feel like an odd sort of freak sitting on a log in the woods knitting.  So when I see another culture that embodies that oddness as “normal” to include knitting needles and yarn in a trek packing list, I feel great joy.

One of the coolest things about travel is discovering many aspects of our personalities can be the “norm” in one culture when they may not be in the culture we were born into. If we tend toward being reserved and prefer surrounding ourselves with solid colors, we might feel at home in certain cultures more than others. If we prefer loud colors and boisterous expression, we might fit into another better. Or we might be drawn to another culture’s expression because it offers what our personality does not.

Apparently knitting in Iceland originated in the 1500s after exposure to British or Germans.  When it was discovered they could produce clothing faster by knitting than weaving looms available at the time, the leadership mandated all able-bodied people over age 8 had to knit a certain amount to contribute to the society.

Now that most of us wear fabrics made in factories far from where we live, I find it extremely gratifying like no other thing in my life to complete a fabric with my hands. I will soon post photos of three current projects near completion.

Someday I may get to Iceland or create my own little business. My weakness is allergies preventing me working with raw wool, so I don’t spin and cannot participate in any farm ventures. But maybe I can find others interested at my level of abilities if I just dream-storm and build it.

Here is one lovely story of inspiration I encountered celebrating the power of the woods to heal our spirits (one half of the knitting + hiking equation):


About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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