The Nightlock of Zen

29 Mar


When I was little, I would get bullied and teased and once I was even followed home by two boys I went to school with and they threw things at me. From about fourth grade until my senior year of high school, every single day I was made fun of. My mom, not knowing what else to do, gave me the wisest advice that I didn’t really understand until recently. She said “Be a duck. Let it roll off your back and be a duck.”


What my momma meant was that you have to decide what is important and what is not important and to let the unimportant stuff go.

So, she’d tell me to be a duck, I’d have no idea what she was talking about but I’d imagine a baby duck, lifting his head to the sky, and a droplet of water rolling down his neck, down his back, and off the tip of his tiny tail.

Now, Momma tells me that I need to practice my zen. Initially same idea. Decide what is important and what is unimportant and let the unimportant shit go. Deep breaths. Relaxing projects. Finding time for yourself. And now I visualize a calm pond with a pink water lily in it. The duck is hanging out on the bank of the pond.

What I discovered in knitting the Nightlock by Lisa Mutch is that it helped me practice my zen. There’s nothing complicated about it. There’s nothing taxing about it. You continue doing the same thing with a certain calming rhythm. It’s not a boring knit. Don’t mistake me. It’s a ZEN PRACTICING knit. I even joked with Lisa that she should write in the description of the shawl that it helps the knitter to achieve zen. And honestly, if my momma knit, I’d have her knit this.

I worked my little fingers to the effing bone trying to get this knit done so I could post it yesterday and show it off to you all. And even while I was knitting like crazy (and ultimately not reaching my knitting goal) I still felt rather calm and collected about this shawl. The color changes didn’t throw me for a loop. And the only thing that was a little painful was binding off over 500 stitches. But the flow of this shawl is so amazing that I didn’t really care.

This shawl, while not my normal colors, is my zen-Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired-shawl. This will be my go to calm knit.

How do you practice your zen? Have you knit anything that was just so completely calming that you just couldn’t believe it?


Shawl Pattern is Nightlock by Lisa Mutch. Yarn used is Knit Picks Imagination Hand Painted Sock Yarn in Castle Walls and Looking Glass.


4 Responses to “The Nightlock of Zen”

  1. Lisa March 29, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    It’s beautiful Britt! I love it in these softer colours. Also, your momma sounds like a very wise woman. 🙂

  2. Charlie Goch March 29, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    It looks wonderful. There are some parts of knitting that never fail to be zen, and others that never fail to challenge you to get through things that you don’t necessarily like to do (I’m not a fan of sewing things up or weaving the ends in). Both of those things are good for you in the long run. The shawl has a great name doesn’t it?

  3. Stacey Slager (@yarnsalad) March 30, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    That’s an awful lot of bullying you had to go through. It’s amazing to look back to those people in retrospect and see that they also had crap going on, that they didn’t have great lives either. I spent most of my grade school years wishing I was part of the popular group, and now that I see how they have all turned out, I’m SO glad I wasn’t! Your mom was right – water off a duck’s back, because the words of those people don’t matter.

    I read something interesting the other day that has really resonated with me. It went something like “I am not defined by how others view me, but by how I view others”. In your post here I see no evidence of bitterness or resentment towards those who tried to hurt you, and that I think speaks volumes to your credit. You have obviously emerged from that experience a strong, self-assured and independent individual. I am glad to know you!

  4. Curls & Q April 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    Beautiful shawl! I’m an introvert who tries to be an extrovert!

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