There’s something magical that happens when you pick up materials and tools and get lost in a project. It’s both therapeutic and meditative, a creative release to balance the demands of daily life. An out-breath to follow the in-breath of obligations and activities.
I first felt this for myself with knitting. Once I learned to knit, I couldn’t stop. As a kid I knit while watching TV. As a touring dancer in the 90s, I knit while waiting backstage, on the road to our next show, in line for auditions. I scarcely left the house without a project in tow.
Keeping my hands busy let my mind relax.
I taught my fellow dancers to knit and before long, our entire company could be found knitting on trains and planes to our next gig, projects growing in our laps row by row. It turned out this therapeutic effect was not lost on others!
After 9/11 I witnessed just how much we all truly needed it. My casual knitting group, Sit ‘n Knit, started on meetup dot com and quickly ballooned to over 1000 members. We would take over bars and corners of Central Park, knitting side by side and socializing. The benefit was more than just making something—it was comfort, community, and engaging in a process that offered a bright spot of relief in a time of grief and uncertainty.
I eventually let Sit ‘n Knit carry on without me, when I had young kids and little time for organizing. But the idea for PIRTTI started to take shape as I started exploring new craft techniques—weaving and natural dyeing—and found this meditative magic with each one. Finding time within the day to just create, to pick up a shuttle and sit at the loom or stew a dye pot and watch color develop, was healing.
I dreamed of creating a place to share this with others in a consistent, hands-on way.
That’s why PIRTTI opens its studio doors for workshops and gatherings. In this post-pandemic era, we’re collectively yearning for outlets once again. A little relief, a brain reset, an out-breath. Craft can offer this, no matter how you connect with it.
I’ve found that some people crave process, delighting in building new skills and techniques. Some come to the studio wanting to play—no rules—just intuition and freedom to make a beautiful mess.
Others find the most satisfying part the end result, holding a real-life object that they created from scratch. Working with dyes and materials from nature, especially, resonates with us on a human level.
I hope you’ll join one of our future workshops or events. Come learn something new and experience this magic-making for yourself.