Here’s the dilemma: what if the one thing you want to do on Shabbos, to relax, take your mind off your busy week of volunteer commitments and 60+ hours of work without making a dent and mild disarray at home is to knit. Specifically, to knit a tuque you started months ago, but have been so busy with the aforementioned work and volunteer work that you haven’t had a moment to pick it up and finish it. And it’s almost winter, and you’d like to be able to wear it, instead of seeing a ball of yarn with five needles stuck in. If the idea of zoning out, turning off the busy thoughts in your mind, while falling into the rhythmic trance of knitting is appealing, and Shabbos is your day off from work of all sorts, so you have a free afternoon anyway, is knitting really so wrong?

I knew it was wrong. While knitting isn’t explicitly forbidden amongst the activities prohibited on Shabbos, it’s not much of a stretch to see that it falls in the same realm as weaving, making two loops, tying, etc. I wouldn’t think twice about writing, baking, or planting—I’d never do any of that on Shabbos. But here I am, wanting to knit and knowing I “shouldn’t.” Such a conflict that, on the one hand, I wanted to do it, to relax fully on Shabbos, while on the other I stayed in my room with the door closed. And when my roommate discovered me knitting, I felt ashamed. (And couldn’t bring myself to resume knitting until motzei Shabbos.)

Not really sure where I’m going with this… Guess I’m curious about how others balance the halakha with the practice. And where/how one draws the line when it comes to creating space for having a restful Shabbos.

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