It sure was the various lockdown situations during the first wave of the pandemic, that many of us found some sort of comfort in this old craft. I’ve been able to talk to Rachel Bratcher, the owner of Ritual Dyes, a yarn store in Portland – about what’s ritualistic about knitting, how she started and why Covid actually brought people closer.
Rachel Bratcher says, without Covid, Ritual Dyes would’ve remained a yarn dying studio – not an actual yarn store where people come together for “crafternoons” and get the full sensual experience of her colorful yarn. For her, it all started with having her first child: suddenly, there was this impulse to make something for this new being. From there, knitting slowly grew into a passion and into a business.
As Holy Embodied is all about experiences in the body, we want to hear about the sensual pleasure of touching the fluffiest yarns and seeing the most fantastic colorways – and of course, how knitting can be a ritual.
Disclaimer: Do not be disencouraged by the knitting lingo! Here are a few helpful terms to find your way during the conversation:
- Skein: most artisanal wool doesn’t come in a ball, but in this preform you have to roll up into a ball yourself
- Stockinette: the easiest knit stitch, the one we learn first
- Maiden / Elder: Types of wool bases