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10 San Diego Uptown News | September 2–15, 2011


Knitting takes on a new meaning Uptown residents partake in generations- old hobby with a goal in mind

By Dave Fidlin SDUN Reporter

Lisa Thurn has long prac- ticed meditation and enjoyed the generations-old pastime of knitting. But until recently, she never thought the two regular lifestyle regimens could be woven together. Thurn is one of several

Uptown residents using knit- ting as a means to crochet and calm her mind through a growing movement involving contemplative meditation. As with many practices, namely yoga, knitting and spiritual- ity can be intertwined as a meaningful discipline that can help a person focus on their thinking.

“I’ve been a knitter most of my life; it’s just been something that keeps my hands busy, and I enjoy making things for other people,” said Thurn, who works in the biology department at San Diego State University. “I’ve also enjoyed meditation because it calms my mind.” Thurn was one of about a

dozen participants in a recent class, Intentional Knitting, offered through First Unitar- ian Universalist Church of San Diego. She said she will be applying the techniques to her lifestyle. “I used to watch TV while I knitted, but I think I’m going to stop doing that,” Thurn said. “I’ve found that doing some- thing as simple as counting the stitches is very calming for me. It’s an opportunity to empty my mind, and that’s a very freeing feeling.”

Liz Jones, Director of

Religious Education and Family Ministry at First Unitarian, offered the Intentional Knit- ting course earlier this month.

Although it was a one-time of- fering, Jones said the possibility is open to its return next year, likely in the summer. A number of books are avail- able for those who would like to implement intentional knitting into their lives until a decision about the class returning is made.

“Knitting really is a perfect spiritual discipline that is ideal for meditation,” Jones said. “We always think about yoga, but knitting works just as well because it quiets the mind and engages the body.”

For persons with limited mo-

bility, Jones said a practice such as knitting is an ideal means of forgetting one’s cares for a period of time. Uptown resident Bobbi

Beer, 71, is not an experi- enced knitter, but took Jones’ course because she has long studied meditation and various forms of spirituality. Beer has scoliosis, a curva- ture in her spine, making a traditional form of meditation challenging. “This is very helpful to me,”

Beer said. “I think it would be a great benefit not just to dis- abled individuals, but anybody.” Beer, who has a background

in occupational therapy, said the art of tuning out distractions is important in her profession. “I seem to deal with some-

thing that a lot of Americans struggle with,” Beer said. “My mind is full of chatter because I’m inundated with so much stuff every day. It’s like I have two radios turned on all the time, and they’re tuned to dif- ferent stations. That is the way my mind is operating most of the time.”

Despite scoliosis, Beer said she is committed to taking time

out each day and tuning out the distractions through a method that works for her. She is cur- rently working on a scarf. “Since I’m new to this, I’m

making mistakes,” Beer said. “But you know what? Mistakes are okay because that’s not re- ally the point of this. I’m going to take a half-hour every morn- ing and spend time meditating through knitting. If I don’t do that, the cares of the day will rush in.” Regardless of the purpose, Jones said knitting through a meditative, spirit-minded lens can reap great benefits for people willing to make the practice a part of their daily lifestyle. Other example of knitting with a purpose could include creating a blanket for rescued animals at shelters or a “Linus Blanket” that could be given to an organization and eventually given to a child in distress as a means of comfort.

“It’s a wonderful opportu- nity to pray for and think about others,” Jones said. “We can share love through the act of knitting.”

For people engaged in social

justice, knitting can also be a therapeutic—and meaning- ful—method for expressing the passion behind the cause. Uptown resident Patricia Christenson has found a re- newed purpose for her mission- driven hobby. In the past four years, Christenson has been knitting caps for Yayasan Bumi Sehat, a nonprofit, Indonesia- based organization aiming to meet the needs of mothers and infants in the country.

“When I’m knitting, I can sit and think about the baby who will get the chance to have the cap I’m creating,” Christenson said. “I meditate and think about how I hope the baby receiving it will have a long and happy life.”

Christenson lived in Indo- nesia for a period of time and routinely visited the country as a child. She plans to visit Yayasan Bumi Sehat and other areas of the country during a travel scheduled for this fall. “I have a very deep connec- tion to that part of the world,” Christenson said. “Knitting and meditating makes it all the more meaningful to me.” Jones said, “It reminds all of

us that there’s a larger purpose behind what we’re doing.”u



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Join the Alternative Strategies staff as they host the Hillcrest Grub Sprawl, hitting the streets September 12th from 6:00pm – 10:00pm. Please visit the event website for more information- (Photo courtesy of Alternative Strategies)

Grub Sprawl comes to Hillcrest

By Ashley Mackin SDUN Editor

Just one month after the

city’s largest block party leaves town, another street-side event will be arriving onto Hillcrest’s awaiting avenues. The Hillcrest Grub Sprawl, an evening prom- ising an abundance of cheap eats, is scheduled for Septem- ber 12th, from 6-10 p.m. Alternative Strategies own-

er William Lopez came up with the concept for Grub Sprawl, saying, “During each event it has been exciting to see the energy of the ‘sprawlers’ in the streets and within the partici- pating establishments.” Lopez and his staf f attend every Grub Sprawl to engage with the participants and restau- rants alike, and Lopez truly enjoys what this new concept has meant to his staff. “Grub Sprawl events are something our entire team looks forward to coordinating. It is rewarding for all of us to see how this new idea is being embraced by each prospective community, bringing it togeth- er locally as well as introduc- ing it to newcomers.

Following on the heels of

the North Park and Coronado Grub Sprawls, the Hillcrest Grub Sprawl will be third in a monthly series offering visi- tors full access to a wide range of special $5 signature dishes, for one night only. Each dish will be created by the eve- ning’s participating restau-

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The participating restaurants are: Eden Babycakes Crest Cafe The Range Empire House Huapangos Mexican Cuisine The Tractor Room Busalacchi’s A Modo Mio Mama Testa Bai Yook Thai Cuisine Tre Porcellini Italian Restaurant Sajj Fresh Mediterranean Grill Brazen BBQ Local Habit Ortega’s, A Mexican Bistro

rants, which plan to showcase their styles with the cuisine that best reflects each eatery. Through this style of event dining, visitors are able to sample the fare of several restaurants in the space of one action-packed evening. Attend- ees are encouraged to come early, with free wristband pickup beginning at 5:45p.m. Tables distributing the wrist- bands and event maps will be set up outside of Eden and Busalacchi’s. Parodying pub-crawling,

Grub Sprawling is far from scandalous. Grub Sprawls, which take place one evening per month, each time in a different neighborhood, allow participants to indulge in inex- pensive sampling from multiple restaurants in one evening. For more information, visit www.


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