do you, Kned, take this cashmere...

Cast-On Vows
These vows were taken by 110 courageous knitters at the 2009 Knitter's Review Retreat. I'd asked them to choose a special project that they would knit expressly for themselves (called our New Beginnings project). In years past, many of us have never completed these projects. So I decided to do something a little extra this year. I donned a pink blinking tiara, grabbed the microphone, and conducted a group wedding ceremony between knitters and their projects.

While it was all in jest, I still hoped we could help inspire one another to gain momentum in these projects and carry the goodwill of the weekend back out into the world.

At the request of retreat attendees, I'm sharing these vows with you. I invite you to carry them forth into your own knitting life. And, above all, have fun!

"Dearly beloved,

We are gathered here today, in the sign of the sheep and in the face of this company, to join together these knitters and these projects. This is a sacred right. An ancient right. Not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly—but reverently, proudly, and solemnly. If any person can show just cause why they may not be joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.

Through marriage, we make a commitment to these projects, to face their disappointments, embrace their errata, realize their potentially unintelligible instructions, withstand any knots we may discover mid-skein. We promise one another to aspire to these ideals throughout our time together—through mutual understanding, patience, and openness to one another.

Should life throw in a few rows of unexpected moss stitch, should our left-twist cable inadvertently become a right-twist, one, should we discover three-quarters of the way through that we've been knitting with two different-sized needles...we assure our projects that, through any shortcomings, our hearts really are in tune with theirs. We shall share with them in all our gladness, strengthen each other with each stitch.

Casting on is an act of faith and commitment as well as a moral and physical union between individual and yarn. In fact, casting on has been described as the best and most important relationship that can exist between an individual and yarn. It is the construction of their skill and trust into a single, growing energy of physical fabric. It is a moral commitment that requires and deserves daily attention.

We are ready for our exchange of vows. Please repeat after me:

I, _________________, take thee, "Project," to be my lawfully wedded New Beginnings project. Secure in the knowledge that you will be my constant friend, my faithful partner, and my one true project. Mostly.

I pledge to be your faithful knitter in sickness and in health, in knits and purls, stitches and snags, through the good times and the bad.

I promise to knit you without reservation, to tink you in times of distress, to grow with you in stitch and spirit, and cherish you until bind-off do we part.

What therefore we have joined together, let no other project or yarn put asunder.

And so, by the totally nonexistent power not vested in me by the state of Massachusetts, I now pronounce you knitter and project. You may now knit your stitches!"

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