Some tarot decks come in absolutely beautiful boxes. The Mary-El Tarot, for example, came in a heartbreakingly gorgeous box. And then what do I do? I store the boxes in a file drawer and knit a cozy to store each deck in. Why would I do such a thing? Am I not just creating more clutter? Am I not just making it hard to tell which deck is which?
Let’s deal with the last question first. I used to put all my decks in organza bags that are relatively see-through. But then I ran into the problem of what to do with decks that are huge and don’t fit into organza bags. I started knitting for those decks. But then here’s what happened: the first deck that I knitted for really liked being cozy. My readings with that deck suddenly became more detailed and intimate. The deck seemed more interested in talking to me than it had before. And the other decks that were stored next to it started clamoring for their own cozies. Even the Darkana! In fact, ESPECIALLY the Darkana! Dark decks seem to want petting and cosseting as much as any other deck, if not more.
And too, I quickly started wanting to store my decks with crystals. If I nestle a crystal into a basket with a bunch of cozied decks, nobody gets hurt. The deck doesn’t get scratched, and neither does the crystal because any other crystals in the basket are on the other side of something cozy. But then I branched out–recently I started knitting little pockets for my deck cozies, so that a deck could have its own crystal stored with it, and they could both be cozy! Coziness for all!
As for the question, how can I tell which deck is which? Well, my collection is not yet large enough for me to lose track. But I do try to pick colors and textures that are a good match for the deck. Sometimes I have to start over and knit a new cozy if the old cozy and the deck just aren’t getting along. It happens…
Finally, as my daughters said about the little cozy I knitted for the teeny tiny version of the Rider Waite….”isn’t that just the most adorable thing ever?” Though I think it’s a very fine thing to treat decks and other sacred tools with reverence, I think they want something warmer and kinder than just reverence. I think they like to be cozy and comfy and be schlepped around in bags and on desktops and generally be part of everyday life. I think being part of the everyday world, being part of a knitted bag full of connections to all the places I carried the knitting around to, not to mention the connection to me and to my intention as I knit, also supports the deck’s sense of humor. As I think I have sometimes said in this space, my angels and spirit guides are mostly comedians. They like to be blunt and they also love to tease! And in return, they like hugs and snuggles and appreciation. Who doesn’t???? 🙂
If you like to knit and want to knit deck cozies, you may be wondering what pattern I use. The answer is, I’m way too lazy to follow a pattern. I eyeball the deck and cast on about 15 stitches for most decks, but a little more or a little less, if needed. One thing to keep in mind is that the knitting will expand beyond the space taken up by 15 initial stitches on the needles–if you knit in seed stitch, which is especially cozy, it will expand even more than if you knit in stockinette. The other thing to remember is to take into consideration the thickness of your deck–some huge decks are unbelievably thick. After about eight to ten rows, if it looks like my cozy will be too wide or narrow, then I take the knitting off the needles, pull it apart, and start over. These are small, so it doesn’t take long to restart. I knit until the fabric is long enough to fold over and hold the cards (I continually hold up the cards to the cozy to check their fit), and then I bind off and seam up the sides. Sometimes I make the fabric extra long so there can be a flap that folds over and buttons, but often I don’t–often I just weave a piece of yard through the bind off stitches to make a drawstring. Simple and sweet! (Though the drawstrings will come out from time to time and have to be rewoven through the stitches.)
A really nice thing to add to this process, of course, is to hold an intention in mind as you knit, perhaps even repeating a word or mantra with each stitch.
Try it–you may be surprised at how much more personal your relationship with a deck becomes once you have made it a cozy present to live in.