The last couple of days we seem to have moved from summer into autumn. The mornings are cool and crisp, the leaves are starting to change colour and the lake is glowing with that special light that only occurs at this time of the year. Now that the weather is a little cooler I am starting to knit again. It is one of the most relaxing ways to spend my time in the evenings.
I learned to knit when I was 8 and have knitted my way through life ever since. I have endured many boring meetings with my knitting needles in my hands and even knitted my way through medical lectures and while I studied. What has not really occurred to me until recently however is that knitting is a very spiritual activity. Others are obviously much more aware of this than I am – I was amazed at how many books on spirituality and knitting there are out there – everything from Zen to Christian prayer goes better with knitting it seems.
Prayer and knitting circles have sprung up all over the place. The Prayer Shawl Ministry is one beautiful way that knitters have combined their faith and their knitting. According to Jane Bristow co-founder of the ministry “Shawls … made for centuries are universal and embracing. They enfold, comfort, cover, wrap, give solace, warmth, mother, hug, shelter, and beautify. They are symbolic ofinclusive and unconditional loving. Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed.”
You can even go on knitting retreats to learn how to knit and pray, meditate and reflect on scripture. Interestingly knitting has undergone a resurgence of interest in the last few years. Which doesn’t surprise me because I think that connecting ones creativity to a rhythmic activity like this has a very therapeutic effect – whether one is spiritually inclined or not. I love the reflections I found by Pastor Judy Anderson-Bauer on the Monastic Musings blog. She starts with Everything is done one stitch at a time. No amount of wishing will get a cable sweater done faster. It is all done stitch by stitch. And that is a good thing. Unfortunately this post no longer seems to be available but you can access some of her wisdom and that of others on knitting here.