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April 22, 2007

Comments

flutter

Funny you mention this, my grandmother used to sing hymns as she knitted. So when she would give you something she made, she said it held all of her prayers for your happiness and health. Kind of lovely to think of.

Tammy

I think the fascination/addiction part comes from endless dreams and possibilities of what yarn could be. The texture of the yarn, the variety of the stitch... cables, lace, simple, elaborate. Even a simple scarf becomes exciting with some unique homespun. Could you ever knit it all, would it ever get boring... I wonder.

As far as knitting and prayer, I can say that I sadly find thoughts of knitting interrupting my prayers way too often.

Knitting on the brain... definitely.

Pam

I'm not a religious person, but I sometimes use knitting in a way that is similar to how some people use prayer. Last week was particularly difficult for many reasons and so I found myself knitting nonstop. It calmed me, helped me sort out my feelings and yet it was also productive in a tangible sense. It's meditative and good. More on my blog.

Estella

I agree totally with the thinking of the person you are knitting for. I keep the person in my heart as I form the stitches and it is almost like a prayer. I've found that if I'm making something for someone and we are not in a good place that it is hard to knit for them...I've even had to put the project down!

Marti

Funny you should mention religion. I was called religious recently. I had to think about that...am I religious? What is religion? this is what I found that I believe to be true...Religion is mans way of trying to reach God...Since man is flawed this doesnt work well at all and becomes a series of rules and expectations that no one can live up to. I don't believe that is what Christ wanted or wants for us. He put the "religious" leaders in their place many times, they in turn crucified him. I think being a Christian is different that being religious. What Christ offers in a relationship with HIM is His way of reaching mankind. He wants us to love him and love others...to reach out to others. I am sorry you had a bad religious experience. I to have had them. Now I try to let Christ lead me...

Debbie

very well put. I find knitting to be my mediation for the day. In the beginning my mind had to completely stop an only focus on the stitch at hand. Now I don't have to think that much but my mind still comes to a still place which is quite enjoyable.


As for the Rosaries, I have worn mine as a necklace for comfort on hard days at work. I'm not very religious i.e. church going but it did help

Mary Lynn

Knitting is that calming thing that I pick up when I need to do SOMETHING. There is a peace in it.

It is very similar to the place I can go to when in church. My daughter was confirmed yesterday and as we waited for ceremony to begin, it occurred to me that this place is such a wonderful place. Even being there with my six year old, it is a place where I like to be. All of the demands of life(well, all of the demands of life except for the 6 year old who wants to know exactly how many more songs are going to be sung . . . and this prior to the mass beginning), anyway all of the demands of life stop at the door. It is in the blessing of oneself that you can give it all up. Now I lay me down . . .

. . . and with the knitting, it can be the same . . . I pray the Lord my soul to keep . . .

Mel

I agree, Wendy.

The act of knitting, for which most people sit, makes you slow down. It quiets the body and mind long enough for you to "hear" the voice that guides you.

Nowadays, not too many people really stop to listen to that "voice." They're constantly rushing from one activity to the next.

So yes, knitting is like prayer/meditation. Especially when you have miles of stockinette to do. :)

Mim

I don't know if you have heard of the prayer shawl ministry but the whole idea behind it is that while you are knitting the shawl you pray/think of the person you are knitting it for. I think that knitting is wonderful for meditation/prayer time. In this busy, busy world sometimes it's hard to set aside time to think of others.

Natalie

We have heard of the "knitting is cheaper than therapy" line...

Prayer is a quiet conversation - so is knitting. On one hand you are talking with God, the other, with ourselves. Both are completely introspective.

Julie Tucker

You know, your blog seems to evoke frequent comment.
It's definitely talent; you are terrific at getting people involved.

(BTW, thanks for the kind words yesterday)

Faith

Once I gifted a baby blanket with the words, "like they say, every stitch is a kiss!" and then recoiled in horror- sometimes these knitting-means-so-much-more sentiments are a bit maudlin.

jillian

As to the prayer part, I guess it depends on what place religion or prayer hold in someone's life, for someone to equate them. In so much as it can be a place of solace and/or relaxation for many, perhaps this serves the same purpose as prayer for some people. As to the addiction part, yes, we can be compulsive in our desire for yarn, patterns, and time to knit. But the way I look at it, if this isn't hurting anyone else, it isn't an "addiction" in the true sense. For instance, I have this insane stash. But I still pay da bills, so who is it hurting? No one. It makes me happy. Really not trying to sound defensive - just providing an example :)

Interesting topic!!

Erica

I think that's a perfectly reasonable parallel. To my mind, it's a bit more like meditation than prayer, but I don't think it's weird at all that you make that connection (says da church lady).

Reminds me of a joke I read where a lady goes to her priest and asks if she can pray while she knits, and he says something like, "Of course, my dear! It's always good to include the Lord in what you're doing." Then, she asks if she can knit while she prays, and he's horrified and calls her a sinner. ;-> It's all in how you look at it.

Erica

I think that's a perfectly reasonable parallel. To my mind, it's a bit more like meditation than prayer, but I don't think it's weird at all that you make that connection (says da church lady).

Reminds me of a joke I read where a lady goes to her priest and asks if she can pray while she knits, and he says something like, "Of course, my dear! It's always good to include the Lord in what you're doing." Then, she asks if she can knit while she prays, and he's horrified and calls her a sinner. ;-> It's all in how you look at it.

WiscJennyAnn

Yes, maybe too much knitting on the brain, but still! You are so right! I have been facing a bit of trauma in my life lately, and I've turned to my knitting for solace. The intense focus on something so small, right in front of me, has helped me to feel peace in the face of things so big and unmanageable all around me. The repetitive motion is something certain to which I can anchor myself. Thank you for this post.

Rev. Linda

Amen.

kari

I had a similar "losing my religion" experience so your post resonates with me. I think I get from knitting what a lot of people get from their religion - to each their own... Knitting is so calming and meditative (except when the yarn gets tangled or the stitches get dropped) that it makes me wonder how I ever kept my sanity without it.

Thanks for putting out such a nicely written blog. I'm looking forward to reading whatever else you have in store.

Mary

I'm not religious either - but knitting certainly is a form of meditation for me. I think someone else used the word "centers" and that's what knitting does for me - excludes everything else and in the repetition brings a bit of calm centered peace. I'm with ya!

Lara

I think prayer and religion keep people grounded - it is their form of hope and peace. I am not religious but that is what knitting is for me - my form of hope and peace. It is my silent time to think, contemplate, and figure things out when things are tough. I really don't know what I would do without knitting. I use to think it was an addiction and now I just realize it is a part of me and who I am.

Did you go to sleep last night right away? I can lay awake for hours when knitting is on my brain! And I dream about it too.

TK

We're lucky, aren't we, to have knitting as solace and prayer or meditation.

Knitting, ultimately, is personal like prayer and meditation (why I only knit in public when I feel comfortable in that public place). I can see how it feels like an addiction; it's something that we may think others "don't understand" and that can make us feel guilty for relying on to give us pleasure or peace.

Amanda

What a lovely post Wendy! Definately thought provoking... I often refer to knitting/yarn as an addiction or obsession though I feel that in this context it is a good thing. I have had some experience with true addiction (someone close to me) and I often thought that if she could only transfer that addictive tendancy to something good, maybe the other things wouldn't have such a hold on her... Interestingly, it was religion that seemed to help pull her out of the abyss. For me knitting is a meditation. I think that's why I don't knit super fast. I can, I just don't. If I knit fast, my thoughts get interupted. Like you and many others, I think about the recipient when I am knitting something for another. Knitting my thoughs, memories, and wishes into the item...

Lacy

Knitting can be a comfort. And so is praying. Religious or not when you take time to calm yourself and be still, you are one with God. As a side note, dancing to an Elvis song is not a sin, it's exercise!

Andree

That "youth minister" had too much time on his hands.

Lizbon

Oy, nothing will turn off a teenager more quickly than equating religion with restriction. I can't believe someone actually thought that guy would be suited for working with youth. How horrible.

I realize I'm in the minority here, but, um, I don't actually have Big Feelings about my knitting. It's just a hobby for me. Yeah, that might explain why I'm sort of an intermediate knitter and why I haven't ever bothered to learn how to make cables or other fancy things. But I find it mostly useful as a form of creative fidgeting - somethin' to do with my hands. The fact that it produces the occasional nice garment is sort of a bonus.

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