Threads of Life
When I was 10 years old, my grandmother started to teach me different forms of needlework. We lived on a fruit farm and in the summer I would go to her house to help out with the fruit stand. The needlework kept me from being bored. But it also did something else: it kept me focused on creating something beautiful.
Of all the forms of needlework, knitting was my favorite…perhaps because it appeared to move along faster in the creation process. I could see more of a result of my efforts than when I crocheted or embroidered. But there was something about the knitting motions, the click of the needles against each other that was very meditative and soothing.
Fascinated by the textures and colors
When I was 28, I started a job that had me working 13 hours a day, so I no longer knitted. Then one day I walked into a yarn shop just to look at all the colors of yarn. I was fascinated by all the colors, the patterns, the materials yarn was now made out of. When I was a little girl, we had cotton, wool, and acrylic. Now there was wool, cashmere, alpaca, mohair, cotton, silk, and lots of manmade fibers in shimmering and glittering colors. I walked out of that shop with a bag full of yarn, needles, and a pattern, and started knitting again.
I started with shawls because they were easier to knit, but yet allowed for the creative process to flow. Even with the same pattern, the shawls looked different based on the colors and textures of yarn chosen. So I knitted, and as I knitted, a person’s face or name would come into my mind—and I knew that was the person this shawl would be gifted to.
Knitting with love and grace
Knitting as a meditation allowed me to quiet my mind and channel all my energies to the needles…with my hands busy, my mind didn’t have to be. And I would find myself mentally singing and praying as I knitted. I would see patterns of light and sound inside of me, and they would go into the shawl I was knitting. The people I gave the shawls to told me they felt soothed by them—that they made them feel calm and safe…made them feel better. It became a ministry of love and grace.
I’ve knitted other items, but I always seem to come back to shawls. With the shawls I can wrap someone with love and grace. I can let them know they are appreciated for who they are. And perhaps the shawls will help someone step into the same still and comforting Presence I feel when I knit….maybe when they wrap themselves in the colors of the shawl, they too will feel a sense of Homecoming.