Monday, February 04, 2008

Reading the Stitches

A few months ago, I got it in my head that I could learn to knit. As a kid, I always wanted to learn to knit. My gram was an expert crocheter, but try as I might, I never really liked it. Crochet said pineapple doilies and lace and granny squares and daisy afghans - a mind-tangling array of possibilities. Knit said knitting and purling. Row upon row. Straightforward and simple.

So it happens that some ladies at church get together and knit or crochet projects to give away to homeless shelters, new mothers or sick children as the needs arise. Some of them were talking about it at Bible study one night. Hmm, I thought, I could learn to knit, get involved with something worthwhile, have something to keep me occupied while my husband watches TV at night, as well as get to know some other women. Oh and make some Christmas gifts. (who am I kidding!)

I started not one, not two but three projects before I ran into some many snags. So I met a friend one night at B&N. She taught me my most important lesson: learn to read the stitches. She made me look closely at my work. "This is a knit stitch. This is a purl stitch. The knit stitches look like "V's" while the purl stitches look like bumps."

You see, I'd been cruising along, knitting and purling but not always paying attention. When I'd realize I made a mistake, not knowing where I erred, I'd pull the whole thing out! Learning to read the stitches has made my knitting life so much easier.

And this weekend as I was knitting, I realized how important it is in life to read the stitches. To be aware of what's going on in my heart. In my home. In my relationships. And physically. What is God teaching me? Are there lessons he keeps bringing to the forefront of my mind? Where am I enjoying life-giving rhythms, and where am I out of sync? How have changes (of seasons or whatever) thrown me off course? As well, I need to read the stitches in others lives, to be attentive and considerate of where they are. What's _____ going through right now? What does she/he need? How can I pray for them?

Our lives are surely God's handiwork. He knows the finished picture and, day by day, is revealing more of that to us as he works in our lives. But we must pay attention to the stitches.


Tami Boesiger said...

I err on the side of looking too much. Sometimes I think I need to quit looking at the stitches and get the blasted thing finished!

Becky said...

I love this. Good metaphor for our lives. God gives us do-overs when we do something wrong too.

Hey, I finished my baby blanket. The one that was torn out all over my family room floor last week.


Katrina said...

This is so, so good Dianne. We were recently hit with something big, and I feel like I wasn't reading the stitches. I don't know if that's true or not, but I do know that I need to be reading the stitches -- in my life and the lives of those around me. Great analogy. Thanks.

Barb said...

Beautiful analogy, Dianne. I'll never look at my crochet work the same way again after reading this. And guess what? I'm determined to teach myself to knit this winter.

Bev said...

Loved this! And like Barb, as I 'read my knitting' I'll remember this post and the reminder to read the stitches of others' lives. Great stuff.