Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a prolific knitter. This all started about thirteen years ago when I was suffering from agoraphobia and the only safe place was in my lounge. I would only go out if I was accompanied by someone whom I could trust not to leave me stranded whilst they popped into a shop!! And so, in order to pass the long hours, I started knitting and now it has become part of my life. (Before we go any further let me say that I am now fully restored to normal health and it’s hard to keep me indoors!!).
I’d learnt to knit at school and, thinking back, it must have been quite frustrating to watch us kids (boys were not excluded!) with our tongues poking out, pulling strange faces whilst trying to get the needle into the stitch and wind the wool around. Our teacher was Miss James, and here I have to admit that we called her “Pimple Nose” as she had the largest wart you’ve ever seen right on the end of her nose. She was probably only in her forties but I thought she was at least 90. I recently saw an old film of that school and there she was – exactly as I remembered! How cruel children can be. So, Miss James, if you’re still around and reading this (both highly unlikely), I apologise. But in all fairness, she was an excellent teacher and I soon mastered the art of knitting.
Our first project was to knit a dish cloth for our Mums. We used large wooden needles and a very rough, thick wool and had to knit “cabbage stitch”. This entailed winding the wool around three times then dropping off all the stitches to make a large, hopefully secure, hole. Mum was really pleased when I took my finished cloth home and, as she also enjoyed knitting, she taught me other stitches and I soon became quite adept.
Over the years I’ve knitted many of my children’s clothes – not all clothes for many of my children, rather, many clothes for my two children!! Then as they grew older and didn’t want knitted cardigans any more, I gave up; but the skill was always there, as I found out when I used it as therapy at the onset of my illness in 2000. I had to begin all over and regain my confidence, though, and therefore my first efforts were small items – Christmas tree decorations and such like.
As I became more proficient I attempted other things, but generally I now only make toys and dolls.
My desire to improve increased and before long I was looking for more difficult patterns to attempt. I was even being asked to do dolls for special occasions – unique to that item.
This one was for William and Kate’s wedding:
And so, finally, is the most intricate of all the things I’ve knitted –
The Scottish Piper
Now from all this, you’ll see that I have become more adept and accomplished as time has passed and this reminded me of my Christian life, too.
When I gave my life to Jesus back in 1983 I thought “what now?” At first I attended the local Methodist church, preferring to sit at the back, leaving as soon as the final prayer was over in case the Minister or someone else would wish to speak to me. Following that I went to a local Baptist church and enjoyed the freer style of worship. The teaching was good and I eventually became a member. I was growing and learning new things every day. I bought books and tapes (no CDs in those days!) and found that I wanted to learn more and more, and becoming more adventurous in my worship. Following my Baptism I received the gift of tongues – a gift I use every day of my life.
And now? Well, I now attend a Pentecostal church where we believe in the work of the Holy Spirit and the experience of the presence of God by the believer. I finally feel as if I’ve “arrived” and, together with my husband, recently saved and baptised, truly believe that is where God wants us to be.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
- Jeremiah 29 verse 11 N.I.V.
So, you see, just like learning to knit – or anything else you can name – you have to take it a little at a time and with experience you’ll find great satisfaction. Praise the Lord!