Several months ago, a knitting group was started at my church. The Nutty Knitters. We make Prayer Shawls. We meet every week - on Wednesdays.
For a while, I would take whatever I felt like knitting along to the meeting. I wasn't getting much work done on the Prayer Shawl. So I decided that on Wednesdays I can only take a Prayer Shawl to knit...and it has to be a Prayer Shawl for the ministry (not for myself, or for my daughter, etc). This has been working well. You see, I don't love knitting the pattern (I love knitting bags!). It's a nice enough pattern but gets kinda boring. What I discovered once I made myself only knit the shawl on Wednesdays, is that this is the perfect pattern for the meetings! You see, we sit...and talk...and knit. With this pattern, you can talk AND knit (and not have to worry about the pattern!).
I want to tell you about two lives this Nutty Knitter Prayer Shawl group has touched already.
The first is an older woman. She's retired and has been knitting for years (decades, probably). She was the first person in the group to finish a shawl for the ministry (the rest of us are slackers compared to her!). She has finished at least 3 shawls (at least one of those was a gift for her daughter). We found out that knitting these shawls (to give to others in need) makes her feel useful and needed again. Imagine how useful she will feel when she learns that the shawl she knitted went to...
A woman in the congregation who's son was killed in Iraq. He was 40 years old. I'm not sure what branch of the military he was in. A memorial service was held at church a few weeks ago. This woman was the first person to receive a Nutty Knitters shawl (the shawl the other woman knit). Last week, she came to the Nutty Knitters meeting. She wanted to learn how to knit. She hopes that it's something she can do that will take her mind off losing her son. She said that one night when she couldn't sleep, she went downstairs to sit. She wrapped the shawl around herself (it's knitted with Lion Brand Homespun). She said it was so soft and warm and it just reminded her of holding her son when he was a baby (to all the moms out there - doesn't that just break your heart??).
Isn't it amazing how knitting can touch people's lives? Two women. In different circumstances and in different periods of their lives. Both benefit from knitting. And this is what I will try to remember as I'm knitting. That it's not "just" knitting. At the very least, it benefits me (calms me, helps me hold onto my sanity on those crazy days). And it just may benefit someone else, as well.
MAKE it a great day!