Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Knitting for comfort

Knitting is one of those things that brings me comfort. And serenity.

Working with fiber, feeling the softness of yarn on my lap, listening to the faint clicking of my bamboo knitting needles.

But my recent project is not for my own comfort.

When I joined a new church recently, they learned of my interest in knitting. So one Sunday, following a service, a member approached me and told me of their prayer shawl program. She asked if I might be interested.

She explained the mission of the program: to knit shawls to give to people who need comfort. For any reason. Perhaps they are ill, perhaps grieving a recent loss. Lonely or depressed. Hurting in some way.

The idea is to pray for comfort for the receiver of the shawl, though you may never know who that is, or know their circumstances.

So I am knitting. I have three shawls started, in three different patterns.

When I visited my favorite yarn shop, Mrs. I's in Osceola, to purchase yarn for the shawls, I told the owner about the project. I showed her the suggested pattern that calls for casting on 57 stitches, knitting three, purling three, and continuing on.

It turns out she has done presentations on prayer shawls. I learned that the patterns are based on the Trinity, so everything is divisible by three. She showed me one she had done.

Now when I start a shawl using a different pattern than the suggested one, I cast on 57 stitches and make sure I'm using a set of three somehow in my rows.

It is gratifying and brings me joy. Knitting for comfort.