When we knit we follow a written pattern unless we are creating our own. Either way there's a universal way it's done. There are instructions of some sort that must be followed stitch by stitch to achieve the final result. We may vary in our method of knitting. I knit Continental style, which is actually the German method. My working yarn is held in my left hand and I "pick" rather than "throw" as in the English/American method. But still the knitting process is pretty much the same and our finished work looks the same no matter what method of knitting we've used. I think it's what we do while we are knitting that makes us truly unique as knitters. Those things that nobody but we ourselves know we routinely do.
If you stop and think about it, you know what I mean. Like me, I'm sure you have those things you do too. It's almost like our own inner built formula that we instinctively follow, especially for those of us who have been knitting for years now. Time goes by so quickly and I'm amazed when I realize I have been knitting now for thirty one years. I've been crocheting even longer. So I have definitely developed some habits at this point that I gravitate towards when I pick up my yarn and my needles or hooks.
The very first thing I always do, without fail, is put the kettle on. For me there's no knitting without a cup of tea. It's just part of the process. The part that is comforting, calming and centering. The next thing I do, if I am around the house by myself, is turn on an audiobook. I use the Play Away version with earbuds during the months I knit on the porch swing. If I can't actually read a book then I love to be read to. I love stories and books of all kinds. During the colder months I have my favorite chair or two to sit in when I knit inside the house. Sometimes I even sit in the kitchen on a sunny day with my knitting.
Now, here's where things get very personal for me. I have a habit that I don't often share with others. As I knit or crochet, I pray for the person who will receive the item I am working on. Oftentimes so much of my work ends up being for someone I don't know and will never know because it gets sold online. Much of my work also gets sold at a Craft Faire and even though I meet these people face to face it can be such a frenetic scene of shoppers that at the end of each day it's not always easy to remember who bought what. Although I would like to say that I am a people person and I always have a sense when I am making certain things that they are for a specific person and when that particular item is sold I usually make a connection with the customer. Not only do I remember these people but they sometimes pop back up in my life. There is a reason for the things we are compelled to do with our time and talents. God always has a plan.
But as I said, while I am knitting I am praying. I love making baby items and praying for the babies who will wear them. Praying for their health and happiness and that God will guard and guide them in this world they have been so newly brought into seems like a good idea to me.
Sometimes I have the advantage of knowing either who the mommy to be is or the name of the baby so I can pray specifically for them. This purple hat is going to a friend of my daughters. Chelsea wanted a flower added to it to make it even more girlie. I make so many of these hats for gifts and to sell. They are popular because they are so easy to make for either a boy or a girl.
Just like the apple hat. I think it's a nice unisex baby hat as well. So, as I knit around and around I just keep praying. Then when an item is done my finishing touch is always one more prayer. I lay my hands on it and pray over it before it gets packaged to send off in the mail or before it is tagged for a sale or given as a gift. I do this with every single item I make. Right down to things people don't wear like stuffed bunnies and pumpkins. Not only do I want the recipient of the article to be blessed by the work of my hands, because receiving something new and especially handmade, is always fun, but more importantly, I want them to be blessed in their lives whether I ever know them or not. God knows them and He knows their needs. I trust the unseen to Him.
I'll be honest, I feel rather exposed by sharing this here. It's just something I do that comes naturally to me. I get comfy with my tea, I knit and I pray. I turn the audiobook off when I'm really praying for specific things so it doesn't distract me. Praying for the person who will own what I am making has always seemed like the right thing to do to me. I've just always done it without giving it much thought. Maybe that seems odd to someone else or maybe many of you do the same thing.
I would love to hear from you about what method of knitting you use, where you enjoy sitting to knit or crochet and what your own unique rituals are that you do routinely as you take up your own yarn, hooks and needles.
Pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks;
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1Thessalonians 4: 16-18