With all the busyness, challenges and distractions over the last half year, I have not been writing in my blog as often as I planned to. Even so, I was able to accomplish two major feats during this time period. I managed to fund raise for two causes which are very dear to my heart. By selling my crocheted and knitted products, I was able to raise money to support a village in Laos for a year, and also a donation for Ebola orphans in Africa. I had never done any fund raising before, and this certainly made me feel accomplished. I am most happy to know that I don’t need to run, bike or swim and yet I can contribute to some greater cause in the comfort of my home.
Knitting and crocheting are more than hobbies and ways to help others. A quick search on Google will tell you that these crafts are therapeutic. Crafters have claimed that they can cure everything from gout to weight problems. Most importantly, they improve one’s mental health as the brain follows a pattern and exercises to focus on one thing. Because of the affects on the mind due to relaxation and meditative qualities, these crafts are increasingly used in hospitals, schools, barracks and even prisons. They are now affectionately called they New Yoga.
I can attest to the benefits of these crafts for they have helped me navigated through some dark times and redeemed some things which were lost. It is also my way of expressing love to friends and families. I have at times feel there are some spiritual aspects to them and for the longest time I could not put my finger on it until I read an article from Christianity Today.
I have tried to “teach” some of my friends these crafts and often people find the repetition too “boring” and too “mundane” . They need more stimulants in their lives and something fast-paced which they don’t see in these crafts. However, I love how the author of this article sees repetition in comparison of Ecclesiastes 1 to Psalm 19. “The repetition of movements of days and seasons are not boring and tiresome, they are reminders of God’s faithfulness to His word.” And for sure I found the repeats of rows and stitches reassuring and soothing to the soul as they provide and remind me that one can find some kind of stability in the middle of chaos. There have been many times when the day’s event would cause frustrations and even anger, and when I finally settled in my chair with my yarn, needles or hooks I could find some solace in my soul. It helped me to reconnect to God in my brokenness as my soul strive to reach for some kind of wholeness.
I do believe this communion with God came through prayers. As my hands and mind engaged in knitting and crocheting , I slowly regain calmness and in my silent “oasis” I have room for the Spirit of God to reach, to correct and to guide. As the author puts it ” ….I find my spirit soothed, my anxious thoughts subsided, my mind free to think and even to pray.”
These crafts are not often “relaxing” for there have been times I had to rip my project apart due to some mistake and would take hours to go back to where I had left off. Correcting a mistake and starting over again is not something I welcome, but over times I understand the merit of being patient, and the fact that mistakes are opportunities for me to learn.
I am glad that I stumbled upon this article and realized that knitting and crocheting are not just for “little old ladies” and as she puts it so eloquently : we can “knit our way to a prayerful life and find comfort in blessed repetition”.