Let’s talk a little bit about how to set up a spiritual knitting practice. Preparation is important if we want to create a good practice. Like anything else, we have lay a good foundation, put together the parts that will help us be able to maintain this practice over time. If we don’t have the things that we need then it will be easy for us to skip our prayer time because there is always something pulling us away.
The first step is to find a time to pray. It is best to find a time when you can count on being free every day like first thing in the morning or sometime in the evening. During the day can be difficult since there are always things happening out of our control. It’s important to pick a time you can commit to. Once you figure out a time, then decide how long you will knit and pray. Don’t make it too long. You could start with five minutes a day, or an inch a day or three rows a day but whatever you decide, commit to it. Consistency is important. The objective is to start and sustain a daily prayer practice not to get overwhelmed.
Next step, find a place. Since most days we start and end our day at home, find a quiet spot in your home where you can sit undisturbed. Make sure it is comfortable and warm. Maybe it’s a chair at your kitchen table or an armchair in the living room. It just needs to be a place where you can be alone and have some quiet time. Now that we have a time and a place, what can we knit? What will be our sacred knitting? Remember, this is not about creating a piece of art or figuring out a new knitting technique, it’s about spending time in the presence of God. The actual knitting should be a project that will engage our brains to the degree that it helps silence all of the thoughts running around inside our heads. The kind of thoughts that distract us from prayer.
My last sacred knitting project were these fingerless mitts. I chose them because the cables kept my mind from wondering. I was able to just let myself be aware of knitting in the present moment without thinking about the past or the future. Before I started each prayer time, I would hold the mitts and think about how our hands are the hands of God on earth. How we can use our hands to help others. I gave thanks for all the hands that have helped me over the years.
Find a special project that will draw you in to your prayer time. Keep it separate from the rest of your knitting. When you begin to knit, spend some time becoming grounded by feeling the yarn, holding the needles and asking God to bring you into the present moment and help you let go of all distractions. Then as Anthony Bloom suggests in his book Beginning to pray, sit and knit silently in the face of God.