Making All Things New

     I’ve been knitting a lot during the Pandemic.  Aside from my sacred knitting, I like to create garments and I enjoy the calming effects.  My husband and I spent five months of 2020 in a 29-foot RV.  It’s a long story. 

      One morning, I came back to the RV from walking the dog and I noticed his coffee cup was sitting on my latest swatch.  I had been creating lots of swatches because I like to have more than one project on the needles at a time.  I like these new coasters you’ve been knitting, he said in an attempt to be supportive of my craft.  I started to explain what a swatch was but then I realized he had given a new identity to what was just information to me.  The swatch was nothing but stitch and row counts.  It wasn’t a “thing”.  But my husband saw it in a new light.  He opened my eyes to see something beyond the obvious.  I decided to make them beautiful.  I decided to celebrate something that I had forced myself to make in the past.  Instead of enduring the swatch, I lived into it. I quit worrying about whether it was going to be perfect the first time.  I was making beautiful coasters, and, in the process, I would figure out the right combination of yarn and needle size.

     Henry Nouwen wrote a book called “Making All Things New”.  It’s a wonderful introduction about how to live a spiritual life.  We must stop worrying, he says.  He describes how our preoccupations of our lives; our busyness keeps us from being present in the moment.  The present moment is all we have.  The past is a memory and the future has not come to past.  When we worry, we are living in a future that may or may not come to pass.  When we do what is right in the present, we are creating the best possible future.  Swatching in the present, will lead us to the best knitting creation.  Exercising and eating healthy foods will lead us to a healthier future.  Our life is now.  We can learn from the past and plan for the future, but we need to live in the now.  We need to celebrate the now.  This is how a swatch that I “had” to knit became something new – a celebration of that moment in time.

Rows 20-28 of Pattern # 26 from the Japanese Stitch Bible

Published by Julie Cicora

I'm an Episcopal Priest that loves using knitting as a spiritual discipline.

6 thoughts on “Making All Things New

    1. We were supposed to spend 2020 in the Netherlands for my husband’s job. We asked a friend of my son’s to live in our house to take care of our dog for the year. We guaranteed him a year so when we had to return because of Covid, we had no place to live. We spent 3 months in Alabama helping our daughter-in-law while our son was deployed. He’s an Army Ranger. We left Alabama, retrieved our RV, and lived in a campground from June through Oct with our 60 pound Afghan Hound. My husband was up at 3 am or 4 am every workday morning to be on conf. calls with the Netherlands. In Nov, we rented an apartment for a month before we finally got our temporary residence permit and we returned to the Netherlands. We just came back to the states yesterday for the month of March. We have the same apartment. It was quite an experience living in such a small space. I did manage to accumulate a yarn stash!


  1. That is an epic trek during a COVID year, for sure. I’m impressed that you’re keeping up with this Lenten project while all this dislocation is going on in your life. I love small space living stories as I find it so interesting to learn about what objects are important enough to keep close in a person’s life.


  2. Thank You for sharing the RV story. I know you were back in the states for a while last year but not about the alternate living arrangements. The life we are living today is a result of choices made in the past but if we don’t like the outcome we can choose differently today and thereby impacting tomorrow. But with the connections going back and going forward we must manage to focus on today so that we can enjoy the beauty of every momment.


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