Holy Moment

How many times have you been happily knitting, stopped to admire your work, and to your absolute horror, discover a mistake a few inches down?  Now the knitter has a decision – to frog or not to frog – that is the question.  There are some obvious times when frogging is necessary. If we mistakenly cast on the wrong number of stitches and the sleeve will have close to the same stitches as the body, that’s an easy answer – frog.  But what about a small mistake?

     I have a friend who says, if you can’t fix it, flaunt it.  I love that idea.  Make the mistake into a design enhancement.  You can tell I’m not a perfectionist.  Thank goodness, because I make my share of mistakes.  I find it interesting to observe my own tolerance level for my mistakes.  Some things bother me, and others don’t.

     I saw this celery green sweater (picture above) in a Bergere de France publication.  The woman wearing it was standing in a field on what I imagined was a beautiful spring day, her hair blowing away from her face, her chin slighted lifted toward a blue sky with wispy clouds. I had to make it.  The sweater promised the beginning of warmth, crisp air, and the flowers poking out of the ground.

     This was the knitting project I grabbed when I ran out of the house to make the 7-hour drive to the hospital where my Dad was going to have surgery.  He needed to have his Kidney removed and I knew I was going to need something to do while we waited.  It was the perfect project because I felt like it represented something beyond that hospital room where I sat and knit by his bedside. 

     My father was used to seeing me knit.  Both my mother and I typically had a project on the needles (ok, I have a LOT of projects on the needles) and when we were forced to sit and wait, we pulled out our knitting.  He never really asked me about my knitting but one day in the hospital, he asked me what I was making.  I showed him the pattern and he told me it was beautiful.  I think he got the same feeling about the sweater as I did.

     A few weeks after his surgery, I was running out the door to make the same drive.  My dad died before I could get to the hospital.  The sweater stayed in the project bag in hibernation for over a year.  The next spring, I took it out and finished it.  When I got it done, there was mistake smack in the middle of the back.  I had forgotten to cable one of the cables.  If you look closely at the picture, you’ll see it.

     I’m ok with this mistake.  I was paying more attention to my father at that moment than I was to my knitting.  It reminds me of him and that time we had together in the hospital.   Sometimes our projects or our yarn represent important moments in our lives.  Knitters understand that their creations can become reminders of holy moments.  What do you treasure?  Which one of your pieces represents a holy moment?

4 rows of stockinette, 4 rows of seed stitch and then embroidered Faith onto the stockinette stitch area using duplicate embroidery stitch.

Published by Julie Cicora

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

2 thoughts on “Holy Moment

  1. I like the concept of “if you can’t fix it, flaunt it”. I strive for this in my life as I am a painful perfectionist. This concept reinforces my humanness and helps me find peace. ❤

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  2. Among some beaders there is an attitude drawn from the wisdom of some of our native American tribes that only the Great Spirit can create perfection. It is said that some of their crafters deliberately put a mistake into their beadwork, leather-work, basketry . . . As for me, I don’t need to make such mistakes on purpose. When I look back and find a frogging question it is the same dilemma that Julie describes so eloquently. Some of us, when we find we have stitched the wrong bead into a design, will choose to leave it there. We refer to it as a Spirit Bead. It is a deliberate act of appreciating and accepting our own imperfections, finding unexpected beauty in them, and trusting our failings to the Holy One. In my current contemplative beading practice I’ve had to frog a lot or the components of the final pattern will not connect correctly. Each time, though, I find that the care needed in frogging back to the mistake can be just as prayerful and vulnerable as getting it right in the first place. Grace is in everything if we are willing. Thank you for this process, Julie. You are really helping me to go deeper.

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