Every knitter has experienced the feeling of angst when they discover a dropped stitch. It’s even worse when you have been knitting for years. Beginners are expected to drop stitches and it’s a wonderful teaching moment when you can teach a new knitter how to “ladder up” the dropped stitch and fix the mistake. But after fifty years, discovering dropped stitches in almost every project you have on the needles can give a knitter pause. What’s happening??
A few weeks ago, I noticed a hole in my work. I just picked up the stitch and moved on saying softly to myself, don’t worry, it happens. The next day, I found another dropped stitch in a different project. This time, I paused and wondered why I dropped the stitch, but I quickly became distracted trying to find a cable needle the right size in order to grab the loose stitch. The next incident involved a dropped stitch in a fair isle project. This is what finally got my attention. The stitch had wandered down a few rows and I had to figure out which yarn on the ladder was the float and which yarn was the correct color for the pattern. This was not a fun process.
I had no idea why all of a sudden, I was starting to drop stitches on a regular basis. Did I need new glasses? I decided to pay more attention to my knitting. I forced myself to slow down and watch my hands. It happened. I saw my needle go in-between the stitch I was going to knit and the stitch next to it. The yarn went around the needle came through the hole and I pushed the unknit stitch off the needle essentially dropping it. I was missing the stitch, but my hands were making the motion and if I was looking away, it felt like I had knit the stitch. Why had I started to knit in-between stitches? Why was I missing the loop?
I think it’s because I’m using size 4 US needles and fingering weight yarn. These thin pieces of yarn require the knitter to aim. My knitting was asking for my attention.
When we sit down to pray our intention is to spend time with God. Just like with any other relationship, we need to be attentive during that time. We need to listen. The dropped stitch is a good example of what happens when our attention drifts whether it is in our everyday lives or during our prayer time. We drop stitches and then the fabric of our lives is weakened. There are holes that can become larger if they are not addressed immediately. We miss the stitch entirely and then it is gone.
There is so much clamoring for our attention. People, projects, chores, children, ideas, work, and even yarn! There is so much content out there. It’s everywhere inviting us to look away from our focus.
Being in silent prayer can help us learn to focus our attention again and that focus will translate to the people we love. There is no greater gift in any relationship than being truly attentive.
Project Update: Pattern rows 7-14 of Pattern #56 of the Japanese Stitch Bible.