The Forgiveness of Scrubbies

By The Rev. Karulynn Koelliker

Have you ever picked up your knitting when anxious or angry or impatient and found that the stitches were too tight?  You had to struggle to get the needle into the stitch to complete a new stitch and the new stitch did not want to slide like it should on the other needle.  After a few rows you looked at your work and the sides were indented and the stitches looked smaller.  You measure and the 6 rows did not make the inch that you anticipated that they would.  “Scrubbie” is not like this.  The nature of the way this yarn is created makes it rough and very hard to knit too tightly.  Once the project is completed you can pull and stretch and the shape evens out and looks as if all were stitched with the same precise tension.  Worsted yarn is not like this for me.  When this happens, the tension is too tight or loose (does not match the swatch) a decision has to be made – reverse stitch it or leave it.  The choice is always the creators.

Did you ever take the time to reflect on why this happened?  What had you so tense or overly relaxed?  After prayerful consideration, is it something that you should act on?  I will solve the problem with the item on my needle and only give a fleeting thought to why. When I remove the wonky knitting, I’m missing some important insights, if I don’t figure out why it happened.  I have learned to knit on ‘scrubbies’ when upset and hopefully work through the challenge.  I know the outcome of the ‘scrubbie’ won’t show that it was knitted when upset. It is a good way to calm myself and think through what has me so tense so upset.  “Scrubbies” provide a calming way to change my focus.  Additionally I don’t have to do any reverse stitching and once calm am ready to pick up my real work?  ‘Scrubbies’ are forgiving. 

We have learned that forgiveness is for us and not for the one who has wronged us.  Forgiving ourselves is hard and takes practice as well.  Let’s use our knitting as away of finding forgiveness in our hearts so we can be what our Heavenly Father created each of us to be. 

BIO The Rev. Karulynn Koelliker

I am a Deacon in the Episcopal Church serving at Emmanuel Greenwood in the Diocese of Virginia.  I have been ordained for 9 years.  I lived most of my adult life along the coast of Georgia.  I returned to my roots in Virginia 3 years ago.  All is new and in many ways exciting while being challenging.  My needlework journey had provided many opportunities to grow and create, vestments and paraments for churches where I worshipped, my own stoles that are quilted and appliquéd, and making many prayer shawls to name a few.  The meanings or feelings associated with colors cross mediums and add special significance to the things that I create.  Doing what I love and doing it with prayer adds a wonderful dimension to the finished offering. 

Project Update: Rows 19-26 of pattern #56 of the Japanese Stitch Bible.

Published by Julie Cicora

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

3 thoughts on “The Forgiveness of Scrubbies

  1. This is so true. In the guidelines for making comfort shawls for church we are advised not to work on them if we’re feeling angry or upset. Can we really pass on negative feelings? Yes, I think so!


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