No Mistakes in Knitting

A Weekly Reflection, Sunday, August 27, 2017

By: Andrew Moore, Associate Rector

“Andrew, there are no mistakes in knitting.” When my friend Jennifer said this to me, I shot her a look that was layered with skepticism, annoyance, and frustration. You only needed to look at the mess of yarn in my lap to find evidence that mistakes could abound in knitting.

I’d been trying to learn to knit off and on for about a year, but with very little success. I dreamed of the baby blanket I’d make to welcome my nephew Lucas into the world. I could picture the beautiful prayer shawls and scarves I would craft. Yet all I had to show for my efforts thus far was a gray rectangular-ish blob of a…scarf? Pot holder? Work of abstract art?

Yet Jennifer stuck to her positively perky refrain. “There are no mistakes in knitting.” And, somewhat surprisingly, it’s a mantra that I’ve come to adopt for myself. In many ways, she was right, there are no mistakes in knitting.

Now, to be sure, you can do things incorrectly. I have been known to botch a pattern, lose track of where I am or simply miscount stitches. But unless my error is glaringly obvious, I don’t often backtrack and try to fix anything. Because the small errors or inconsistencies are part of the charm and appeal of something handmade. A prayer shawl with a row or two that are off is a reminder that it was lovingly and prayerfully crafted.  Often the imperfections make it more beautiful.

In Psalm 139 the psalmist writes “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God created each of us in all of our unique, broken, and beautiful ways. We were lovingly knit together without mistakes, in all of our imperfect perfection.

In time, I did learn to knit, and it is now one of my favorite pastimes and one of my most meaningful prayer practices. And every time I find myself inclined to get frustrated by an imperfection, I can hear Jennifer’s voice reminding me “Andrew, there are NO mistakes in knitting.” She was right, there are no mistakes in my knitting. And there are no mistakes in the way that God knitted together creation.