blue knit scarf

Joined and Knit Together

Post Author: Julie A. Jensen

blue yarn ball being knittedIt was the second time I learned to knit that stuck. The first time, my grandmother taught me during a summer vacation; I remember struggling with the yarn and needles, wondering if this would even turn into something usable. The second time was when I was in seminary. My sister had started knitting, and over one Christmas break I re-learned. This time the stitches were more even, the results more gratifying. Like many knitters I began with scarves–lots of scarves.

I learned that knitting is a way for me to make sense of the world. The more clergy knitters I meet, the more I realize how many of us knit to see tangible results. How often do we come home knowing we have had a long full day, but unlike accountants who have a completed spreadsheet, we cannot see the results? The counseling session may have been fruitful, the capital campaign may have been planned, the prayers prayed, but often the results are not immediate and tangible. As pastors, much of what we do is holy, but hard to see. However, coming home and picking up the needles and yarn, even for a few
minutes, provides concrete evidence that today we have done something. Knitting was what got me through CPE. The hours spent in repetitive seminars had a purpose–the knitting of a big purple blanket that is still on my couch today.

blue knit scarfThrough knitting I remember milestones–the fabric is a scrapbook of sorts. The blue scarf I wore to my Grandfather’s funeral is still in my winter wardrobe. In my closet in a bag is the sweater I started when I was seeking my first call. The scarf I wore all last winter was a splash of color during the short grey days, and long nights. A prayer shawl begun for a friend is now a wrap I keep in my office for chilly days. There was a sweater I wore when I needed to remember my gifts and skills. Some people collect spoons or charms or postcards when they travel–I buy souvenir yarn and dream about the possibilities contained within.

handmade knit socksFor me, knitting is sometimes an act of faith. I may have a plan, I may know what I want a project to become, but there are always surprises along the way. The stripes on one sock are different than the other (who needs matching socks anyway?). The sweater is too short, the blanket not quite square. Like much of life, and much of ministry, I find that if I take a deep breath and say a prayer, God presents the solution I never could have imagined.

The Rev. Julie A. Jensen is the Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Cartersville, GA. When she's not at night meetings at church, she can be found knitting and purling on her couch while watching crime dramas and cooking shows.

Image by: Julie Jensen
Used with permission
5 replies
  1. Kathleen Cosco
    Kathleen Cosco says:

    This is such a beautiful article. I love your remembrances – so special. A great reminder, take a deep breath and say a prayer. Wonderful words.

  2. Mandy Sloan Flemming
    Mandy Sloan Flemming says:

    We are sisters, in many ways. Your evenings sound a lot like mine, and I have been so grateful for learning the prayerful act of crafting spun yarn into something warm and functional. Bless you and your winter projects!

  3. Ginter Litman-Koon
    Ginter Litman-Koon says:

    Can I just say, Knitting got me through CPE too! And now, its giving me a way to give back to others, even though the internship budget is tight. Thanks for your words 🙂

  4. Cardelia
    Cardelia says:

    I Loved your article! I too have discovered that knitting and crochet give me that tangible result that I need at the end of a long day of ministry. There is something so gratifying in creating something that will have a final result! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Betsy
    Betsy says:

    Oh, another article that hurts to read!! I love to knit. It’s gotten me thru conventions, seminars, and long journeys. But my needles are resting now as my broken hand isn’t healed enough for knitting. I do feel this big raw spot inside where I usually have tangible results. You are so right- it’s exactly why I knit. The kid in nuerosci might be dying, but the family membervim knitting that sock for is just fine. Turning s heel makes md feel like i’ve really done something.


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