Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday Knitting {Knitting in Church, and Why I do it}

On Sunday afternoons over the last couple of months, I've been posting my #KnittingInChurch projects on my instagram.
I've received a few questions from people (both online and off) as to why I knit in church, or other places where it might seem out of the ordinary, or a social faux pas. And also, how I justify or feel comfortable doing it while others might not. 

Simply put, knitting is my rosary.
 *I'm not actually Catholic-but I can appreciate that a rosary is a form of meditation. Something that keeps one's mind focused and in thought. The point here is not the tool, but the function.*

As far back as I can remember, I've had to had my hands busy while listening in church, (or school etc) to keep my mind from wandering off into a day dream. 
In elementary school I was often scolded for drawing because the teacher would assume that my actions meant I wasn't listening. Little did they didn't realize that it was the only thing that kept me engaged in what what was being said.

My high school teachers though, embraced that this was simply how I functioned and never minded if I was drawing, crocheting or carving, so long as my grades reflected that I was indeed listening. (and I did, and do still take notes as I go.)

And I soon realized, that I wasn't the only person who seemed to best function while having something to occupy their hands. 

As an adult, concentration, for me, is still a struggle. Possibly even more so.
 While the distractions might not be the same, they are still plenty. Instead of simple and imaginative childish daydreaming, it's:

Did I lay out the chicken to thaw for tonight's dinner?

Do I need to stop at the grocery store on our way home?

I need to remember to tell so-and-so about the date of that birthday party
Wow, that baby is really cute. I want to squeeze her. again and again. And smell her. I wonder what size she's in now.... Do I have some clothes I could pass down to her already? Would they be the right season yet? Hmm, she looks a little bigger than Lotte was at that age...

You catch the drift.

 It is so difficult for me to go from having a very full and ordinarily multi-tasking mind to listening to one subject (no matter how interesting) without losing focus.  Especially in a church so blessed that it's brimming with so very many noisy, adorable children.

This isn't a selective issue, either.
I don't want anyone to misunderstand what I'm saying. I'm not suggesting that our church sermons are so boring that I have to knit to stay awake; In fact, I don't find them boring at all.

Please realize that I knit through even the best of movies and television shows as well. And before I knew how to knit, it was some other outlet. (there are many.)

I'm also not suggesting that this is something everyone and anyone should do.
If anyone were to find knitting (or any other thing) to be something that was too difficult to do while listening, I would not suggest it. The entire point, for me, is to stay focused, not to cause further distraction.

I choose very simple patterns and stitches for church- things I don't have to think about. If I know i'm going to have to count anything, read anything or at the point in a sock where it's time to turn a heel, measure etc,  I leave it at home and bring something else instead. Even just some empty needles and a piece of scrap yarn. Really.

I don't feel the need to actually justify why I do this, I would feel some form of self conviction if it were something that was was hindering my relationship with God.

But thought some form of explanation would be helpful for those who have asked why, or others who have attention deficit tendencies and feel alone in their own, sometimes not very obvious, but very real distractions.

Sunday's Sermon can be downloaded here


  1. I also knit in church. I find it helps me to stay awake which is difficult when the speaker is quiet my children are being good and i'm sitting still for the first time in days. I do make one rule though only knitting that requires no pattern so that i am concentrating on what is being said not on what part comes next in the lace pattern. I'm glad to hear I am not the only one!

  2. I am very much like you, but I limit it because I know it can appear disrespectful to others, and sometimes it distracts them from paying attention to the service or whatever else is going on around us.

  3. I wish I could knit at church but I know that it would be frowned upon by the priest...and it doesn't help I sit up front :D Glad you get to pair faith and knitting together, and I agree with you knitting is like a meditative rosary (well said!)

  4. Love the knitting. Very pretty. I do it sometimes at church but most of the time I am busy wrangling the children!

  5. This is such a lovely post. I applaud you for recognising how much better you can concentrate with knitting in your hands. You have fantastic priest for allowing u to knit. So many people are quick to judge.