I am well aware that I have a reputation as being the quirky (crazy) knitting lady. I am absolutely – positively fine with that. Seriously – that doesn’t phase me at all. I am who I am. I am drawn to yarn like moths are drawn to light or teenagers are drawn to a strong Wi-Fi signal.
I have tried lots of other artistic pursuits – but once I found knitting – it was like I had come home. I have knit almost every single day for decades now. A non-knitting Kerri makes the McFarland men just a wee bit nervous – because they know something is wrong (likely very wrong).
I may have a big project like a blanket or a sweater on the needles that I just work on at home. But I always have a portable project I can take with me when I head out into the world.
Sometimes I knit using needles that aren’t much bigger than tooth picks. Other times the needles I use are as big around as my thumb.
Sometimes the yarn I use is subtle and reserved. It is gray – black or navy blue. Other times the yarn I choose is a wild riot of color. Shocking orange – red – acid green and vibrant blue all come together in one yarn and I smile at the hilarious – busyness of the colors and the yarn as it runs through my fingers while I knit.
Last year I knit 26.7 miles of yarn and so far this year I have knit 21.2 miles of yarn (and yes – I do keep track of how many yards/miles of yarn I knit each month and each year.)
The Craft Yarn Council estimates that there are 38 million other knitters and crocheters out there in the US. So – I know I am not alone in my love of yarny pursuits. (But perhaps not all of them are quite as into knitting as I am!) There is a difference in knowing how to knit and being a KNITTER . . .
Knitting is actually very good for you too. Research has shown knitting can reduce depression and anxiety. Knitting can slow the progression of dementia, distract from chronic pain, and increase a person’s overall sense of well-being. Another study found knitting lowered the heart rate by an average of 11 beats per minute – showing that knitting truly does relax most knitters. I doubt the same can be said of time spent on social media . . .
I know knitting helps me cope with my migraines. Knitting also has been a wonderful blessing during these strange – strange months of living through the Covid-19 pandemic. I have noticed the colors I am choosing to knit with are brighter than usual. I am adding cheer and joy and fun and lots of color to my days with wildly colorful yarn. I am finding both delight and comfort in this yarny hobby of mine.
Knitting is my thing.
Knitting is not Jack’s thing! But Jack has been tie-dying and bleaching since the pandemic started. He has the coolest – wildest most wonderful socks and t-shirts and hoodies that I have ever seen. And they are all products of Jack’s imagination and creativity. He is also trying his hand at some sewing these days. Jack is exploring creativity his way.
Knitting is not Will’s thing either! But Will is a master Lego builder. Will can spend hours in our “Lego Room.” (And yes we do have an entire room in our basement dedicated to Legos . . .) His creations delight and amaze me. I could never get Legos to do what our busy 7 year old can get them to do. Will’s ships actually look like ships and his trains look like trains. When I build with Legos I have to tell people what I have made – because it is not obvious!
Will also draws a lot. We go through quite a few Sharpies and packages of white cardstock at our house too.
Knitting is sooooo not Jason’s thing! But now that our garden is done for the season – Jason has decided to try his hand at building models again. The detail work that goes into Jason’s models boggles the mind (or my mind anyway). But it is a perfect fit for a man whose mind is drawn to detail and subtle nuance. William certainly loved being the recipient of a perfectly – perfect scale model of the Titanic.
Being creative is good for us. It is good for our hearts and our minds and our souls. It can be a comfort and a joy even during stressful times.
The Bible tells us in Genesis that we were created in God’s image – and our God clearly loves to create!
Think of all of the wonderful things our God created . . . the sun – moon – and the stars. All of those countless planets out there in the night sky. Human beings. 400 species of sharks. 48,200 spider species! 10,000 bird species. And the plants. Think of all of the wild and wonderful plants there are in our world . . .
I know knitting or sewing or building with Legos or constructing models or tie-dying may not be your thing – but what is your thing?
What creative pursuit fills your heart with joy? What do you delight in doing?
Or what have you always wanted to try? What creative pursuit has always fascinated you – but you just never took the time to dig in and give it a go? What are you curious about? What hobby are you itching to try?
These days are hard. The isolation is exhausting and so lonely. We are missing our friends and our loved ones. We long to gather together. We yearn for the ease of our former lives. But there are things we can do to help us through these stressful times. There are ways to make these days a bit less difficult and one might just be pursuing a creative endeavor!
Try it. Dig in! Give it your all. Don’t worry that your painting is wonky. Or that your model isn’t perfect. Or that your cake doesn’t look like the ones on the British Bake-off show. Or that the music you make isn’t flawless. That isn’t the point. The point is to have fun. To delight in being alive. To enjoy yourself and the blessing of the talents God gave you.
You are all in my heart, thoughts, and prayers.
In Christ – Pastor Kerri