Posted by: Leigh Reynolds | November 9, 2011

The Knitting Needles

My grandmother died when I was very young – maybe 5 – and there is very little I remember about her. I remember her smile, that she cooked hot dogs for breakfast (instead of sausage), and I recall the smell of her perfume. I also remember that she knit.

For years after she was gone, we had a colorful box with some yarn, some knitting needles, and a small flyer of knitting instructions that, at least for a time, was kept on the floor of my closet. I’m not sure if it was her knitting box or just some knitting things she put together in a box for me and my sisters, but to me, they were something of hers, so I kept them around. I’d pull the needles out and play with them and the yarn, I even tried to read the flyer and teach my self how to knit on more than one occasion. I was never successful.

No matter how carefully I read the steps, or tried to follow along, I never could figure out how to knit – not even one stitch! I eventually gave up and somewhere along the way got rid of the knitting box. I am still in awe of those who knit, and I still have a sweater she once knit for my dad.

Though I never mastered knitting, I do understand a little about it…Knitting takes a simple yarn and transforms it into something wonderful, like a hat, sweater, or scarf, by pulling one loop through another, all the while keeping the active stitches together on the needle until the next one can be added. Through this process, you take a one-dimensional thing – yarn – and turn it into a two-dimensional finished product – a garment. The meandering loops can move and stretch – as much as 500% – in response to a person’s motions.

When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing. How each loop connects to the next and then a seemingly random set of loops or stitches comes together to create something practical, useful, and beautiful. The one doing the knitting has to take great care to ensure each stitch is looped correctly to the next and that, in the end, it is properly secured and finished. If it is not finished correctly – anchored – then one pull on a loose thread and it can all come unraveled.

And so it is in life. Everything we go through, all we experience or endure, each new adventure is linked to the next. When we trust the Weaver, our life comes together into something practical, useful and beautiful. If we can relax and let Him do His job, He’ll create a finished piece in our lives – one that can do far more than we could ever have done on our own.

But if we try to take over – pull the needles out of His hands before He is finished – we are not secured and we can unravel all of His work. We have to be anchored in Him and let Him complete the good work He started.

So often He changes from one stitch to another and we don’t understand it. But He knows what He is knitting together. He knows how it is all connected and how this stitch in time connects to the next.

I thought my life was headed one way, then He changed from a knit stitch to  purl, maybe threw in cable knit, then a basket weave… I am not exactly sure where I am headed next,  but I am beginning to see how all of the moments, experiences, and challenges are connected. How He is knitting my life together into something practical, useful and (if I don’t blow it) beautiful.

When we start to recognize this – recognize how He is working in our lives to knit one thing to the next and get us where He needs us to go – then we can trust Him more and He can do His best work. And it makes the hardships a little easier to bear, because we know He will work all things together for good if we just trust Him. Let Him finish the good work He started, create a beautiful finished piece, anchored in His love and finished by His grace.



  1. Thanks, you always make me proud with your insights, make me see a little clearer with your words, and make me smile when you put profound thoughts that I can’t seem to string together in words I would use if I could. Love Ya!!!PTL3

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