Fighting Dragons and Making Doughnuts: A Knitted Path
By Jody Evans
“What are you making?” Seth asked as I looped yarn around a round loom.
“A scarf,” I said. I continued maneuvering the oatmeal colored yarn in a set pattern, making it move through the pins and pulling it through with a hooked needle.
“Can I see it?” he asked as he leaned closer.
I held it up, then draped it around my neck, yarn still dangling from it loosely.
“I like it,” he said. “Is it for someone?”
“I don’t know yet,” I said. “I usually figure out who to give it to after I make it.”
I continued knitting, the yarn changing from a long thick string into a pattern of interwoven connections, forming into something warm and fashionable.
I thought about how I started knitting, finding a loom at a thrift store, teaching myself how to make a hat from a YouTube channel, and then carrying my materials wherever I went so I could knit.
My mother said how she was surprised I was able to sit still enough to actually knit, knowing how I have always been someone in a constant state of movement. I agreed with her and began thinking about why I have chosen such a hobby. I thought about the times and places when I would knit-- Hunter learning to drive, Parker auditioning for shows, Greg having surgery, as well as whenever I had to wait at a doctor’s office or an appointment or a meeting. Often I found myself knitting on the back porch when no one had to be anywhere any time soon. Knitting occupied my mind and hands as I faced things that I had no control over.
Control is such a double-sided word. Being in control is great if you are resisting eating that extra brownie or buying those new shoes. Having control over my students’ behavior in my classroom usually means a more peaceful day. Even having control over my emotions can be beneficial since they can be filled with negative thoughts and critical comments. Feeling out of control is terrible when you are driving on an icy road or waiting to hear the diagnosis from a doctor. Seeing your children grow and make choices on their own make me realize how little control I have anyway. However, so many of my best laid plans happen when there is a general plan, but not a minute by minute detailed agenda. Having someone try to control me does not work well either. It can feel like someone is making me into an image he or she has in their mind instead of letting me be me.
As the children become teenagers and the teenagers become young adults, I find that being in control is an illusion. Instead, I can feel like one of those huge air puppets blowing haphazardly in the wind, completely void of any control except by the wind. Yet, there is One who controls the wind. One who knows the future. One who has the plan.
I pull the yarn over the peg and continue knitting. The long string becomes something different, something that isn’t just a blob of material. It follows a path, a route, designed by its maker and formed into something unique. Maybe that is what control is supposed to look like. Maybe I can guide and lead, but ultimately, it’s the Maker who designs and arranges, in ways that are specific and beautiful.
“I think it’s done,” I said, casting the yarn off the loom and closing up the final touches. I pull scarf around my shoulders and look at it. Suddenly, I get up and wrap it around Seth.
“Wow,” he said. “This looks great.”
“It’s yours,” I said. “It will match that green jacket you have.”
“Really?” He smiles. “Thanks. Thanks a lot. I love it.”
I smile and begin wrapping around string around the pegs, beginning another project, making the yarn turn into something new.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11