Like many people, I have some unfinished projects around the house. I’m a knitter and I have to admit, what I enthusiastically start doesn’t always get finished. I am conscious of the fact that it’s still in my knitting bag but it is too far down the priority list to get taken out except on long drives to distant destinations. It’s a dark cloud hanging over my head. Maybe that’s why an article written by a therapist who took out her unfinished knitting project and discovered it had therapeutic benefits, caught my eye. How could that be? The therapist invited others, who also had unfinished projects, to join her as she knit. That way they could hold each other accountable for finishing the items. What she discovered was remarkable. Each person in the group began to share various touching stories from their lives as it related to the project in their hands. They talked about their children who once would have fit the sweater they were knitting or the special person who taught them the skill but who is no longer with them. On and on the stories went. They became something of a support group for each other over time. I’m assuming their projects eventually got finished but that became secondary to the friendships that developed.
With that in mind, I took out my mittens that I have been working on, intermittently, for many years. In the meantime I have knit many other articles, hats, baby blankets, scarves, Christmas stockings, felted purses and pillow covers. I just can’t seem to finish the blue and green mittens. I bought the yarn in Bozeman, Montana when I was on a ski trip. My friend, Linda, and I both love to knit so over the 17 years we went to Big Sky we always took a day out to shop for yarn (and other things.) Those are sweet memories! When I’m not working on the mittens I keep my knitting bag in a wooden storage box that my dad made when he was in high school. He said his mom used to keep old socks that needed darning in that box. On the wall above it is a cross stitch piece made by a dear friend of our family, Lorraine. Lorraine was like a second mom to me and her daughter, Bonnie, is still one of my treasured friends. Bonnie recently found the cross stitch project, unfinished, among her mother’s boxes of saved treasures. The directions were stored with it so Bonnie bought matching embroidery thread and finished the hanging, sending it to me for my birthday. What wonderful memories that brought back for both of us!
I can feel the magic working for Linda, Bonnie and me as we use our unfinished projects to instigate discussions about our past. One story leads to another and another. The unfinished projects that once felt like such a burden helped us look back and appreciate many of our life experiences. We can see how God has walked with us all the way. Next I plan to get out my mom’s unfinished weaving project. I wonder what stories God has in store for me next? I can’t wait to see!