Friday, September 17, 2010

Theological Musings + Knitting

I've been thinking about how I refer to my knitting, as compared to how non-knitters talk about it. The most common question that I get when it comes to my knitting is, "What are you making?" My answer is almost always, "It's a sock," though it might in rare cases be "It's a shawl," or "It's a shell." The point, though, is not that I mostly make socks, but rather that I think of my knitting as already being the finished product. Sure, I'm working on it right now, sure, it's in progress--but really? It's a sock. It's not going to be a sock when I finish, it already is one. (Perhaps that's why it hurts so much to rip things out--you already consider that you have the thing you're making, even though it isn't finished yet.)

This morning in history, instead of being asked, "What are you making," I was asked, "What is that going to be?" As usual, I answered, "A sock," but it got me thinking. I see my knitting as something which already exists--as the finished product which is not yet manifest (or visible--sorry, I'm thinking about the theological aspects, and manifest is a very theological word).

All that is interesting enough on its own (and knitters, feel free to chime in--do you think of your knitting as the product even from the beginning stages, or do you say "it's going to be"?), but of course, being me, with my background, this whole concept immediately struck a familiar chord. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1, KJV). As Pastor describes it, faith is saying that I have it, even though it isn't in my hands; hope is saying, it's coming! It's coming! Someday it will be here! --I wonder if this is the result of long training, that I see even something very prosaic through eyes of faith--seeing what isn't there as if it already existed? Does walking by faith in your spiritual life change your outlook on material things? Am I boring my blog audience out of their skulls? ;-) Do comment--and feel free to tell me if you think the topic completely uninteresting.


  1. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I say "it will be" or "it's going to be." Possibly because I can still change my mind in the middle of let's say a sock and make it into fingerless mitts (I did that with my first pair of Twisted Flower socks/mitts).

  2. This is an interesting topic... I usually say "it's going to be" instead of "it is" -- but then, I'm usually asked "what is that going to be". Or, if it's other knitters doing the asking, they ask for the pattern name and so the discussion of whether it's a sock or a shawl never comes up, because they already know that "Cubist" is a sock and "Damson" is a shawl.

    When I think of it myself, though, I tend to think of it as already having the finished project. This, I suspect, is why I get in over my head when it comes to holiday knitting. I consider, once the object I'm making starts to look like what it will be, that it *is* a sock... so I can give it away already. Right? Even though there's still needles in it... ;)