Yarn. It’s such a simple thing. It’s nothing more than colored strands of fluffed thread wound into a ball. What’s the allure behind a ball of yarn? What is it about yarn that tugs at your heart strings?
I see creativity.
Two years ago, I joined a knitting group, unsure of my crafting ability but wanting to be supportive of this new outreach ministry in my church. It’s a wonderful group! Our youngest is honorary seven month old Paisley who travels from one pair of arms to the next each week. Our youngest official knitter is eleven-year-old MacKenzie who out-knits the rest of us. We meet for two hours every Thursday and I’ve never met such a close-knit group of ladies, um, pardon the pun.
When I decided to buy yarn for my first project, one visit to my local craft store convinced me something had been missing from my life. As my hands caressed each skein, my soul drank in the colors and texture as if it was starved for stimulation. There were so many choices! Even the variegated skeins aren’t just variegated, but come in a multi-splendored palette of hue and pattern. Whenever I knit with variegated yarn, I find myself almost hypnotized by the emerging design. My grandmother would swoon at the choices in textured yarn available today – pompom, crinkle, glittered, cotton, acrylic, alpaca, wool – each has a distinctive feel.
I see home.
Like the sound of brewing coffee or the scent of homemade bread, the warmth of a handmade afghan, pair of socks or the simple smooth surface of a hand-knitted dishcloth whispers all that is safe, secure and good about home. It reminds us of simpler days, fond memories of bygone years, of love when families took the time and effort to do special things for each other. It shows us there are people in our lives who love us and want to take care of our most basic needs.
I see possibilities.
Part of the fun of belonging to my knitting group is seeing all the different items that can be made from a ball of yarn. There’s an endless variety in the obvious projects like socks, afghans, baby blankets, and scarves. Then there are holiday decorations like snowmen, Easter bunnies, pumpkins and tree ornaments. My second project was a dishrag. I ended up making over a dozen of those and had a blast using up scraps of yarn to make what we called story rags. This past Christmas, I gave three relatives cute little knitted bags stuffed with small gifts. One person thought it was a hat and spent several hours trying to figure out why I made it so small. Whoops. Oh well.
I see ministry.
That’s the best part of yarn potential. So often, at our knitting group, we ask each other, “What are you making?” The answer more often than not includes, “I’m making this for . . .” We’ve made gift bags for a local Family Support Center, hats for children with cancer at St. Jude’s, scarves and walker bags for a mission to homeless elderly in Romania, and blankets for newborn babies in our own church family.
The ministry goes deeper. In the two hours that our group meets each Thursday, we laugh, cry, share stories, needles and patterns, and pray for each other. Best of all, our teacher, Bev, encourages us to do more than we think we are capable of doing, tells us we’re doing a wonderful job, and is just convinced that whoever we’re making our project for will love it.
Bev reminds me of two people in the Bible. God gifted two men, Bezalel and Oholiab, “with skill, knowledge, and ability in all kinds of crafts (Ex 35:32).” God gifted these men for more than just their own enjoyment. He gave them that ability so they could construct the Tabernacle, the worship center of the Israelites. God took it a step further. He also gave these two men the ability to teach (Ex 35:34). Teach what? All those craft skills. To whom? Other workers. What for? To build a Tabernacle where God would be worshipped!
That’s what Bev, my knitting teacher, does! God gave her the ability to knit AND the gift of teaching and encouragement so we can make items that will bless and minister to others. How very cool! Our knitting group is a living example of Ephesians 4:11,12 where Paul tells his readers that God gave different gifts to certain people to “prepare God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
I just smile from ear to ear when I think of all the places our knitting projects have ended up, how we’ve ministered to people in need, and encouraged and loved each other within our group. It’s a microcosm of God’s church in action, the way church ought to be.
What skills, knowledge or abilities has God given you? How are you using your gift to bless others? How can you pass on your knowledge to others so they in turn may bless others and build up the body of Christ?” You might need to look no further than two knitting needles and a ball of yarn.
You don’t have to be very good at what you do. You don’t have to have a lot of resources at your disposal. You just have to be willing to let the Lord use you and your gift to bless others. As a VBS song that we used several years ago says, “You just have to be willing/You just have to say, YES!”
What do you see in a ball of yarn? Tweet this.
You don’t have to be the best – just say YES! Tweet this.
Yarn and Yes! are great words that start with the letter Y. Check out the blogs below for other great “Y” words.