I like pretty much everything about knitting – except unpicking, which is what I had to do this past weekend, when I realized I’d make a mistake. A big mistake. It pains me to think that after 14 years of knitting on Stitched Glass, I’d lose a week’s work. That’s just moving in the wrong direction. Oh well. I suppose knitting teaches me to accept what is – and I do like that, too. But I’d prefer to accept ‘what is’ some other, much less painful way, thank you very much.


But back to my point here – I like pretty much everything of knitting. I like the solitude of it – I can get all caught up on my podcasts – and I like the social aspect of it too, when I can hang out with others and catch up on whatever we want.


A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend the knitters’ circle of Trafalgar Presbyterian Church in Oakville, Ontario. Pat McNicol, a member of Trafalgar, was kind enough to invite me, because I was interested in what they knit: prayer shawls.


Just look at them all.

These are shawls that are knitted with a particular prayer in mind, and meant to bring a sense of peace and comfort to the receiver. What a lovely project.


I found a free pattern for a shawl on Ravelry. And there are many different shapes, sizes and styles on Pinterest.


I had a great time with this knitting circle. Apparently, five years ago, Pat was the only one who knew how to knit. Now they meet weekly and knit up a storm. See? Knitting is the best.

The Trafalgar Knitting Circle is also knitting twiddle muffs. Meant for Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers, twiddle muffs can be knitted with ends from your yarn stash, and on the inside, and outside, too, they have all sorts of things to fiddle with – bells, buttons, big wooden beads, materials of different feel and weight like satin and velvet, zippers and ribbons, etc.


Like prayer shawls, they are meant to bring calm and soothing to the recipient. You can personalize them with a name tag and a Velcro strap so that it can be attached to a wheelchair or walker. You can also make the twiddle accessories detachable so the muff can be washed. 


Here is Pat McNicol and her daughter, Kerry Furneaux, showing a couple of colourful twiddle muffs in progress.

Both of these projects appeal to me because they are knitting with purpose, something I have been thinking about as Stitched Glass approaches being exhibited, when it will hopefully ignite valuable conversation amongst faiths and people about empathy and collective experience.


Here is a twiddle muff pattern I found online at Ravelry.


I also spoke to the Trafalgar knitters’ circle about Stitched Glass – another tiny ‘knitting with purpose’ project…

But mostly I am dreaming of when I’ll have time to knit a twiddle muff and prayer shawl.


Thanks to Pat and her Trafalgar Presbyterian knitters’ circle for their time and fellowship and knitting, which is doing such a great job helping others.