Knit up a cap and a prayer

“We’re going to have a baby,” my daughter said nine years ago.  I received the news with wonder, joy and trepidation knowing that we both were entering a world we knew so little about.  Thankfully, some of my friends had gone before me into the domain of grand motherhood and not a single one of them relayed any message but one of complete ecstasy.  A special friend sent me a package in the mail with a zip lock bag containing a ball of yarn, some needles and a pattern.  The image of a wrinkled, white-haired woman on a front porch knitting with her glasses perched on the tip of her nose and her cat curled up at her feet, quickly came to mind and frightened me a little.  I pushed through my own prejudiced stereotyping and curiously examined the contents of the bag.

My mother taught me to knit when I was about 12 and I remember producing long, uneven lengths of tangled color.  I was completely astonished to discover that I did remember how to push the needles through the loops to get the desired result.  Though, I did have to call Mary a few times for a little help, I actually completed the pattern and created a tiny hat for my grand baby to come.

You can get into a kind of zone when you knit.  There is pleasure in the rhythmic movement and the sound of the soft clicking of needles.  I found myself caught up in the hum of prayer with each loop and lift of hand as I contemplated our eminent miracle.  I heard The still small Voice wooing me with, “I knit YOU together in your mother’s womb.”

My first little cap led to many other projects – stockings, ponchos, scarves, sweaters etc.  Admittedly, most of my items were not so great and I fear my children and grandchildren wore them to bless me and took them off when I was out of sight.  Worn or unworn, I take pleasure in knowing that long after the sweaters lose their shape, the caps are lost and the stockings unravel, the prayers that I knit will continue to live on.

I would love to send you a little cap or better still a zip lock bag with all the goodies you need to knit one, but instead, I will give you the next best thing.


With a 16 inch circular needle – size 5 or 6 – cast on 68 (72,76,80) stitches.  Join ends of yarn being careful not to twist.  Knit in a circle for 5 (5.5,6,6.5) inches.  Put 4 markers on needles evenly spaced.  Knit 2 together before and after each marker every row.  You will need to change to short double point needles (sock needles) when it gets too tight.  Knit until just a few stitches remain, thread a needle and pull remaining stitches through and secure inside the cap.  Add a pompom.


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