Knitting Into Mystery

A theme has emerged in my short life as a Sinsinawa Dominican.

As a candidate in Madison, I lived with a woman who was a knitting fiend (using ‘fiend’ in the very best sense of the word!)  She doesn’t know it, but I loved to sit and watch as her needles clicked away.

As a novice in St. Louis, I was part of a little knitting circle of Dominican sisters and brothers who occasionally met at the priory to knit … and to talk.

Last year, at Women’s Hearth in Spokane, I could always find groups of women sitting together, knitting extraordinarily beautiful pieces of work.  What I loved most, though, was just sitting with the women, listening to the banter that accompanied the whir of their knitting needles.

Now, in Whitefish Bay/Milwaukee, one of the places I’ve started volunteering is at the Cathedral of St. John, where parish outreach is trying to get a knitting circle off the ground for parishioners and women in a nearby shelter.  In my short time with this small group, it is clear that knitting yarn is not the primary activity.  Sharing tears and laughter, hearing the giggling of children, and sitting in the profound silence of simply being together are of prime importance. 

The contemplative, rhythmic nature of knitting can draw us into the depths of our inner being, where the Spirit dwells; and it can draw us deeper into community, where God meant us to be.

Psalm 139:13:  ‘You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb’

Kathy Flynn, OP

Whitefish Bay, WI


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