To many, these are crafts of necessity from a bygone era…for quite a few of us, however, they are the “gentle arts” that most appeal to our sense of creativity…two sticks, some string, a wheel or needle…time spent in quiet contemplation and creation…crafting beauty and use, by hand.
Our Lady was creative…her life demanded it and many great works of art attempt to depict those moments of necessary and earnest resourcefulness, often incorporating symbolic images pertaining to the impending sacrifice of the precious Child playing at her feet.
We may ascertain that the garments worn by our Lord throughout His life, were made, with loving affection, by His Mother. The “seamless garment” mentioned in prophecy and later in the Gospel narrative of the Crucifixion, may well have been a gift from Mary to Jesus. It was common for Jewish mothers to give such gifts to their sons upon their “entry” into adulthood…a “seamless” garment was much prized, due to the inherent difficulties in creating such fabric. For those who weave, or knit “in the round” this is the ultimate in comfort, but also requires greater skill and dexterity. Our Lady has often been portrayed knitting “in the round” on four needles…and while we don’t know for sure that our Lord’s garment was created by her or in like manner, for those who have embraced the gentle arts, there is a real sense of connectedness…a remembrance of other mothers who have, throughout time, knit and sewn prayer into the very fibers that slipped over needle and shuttle and into memory.
Do you knit? Sew? Make lace? We live in a disposable world full of the ready-made. Create an heirloom. Dust off a forgotten craft…join our Lady in a few moments of contemplative crafting. There is such peace in the quietness of these gentle arts… to see a woman, head nodding as though in prayer, counting stitches, smiling as she contemplates the joy her gift of time will purchase for a loved one…She is crafting more than just a garment or toy. She is making a memory.