Knitting in Adoration

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Guest post by Katrina Fernandez, aka The Crescat.

When I last went to Adoration, there was this adorable little old lady there knitting. After awhile, another lady came in; I noticed she kept huffing and staring open-mouthed at the old lady. She did this for a good 15 minutes.

I was done with my rosary, so I got up to leave, and the huffy lady got up too and sighed loudly in a disgusted way before heading out behind me. We ended up being parked next to each other, so she made small talk as we walked across the parking lot: “Can you believe that lady in there knitting? Why even come to adoration if you’re just going to sit there and knit?! So disrespectful.”

I just shrugged and said, “Maybe she just wanted to be near Jesus,” and went to get in my car. She shot me the same disgusted look and rolled her eyes before getting in her car and driving off.

I mean, isn’t that adoration is too, just being near Jesus in His presence? You know, like those old married couples who can sit together and not say a word; they’re just happy to be in each other’s company. She just looked like an old lady who wanted to be near Jesus. I don’t know any other way to say it.

I was in and out of adoration in 30 minutes (long enough for a rosary), and Disgusted Lady even less. That little old lady and her knitting looked like she spent many, many hours in that chapel. Hours enough that it was her second home where she sits with Jesus and does her knitting. Her knitting was probably more grace-filled than me and Huffy Lady put together times ten.

I wish I told Disgusted Lady that. It was a missed opportunity on my part. I’m not sure what my point is, but whatever that lady was knitting was knitted in the presence of the Lord, and the thought of that made me smile hard on my drive home.

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…
~ Psalm 139:13-14a


Katrina studied art history at Virginia Commonwealth University, following which she vowed to bring beauty to the masses. Fueled by her passions, she blogged at The Crescat from 2006, where she wrote most humorously about art, music, religion and finding love. She now spends her days creating exquisite watercolor paintings.

Image via “Knitting in Marian Art“.

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17 thoughts on “Knitting in Adoration”

    1. Avatar

      I love making model airplanes. I always want to be close to the Lord. I think I’ll bring my next project to Adoration. It won’t bother anyone, I could set It up in a small space in the pew next to me. I want to share my hobby with Jesus.

      When does it end? This hobby, that personal interest, my own special activity.
      Are we there to pay attention and adore or while away the time with hobbies? If someone wants to knit do in in the church when the Holy Eucharist is not exposed.

    2. Avatar

      I knit prayer shawls at Adoration. What holier place to offer prayers for the person who will receive it? Whenever, wherever I knit it is meditative and my needles don’t click or make any noise. So, sorry… not sorry. Jesus understands and that’s my only concern.

  1. Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this story. I’m with you. I have a hard time finding anything malicious about knitting in my presence or in Jesus`. Maybe her name was Martha? Instigating others to stumble is more offensive than being lukewarm. Not saying knitting is lukewarm – just that Martha should worry about Martha. I often say I was blessed with horrible hearing, but Martha didn’t mention any clicking…

    On the other hand, someone doing yoga or exercising would be escorted out by me…somewhere there is a line to be drawn…

  2. Avatar

    None of us knows where someone else’s thoughts are. It would be illogical to claim that someone else, whose hands are still, is more focused on Jesus. We just don’t know where someone else’s heart or mind is unless they tell you.
    I’m glad you wrote this.

  3. Avatar

    Each knit and purl created by this adorable woman was her way of communing with the Lord! I can almost hear her saying aloud, “My Lord and my God” while she continued to knit.
    We all have our way of praying and we are heard no matter what.
    My husband and I, together with our children spent time at the adoration chapel when the kids were growing up. Oftentimes, they would fall asleep while they waited for us to finish our “time with the Lord”. This actually brought them closer to the Lord, developed the habit of visiting the adoration chapel and made them realize that prayer can come in many forms ( not just recited words). I remember my theology professor saying whenever someone falls asleep in his class, “he’s in deep communion with the Lord.”
    Thank you, Katrina for sharing this. God bless you more.

  4. Avatar

    Knitting wouldn’t get my attention…but texting, snacking, chatting, etc., do strike me as out of place for some reason. One day I found an elderly gentleman fast asleep before the Blessed Sacrament and he was at such peace. “All day with You and no repose without You!”

  5. Avatar

    Maybe another way to look at this. When we lived an hour out of town and my husband would do ministry at the hospital all afternoon, he would drop me off at the church. Everyone was gone, it was just hours of Jesus in the Tabernacle and me in the pew, praying, reading, pondering. And not always having my full attention to Him, especially if I was reading non Scripture. But when I go to Adoration, where Our Lord is enthroned in the Monstronce, I give Him my full attention and if I read, it’s Scripture or something explaining Scripture or something by a Saint (because I believe He also speaks to us through the writings of the Saints). So I think of it to when He’s exposed in the Blessed Sacrament, it’s like the two of you are at the dining room table and it would be rude to not give Him your undivided attention (like Mary Magdalene at His feet listening to Him). It’s a more formal time in His company. Whereas, when He’s in the Tabernacle, the two of you are in a great room (kitchen/dining/living rooms combined) and you can still talk to each other, but you may also have your attention on other things as well (like Martha preparing the meal). This would be a more informal or relaxed sharing of your time. When I used to knit, I would have to pay close attention to the stitches lest I make a mistake in the pattern and I believe most of us would have to do likewise, so adoring Our Lord in the Tabernacle would be better in that circumstance. But seeing that this particular knitting woman was “old”, she may have knitted that pattern so many times in her life that she could do it blindfolded, so I kind of think that would be like the Blessed Virgin Mary when she was performing the duties of her state in life as a mother and wife, but still adoring Our Lord in His Presence. Only God knows which situation reflects more the old woman knitting in Adoration, I pray the Lord guide her to do what He desires of her. As a final note, my very learned and holy confessor says no crocheting or knitting, etc. in church at anytime though.

  6. Avatar

    Many woman who knit belong to clubs or “knitting circles” where they knit for hours while chatting. Some even find that the conversations turn to gossip.
    If you are going to spend a couple of hours a day knitting, why not spend that time visiting and chatting with Jesus?. Keeping Jesus company is one of the most precious ways we can honor and adore Him and if our minds wonder while we knit, well, they will now wonder toward Him.
    I think it’s a lovely idea and I feel sorry for that disgruntled woman.

  7. Avatar

    I Have a Priest friend who would go before the Lord when the church was closed and prostrate himself then putting his head to touch the floor to eventually laying face down like when he was ordained. He would fall asleep sometimes for hours and he said he’d wake in the most blessed state because he felt closer to God then any other time.
    Good to look into a mirror and work on oneself than to judge or point fingers in judgement.
    I know people who bring their broken arms, etc to Him for healing and in prayer they move/exercise the ligament while in His presence so we offen don’t know why people do what they do. Maybe it’s to refine US so we see the log in our own eye.

  8. Avatar

    I remember reading a biography of an Italian pope and his family. When he was a child, every day his mother would take the children to church to pray to Mary for various needs for about an hour in the afternoon. One day, to his surprise, she brought her knitting. He asked her about it, and she said: “Today I am keeping the Virgin Mary company.”

  9. Avatar

    I think the knitting woman had it exactly right. She was sharing her day with the Lord. I think it’s a terrific idea! I would do the same thing, only I would add ear buds so I could listen to. Recording of the rosary and the Divine Office. Let the self-righteous huff away. She worships God by faulting others, I worship God by sharing my day with him. Period.

  10. Avatar

    Loved the article! I am a knitter and an old lady too. Most of the time it is a very simple knit one row, purl the next or a repetitive pattern. I knit when I am with friends, riding in the car, at appointments and no “concentrating” is required, just keeps my hands busy. I have also knitted and prayed at the same time, saying a simple litany over and over. I am sure it was the same as with this old lady. I just might take my knitting with me the next time I go to adoration! I would probably stay longer! Let people huff away!

  11. Avatar

    Perhaps she was knitting a garment, blanket, hat or other item for pro-life work, to give to a pro-life pregnancy center, or even to a woman about to walk into an abortion clinic! Or maybe she was knitting a chemo cap for a person with cancer, or a hat or scarf for the homeless, or even a prayer shawl for someone who is grieving. Imagine the grace and blessings attached to an item knitted in the literal presence of God! I’m a knitter and a crocheter myself, and I think knitting while at Adoration is a WONDERFUL idea. I might even take up the practice. If I do , I suppose I should come prepared with an explanation printed on a little cards, just in case I run into any Huffy ladies…

  12. Avatar

    I love this post! Thank you.
    I go to adoration every week and on the occasion I take knitting in with me. Always something simple- no real pattern so no fussing with counting stitches etc. I usually do it when I am knitting a gift for a sick friend. Like a chemo cap, a prayer shawl etc. I love the idea of praying as I work the project and taking it in with me to Jesus. I always worry that people feel I am being disrespectful but it is such a rare occasion that I have never noticed anyone looking on in disgust.
    I love the charity of your post- that the lady wanted to spend time with Jesus and did so by spending a portion of her day with him while knitting.
    Anyone that knits will know that a lot of knitting projects are mindless work for the hands and it leaves much mental bandwidth for prayer and intentions.

    Thank you for the spirit of grace and charity in your post and for the beautiful comments from fellow Catholics. This lifted my spirit. 🙂

  13. Avatar

    I love making model airplanes. I always want to be close to the Lord. I think I’ll bring my next project to Adoration. It won’t bother anyone, I could set It up in a small space in the pew next to me. I want to share my hobby with Jesus.

    When does it end? This hobby, that personal interest, my own special activity.
    Are we there to pay attention and adore or while away the time with hobbies? If someone wants to knit do in in the church when the Holy Eucharist is not exposed.

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