Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Mom was sorting through the antique chest that holds much of her handwork and discovered several skeins of wool. She says she can't even remember why she bought them but wondered if I could knit her a sweater.

Of course I could. She has filled my home and heart with the beautiful work that flows from her hands - quilts, pillows, dolls, a little braided rug - so many things that add that intangible something that makes a house a home.

She found a pattern she liked, and I began. All went well until I noticed a dropped stitch. It was several rows down, but I managed to weave it up to the row where it belonged. Whew! I wanted this sweater to be perfect, and a dropped stitch would never do.

I continued knitting and purling row after row, and the sweater began to grow. I pressed it flat with my hands to check my work and there it was - one stitch that was noticeably bigger than the others. It must have been the stitch I had had to pick up. Somehow I hadn't gotten it quite right. I tried hard to ignore it, but - to my eyes - it stood out like a sore thumb.

I continued to knit, trying to decide if I could live with that flaw. There was a part of me that wanted to rip it out down to that imperfection and begin again from there. There was a time when I would have, did in fact. I just couldn't bear to have mistakes in my work.

Perhaps it is the passing of time, the years it took to realize that I don't have to be perfect, that allowed me to overlook the mistake. More importantly, it is the understanding that I don't have to be perfect to win the Father's approval. He understands that I am but dust. He extends the love and grace that make it possible for me to fail, find forgiveness and then go on.

In His kingdom, I find a place where I can come with my dropped stitches and imperfect sweaters and know that He loves me just as I am. And miracle of miracles, He will take what is imperfect and make of it something precious in His sight. He only asks that I keep on "knitting."

linking to Emily's Imperfect Prose



  1. It's the imperfections that give art, design, and life character. Perfect is made by a machine. Imperfect is made with loving hands.

  2. well, i received the most perfect of afghans today from a pretty amazing knitter... oh linda, it's so warm and beautiful and lovely... how can i ever thank you?? and this post, which reminds us, so well, that we CAN let go and become better, stronger people in his grace. how you bless me. i'm going to email you some photos later on... love, me.

  3. It is fine to be imperfect. I love the way you linked this, Linda. Very true.

    When I make quilts, or show friends how to make them, I always talk of imperfections as being a part of what makes the quilts special. They are part of the history of the quilts. You can buy something perfect, but making them with love is a whole different thing. And love is more important than perfection. Any day.

  4. Oh Amen!! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful writing with us, it is a blessing!

  5. Every stitch is made with your love
    and that's all that really counts.
    Sweet post. Your mom will be so
    lovely in her sweater.

  6. this is such a beautiful picture of god's love for us, thank you linda!
    i often get hung up on the perfection thing with my art...and whatever makes us think we could possibly attain that in anything?!! only god is perfect, as is his love...

  7. perfection is an least to us...and it is our imperfection sometimes that makes us all the more special...

  8. i agree with brian miller.

    also, it is so cool that you knit!

  9. This is exactly the reminder I need at the moment. In fact, I just finished writing my own much-less-eloquently-illustrative blog to roughly the same effect. But you are pounding it home. I'll keep the sweater in mind over the next 3 weeks.

  10. So true and so beautifully illustrated! Isn't it wonderful how God makes words flow when we allow Him to use us in our posts?!
    At 56, I too am much more comfortable with a 'dropped stitch.'
    It's not the imperfection so much as it is the acceptance of it and the knowledge that not only does God still love us, but He can use us more sometimes with that imperfection.

  11. You have shared a good deal of wisdom with us ... I've been dealing with computer issues again and have missed the thoughts of your heart this week.

  12. your last paragraph touched me. thank you.

  13. It is so freeing , this little bit of room for error. This humanness. You giving yourself grace.

    I often feel compelled to point out the mistakes or omissions, give things with disclaimers. Isn't it silly.