How a crafty church group comforts mariners at sea.
We’ve got a group at our church that takes out their knitting needles after worship services and knits. They might call themselves the Knit Wits as they produce hats, scarves, beanies, vests for a very worthy cause, but every stitch is a prayer.
The other day I went to the Port of Newark and boarded one of those humongous container ships to get a glimpse of just what the Knit Wits’ good work is for. Under the sponsorship of the Seamen’s Church Institute we met some of the mariners who serve on these ships, enduring long days at sea, separated for many months from their families.
The Knit Wits’ work reassures them they are cared for, appreciated and supported by many stitches—and prayers—from folks on shore. We depend mightily on the goods that come in the ships they sail on. Knitting is a way of giving back.
So is knitting with just the right patterns. The Christmas at Sea program offers over a dozen patterns for warming items that the mariners can wear. Hats and vests need to fit under protective gear. No pom-poms, tassels or fringe because these can be a safety hazard.
Bright colors are fine though. Evidently seafarers and mariners like bright colors and as the guide points out, “safety gear is usually fluorescent.” Just avoid pastel colors because they show the dirt and grime.
Got an urge to knit something for the mariners and seafarers—if not in time for this Christmas, surely in time for next year? I urge you to check out the information and patterns available on their website. There are some great pictures of what those finished garments look like. Makes me think I should learn how to knit someday.
When I walked by the knitting room at church this Sunday after worship I heard a lot of laughter and merriment. The Knit Wits at work again, every stitch a prayer.