Crocheting is one of my favorite hobbies. Mom taught my sister and me when we were young girls. It was awkward, at first, because the crochet hook is unlike any other tool for the needle arts. In order for the product to be nice and loose, neither the hook nor the thread can be held too tightly while one is performing the essential “knotting and chaining” of the art.
I have crocheted doilies when they were popular; fingerless mittens when I wanted a pair; and afghans when I wanted to give a “big” gift to someone. In fact, my sister and I made similar afghans one time when we were being particularly competitive. We were trying out a new stitch called “the afghan stitch.” In the end, we each produced beautiful afghans, both of which I have right now. I loved hers because it is a dark maroon with white trim, and mine is that lovely off-white with an embroidered pattern over the top.
I use the internet to find all kinds of patterns. Recently, I was astonished to find a pattern for a necklace, but since I have found many other unusual items to crochet, I investigated. The one featured is a mini-mandala. How fun. I have been coloring those designs for some time, so crocheting one should prove to be another adventure.
Usually, I crochet in order to relax and allow myself to meditate on any number of things while doing something useful and creative. More often than not, these days I am trying to contribute to our Whitby Gift Shop here at Saint Benedict’s Monastery. They expect to see from me such things as hand towels that have a crocheted attachment and can be used in the kitchen, dish cloths, crocheted hot plates, or other items for the kitchen.
I also like to make afghans of various sizes and patterns. When I find a new stitch or an unusual design, I try it out and hopefully produce a lap robe or larger afghan that could become a gift for someone shopping at our gift shop. I hope my hobby is like crocheting for God who allows me to be as creative as I was meant to be.
Mary Jane Berger, OSB
Photo: Sister Mary Jane Berger doing one of her favorite things—crocheting!