Australia Culture

Is Knitting the Cure for Road Rage?

So here we are in Australia, sitting at our log fire (it is winter and it does get cold!), musing on the news that there are Alps in Australia and that 70cm of snow have just fallen on them, when our daughter reads the following story:

I laughed out loud.  A woman sentenced to knit several items for charity as a punishment for a road rage incident?  That had to have been some wacky judge in the US!  But no, it was Dundee – Sheriff Rafferty told the defendant:

“You went in the same direction as your victim, at the very least, and then went to her car door and assaulted her. You will bring to court several items that you have knitted that you are prepared to donate to a charity shop. It will not be a meagre amount. You have committed a serious offense.”

And then we looked at the photo of the knitting shop she was heading to….it is the one just down the road from the manse, the one that Annabel uses.  It is a lovely old style shop where the woman who runs it can tell you everything about wool and knitting needles.   The kind of shop that you go into for a wee chat and a blether (if you are interested in knitting!).

The whole story made me smile…and made me long to be home in Dundee.  We have a knit and natter group in St Peters and it serves a really useful purpose – providing fellowship whilst doing something useful.  But the whole story raises lots of questions.

Is there a theology of knitting?  After all doesn’t Psalm 139 tell us that the Lord ‘knits us together’ in our mothers womb?  Knitting is creative and in that sense of course it is possible to knit for the glory of God.

Is knitting a punishment?   After all the sheriff said that she had committed a ‘serious offence’ and could have been sent to jail.  So is knitting worse than jail?!  Actually I think the sheriff showed a degree of initiative, compassion and justice.  The woman did not have a criminal record, this was her first offence so sending her to jail would have been pointless.  Getting her to do something good for the community makes a whole lot of sense to me.

Is knitting therapeutic?   Coming to Australia has been great to see our new granddaughter and to help support her parents.  Perhaps the best thing Annabel has done is teach Becky to knit….its therapeutic, practical and fulfilling.   What’s not to like?!  And it is calming…after all who ever heard of knit rage?  Although having said that, I have no intention of coming between the knit and natter group and their needles!  And some airlines won’t allow knitting needles on their planes, just in case knitting terrorists are on board!

Here is where knitting leads….the hat that Annabel made for Isla….



Not so happy with the hat maker…!

Blessed are the knitters….

“I’d like to teach the world to knit, in perfect harmony… ”




  1. Haha thanks David you gave me a laugh this morning with your question about there being a theology for knitting.

    Well God is everywhere, he is in everything so I guess you could study God in the midst of knitting or you could just enjoy doing the knitting and experiencing God’s presence – perfect love that casts out all fear (and perhaps even road rage).while casting off :).

  2. Do you mean to say people still knit and a wool shop still going…….thought it had disappeared.

    My husband used to work for one of the big wool companies as a rep when he was young and could tell you where most of the wool shops in England were at one time.

    As for me (funny enough during the same time period, the 70/80s), I lived in Aus for 15 years, spent 12 of them as an Ansett Flight Attendant and spent many many years knitting whilst on crew reserve or knitting on the aircraft whilst passengering. How sad that you can no longer knit onboard, all has gone totally mad.

    Yes, just like here in Spain, Australia gets cold and has all everything from ocean to snowy mountains, I had good years there.

    Wasn’t a Christian then, sadly.

  3. Fantastic article,pleased that he has made her knit for charity,I find knitting and crocheting a great way to relax,better to knit than to put her away from her children for a first offence and into cortonvale without any
    Good influences.I love these quaint knitting shops,preserves a way of life from childhood for us west coasters
    and like the knit and biblical idea for a group,hope you are all enjoying time with granddaughter.

  4. It’s to be expected that the subject of this much maligned and under appreciated craft would raise a few laughs – unfortunately. Is knitting therapeutic? YES! And proven to be so. See

    I don’t know about a theology of knitting but there are many books on spirituality and knitting (search Amazon for “knitting and prayer” and you’ll be surprised!), not least Faith, Hope, Love, Knitting by Lorna Miser (

    And have you not heard about prayer shawls? Not exactly Christian, I know, but I’m sure the idea could be used to spread the Gospel. In fact, that’s given me an idea! Many stitch patterns, not least in Fairisle knitting, have Christian connotations, eg the tree of life.

    I even have a book on my shelves (which I’ve yet to read) called Knitting for Good! A Guide to Creating Personal, Social and Political Change, Stitch by Stitch!

    We knitters are not only creative, crafty, in the best sense of the word, and community minded but also rather spiritual!

    From a now very sadly ex-knitter due to arthritis in my thumbs (probably aggravated by knitting!) and co-organiser of Stitches on the Bridge, 2009 (

  5. Reminds me of youth, and a mother’s love for her brood with variant sizes of Harris Tweed wool balaclavas !

  6. You can knit on an airplane! Just bring bamboo circular (cable) needles – there is never a question on them as they are shorter than a pencil, made of wood like a pencil, and no one takes your pencils away when you board a plane. Circular needles are great for straight knitting, as you store your work on the cable and no stitches ever fall of the end of the needle like they do on straight needles.

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