This great challenge appeared on my Facebook Page via the Southampton District, which was where I was based before joining the Bristol District. They have been engaging in a project call ‘Fishing for Hope’. I liked the idea so much that I thought it would be great for us to engage in as a section with a view to having a fishy exhibition once we are all back together again. The details are outlined below:
The Challenge: Create a fish prayer object. Or, create a shoal! Use your talents and whatever creative resources you have available in your home to make your fish! You could make a fish by ;
- Knitting (pattern included with this challenge)
- Crocheting (pattern included with this challenge)
- Cutting, sewing, sticking, scrap materials
- Painting it on a stone
- Paper Mache
- Iron-on beads
- Or any other creative means you can think of!
Why a fish prayer object? The fish has long been a symbol of Christian identity, hope and salvation. At time like these, perhaps it is good to hold on to our Christian identity, hope and salvation. Literally! With the fish we create, we can hold them in our hands and we can hold what they represent symbolically in our hearts and minds. Why do this? The fish could be an object for prayer during this time. They could also be gifts for others; whether they can be gifted now if there are others in your household, or later, when the time is ‘right’ (according to governmental health and safety instructions and advice).
If you plan to gift your fish, consider what story your fish might tell its new owner? Your fish could be a tool for evangelism. Consider the fishy stories in the Bible, like The Miraculous Catch of Fish (Luke 5:1–11) and the Feeding of the Five Thousand (Matthew 14: 13-21). Your church, circuit or district might, at a later date (when the time is ‘right’), request to gather in all the fish created, to be presented as a whole, to a wider audience.
To reflect our prayers and hopes, while we were all being ‘alone together ’at this time; united in our identity, hope and salvation. The fish may then be requested to be offered as gifts for the local community – to be used in a similar way as, for example, knitted angels at Christmas time. You could document your fish making, and or the prayers that you’ve said in this time. You could record these in a notebook, in photographs, or if you’re online, you could share them with your online communities via your social media platforms. If you share them online, it’d be great if you could include the hashtag #fishingforhope2020 so your content can be easily searched for and found.
How to Knit a Fish First find some brightly coloured yarn and a pair of knitting needles. 3mm needles are ideal, but it will work with any needles. Starting at the tail end, cast on twelve stitches. If you want a wider tail cast on more stitches in multiples of two.
1) Knit in stocking stitch (1 row plain, 1 row purl). Decrease one stitch as each end of the plain rows only, until you have 6 stitches left.
2) Knit three rows in stocking stitch without decreasing.
3) If you want to change colours, now might be a good time.
4) Increase one stitch at each end of every plain row until you have 24 stitches on the needle.
5) Now decrease one stitch at each end of every plain row until 2 stitches remain. Knit these two stitches together and bind off. You need two pieces to make a fish.
6) Sew them together (inside out) but leave the tail end open. Now turn them right side out and stuff –how much stuffing you use depends on how fat you want your fish to be! Sew up the tail. Feel free to add patterns or fins if you want!
How to crochet a fish This pattern was created using a size 4 hook and double knit wool. Change in wool and /or hook size will just make a different size fish!
The whole thing is crocheted in uk treble stitch
Make a chain of 15 stitches
Row 1 1 treble in third chain from hook then 1 treble in each chain to end, turn…
Always begin each row by crocheting 2 chain instead of crocheting into the first hole whether increasing or decreasing as this counts as the first treble
Now Decrease one treble at each end of next 3 rows by missing a stitch (ie. Make 2 chain and then crochet a treble into 3rd stitch and don’t crochet into the 2 chain from the preceding row)
Increase one stitch at each end of next 6 rows by crocheting 2 stitches in one hole at either end
Work 2 rows without increasing number of stitches.
Decrease one stitch at each end of next 7 rows. Tie off
Make a second fish, join the two together leaving one side partly open.
So, get creative and lets see where this crafty adventure leads when we are out of lockdown.