Opinions wanted on gift, please


This is kind of a weird request. If there are any Greek (or other) Orthodox knitters reading this, maybe you could help me.

I want to make a present for our community’s monk. He is very active and helps everyone. He has been especially kind to me about some adjustment problems I had when I first moved here (he speaks excellent English). I noticed that other people give him gifts, like baking or sewing things for him.

But what? I thought of a black or navy blue scarf. My husband suggested a V-neck vest, but I couldn’t make it without his measurements. Socks would be good, but again, I don’t know his foot size and am still learning socks.

He wears only black robes in public, and wouldn’t wear a knitted hat or anything. He has a special hat he wears. I don’t know if he can wear gloves, but my knitting skills aren’t up to that. Given the combination of his dress code and my knitting skills, I think a scarf is it.

Any suggestions would be wonderful!!! Sorry about all the rambling!

How about a pair of wristwarmers? I have made the “Fetching” version of these. The pattern is not hard.


The only monk I know is buddhist. He wears skullcaps and scarves, They have to be either maroon or gold though.

Does he carry a bag? I’m making this for my son who doesn’t wear scarves: http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer05/PATTsatchel.html

This page has gone strange but I’ll post anyway.

I think if you were making a scarf a totally black one with no fringe would be the best given he chooses to wear black all the time.
However, other thoughts are, a cross stitch book mark that has a Greek Orthodox religious symbol on it. You could readily make a chart to help you do this. You could even make a bookmark in knitting (in a very fine yarn) but in this case perhaps white. But you would need to seek advice on that.

I would not make any undergarment items. You could also perhaps make a black cushion cover or other colour that you know suits religious symbology and put a cushion inside the cover. Such things make for lovely gifts. A navy blue here may be nice. Perhaps look up some Greek Orthodox sites online and see what colours items tend to come in.

It’s wonderful he was so helpful and you want to show him your appreciation.

That satchel could be a good idea too!

I would say something for his home/ apartment: susan’s idea of a pillow or cushion with an appropriate symbol is a good one. Table linens is another idea (dresser scarf, table runner, placemat). Book covers with a symbol would also be nice (basically a rectangle with the sides folded in a bit). small prayer bracelets with beads (not a rosary, per se, but for saying prayers) is another idea, but not knit.


marykz… I thought of the book cover also…I’ve never seen one knitted but I’d seen some beautiful embroidered bible covers… but yes, cushions and a table runner or similar would be a nice gift. Not TOO personal yet considerate in the sense that that kind of item - a cushion to support the back etc…may not be thought of by many others.

The satchel was a handy gift of course in terms of taking things around the community but I guess bags are always ‘gettable’…still…something now and something around the Christmas period perhaps… :slight_smile: A bag at Christmas might be nice as you could treat it like a ‘stocking’ and put all manner of nice things treats inside.

Forgive me… I’m uncertain whether Greek Orthodox celebrate Christmas but I think so.

Susan P -Exactly! :slight_smile: and yes- we get Christmas!! depending on the exact type of Orthodox, Christmas can be at the usual time or later. The Greek Orthodox generally follow a slightly different calendar so that it is often celebrated about a week later than the Roman calendar. (great for getting gifts in that day after Christmas sale!) (I’m actually Melkite, which is extremely similar to Greek Orthodox.)

I was thinking more about this question- and our Priest often deflects personal gifts and encourages gifts for the church. (For example, our church desperately needed new chairs- and has several programs to help people in need- our gifts to the church are usually of that variety.) However if your Monk is not affiliated with your particular church, perhaps he has a group or charity he is involved with? just a thought…

markykz…ahh…interesting to learn. I have moved into an area where there are some very very poor people and there is a local medical centre that is doing it tough. My son and I talked the other day and I said I would offer to make a new set of curtains for around the ‘bed’. When I visited the clinic the other day I spoke to one of the doctors about various matters - including their chairs - and he said, you know, we no longer buy new things because every time we do we are broken in to.

What a sad sign of the times that is; that they daren’t risk new chairs or paintwork or anything.

If AnnaT had been single I would perhaps have cautioned about a personal gift but I think as a married woman she is in a good place…and if the monk has been receiving cooking and sewing from other women in the community then I think a personal gift may be nice. At the same time, Anna could offer two of something…and say to the monk…one for you…one for someone in our community who you know could benefit. That may be a nice approach??

Hi Anna - if you decide to do a scarf, here is a great simple pattern suitable for a man. I made this one in gray as my first real project. You can see mine here.

Good luck with your decision - :slight_smile:

Gosh, so many wonderful ideas!

Slim, the satchel is a great idea. I am positive he could use that. I am going to seriously consider that one.

Also the pillow covers and table runner are a great idea. However, he lives at the local monastery so I would think that his room is probably very plain. His lifestyle is very strict, more so than a “regular” priest, and I don’t think he would have anything decorative in his room, other than religious icons, reading material, etc. I also think the bookmark would be great, since I know he reads a lot.

Marykz, the Greek Orthodox church did “standardize” Christmas to December 25, but Easter is still later. I know other older denominations still use the old calendar for everything.

I like the prayer bead idea, too. Some Orthodox people wear these knotted bracelets made by monks, which represent a prayer.

You are correct in that he does charity work. But I wanted to show my appreciation for him. Now that I feel I have my head above water, I was thinking that NO ONE here ever called me up to see how I was doing, except him. The only other helpful person was my husband’s aunt, and I already knitted something for her. So I wanted to thank him. It’s not like I think I’m so important that people would sit around worrying about me or anything, but when someone does do something nice like that, it means all the more.

SusanP, I agree that a black scarf without fringe is the most appropriate, and I think he can also wear navy blue.

Sharly, I almost knitted that scarf when I first started knitting! I still have the pattern in my folder! It’s a great choice!

Thank you, everyone. :muah: