Friday, September 8, 2017

Work...


I went to an early morning prayer meeting at our church this morning, and took my knitting with me. Partly to keep me awake (it's a very early morning prayer meeting) and partly because it's been a problem project so I thought it could use a little spiritual direction and partly because knitting is a gift God gave to me and I like to give it back to Him whenever possible.

One of the people there was one I'd never met before, and as he was leaving, he stopped and said, "That's beautiful - whatever it is that you're creating." I appreciated that he was able to affirm the process, without questioning it further. Almost immediately after he walked out, someone else asked what I was making. "A hat." "Oh," he replied, "it looks like a headband." "When you're making something out of nothing, you have to start somewhere," I told him.

When you're making something out of nothing, you have to start somewhere. I often forget to apply that to the rest of my life. I tend more often to go around calling God's works-in-progress headbands, when they're actually amazing hats that will be both lovely and keep someone's head warm, instead of recognizing the beauty even when it's still unfinished.

Because, earthside, is anything ever really finished? It's one continuous strand, each stitch and story locking into and depending on all of the others, joined together to form a single garment to God's glory - the holy robe of a High Priest, covering all of history with grace.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Neighbor...


One of my favorite things about the knitting community is the community. You can get a roomful (or an internet-full) of people with only that one thing in common, and they get along surprisingly well with just that one commonality.

There's also a sense of trust. Swaps occur between total strangers - yes, I will absolutely give my address to someone whose face I've never seen because their avatar is photo of their cat so that we can send each other boxes of knitted joy. This also applies to charity drives and long-distance baby showers, too. I even found a roommate one summer through my online knitting community - we shared space for 4 months and got along swimmingly, even though we didn't know each other before and had little else in common (okay, we had knitting and a deep shared affection for Harry Potter and Doctor Who).

Who my neighbor is expands to the entire community. An out-of-state knitter lost all of her supplies when her home burned down, or flooded, or her bag was stolen? I'll give of what I have to help. Someone who is sick or injured or sad needs a little hand knitted love? I'm on it. People who've never seen each other before swapping tips and techniques as they sit next to each other at a yarn shop knit night? Glorious.

It's a good mentality for life at large. Everyone is my neighbor, and there is always something I can do to reach out - whether that's sitting with someone in the midst of their mess (or triumph), helping them through a problem with a solution that someone else taught me in a past time of need, giving of my time or my talent or my acquired stash... in every situation, there is something that I can contribute. We all can.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Find a Happy Place


Last month a need arose and the little dining table I've long used as a desk went to live with someone else who actually needed a dining table, and I was left with an empty corner, a pile of stuff, and the realization that I cannot be trusted with a large, flat, level surface.


So I took the handful of hoarded Target gift cards I've been saving and turned them into a set of "cubes" and set about making a knitting corner. Now I have a place for my knitting reference books, my journals, a basket full of project bags, and my yarn/knitting sorted into "in progress" and "next in the queue."


Because I still need a desk sometimes but not always, I got an $8 TV tray, spray painted it green, and decorated it with some wall decals. Now I can have it when I need it, or fold it up and stick it behind my chair (which I already had in this corner but wasn't fitting well before) when I don't.



Since I am entirely too likely for comfort to knock over a mug set on the floor, but also no longer had the desk space, I got a little shelf and put it up under my mood board. It's just wide enough for my pen cup and a mug, and nothing else, so it serves its purpose admirably. I hung it right over my "out box" to keep that from getting overfilled, as well. So far that's been an effective tactic.


The chair I mentioned earlier. It fits beautifully into the corner, with a blanket someone crocheted (cough*for Brooklyn*cough), a pillow a friend made, and a couple pieces of art - the orange theme came together purely by accident. Adam got the "adventure is calling" piece from an artist he knows, and the botanical print came from an artist I know (find it, and other delightful pieces, here).


The washi tapes I use in my journal, hung along the bottom edge of a cork board

The corner is brighter and more open, our bedroom looks larger and more inviting/like less of a tripping hazard, and it's nice to face out into the room instead of facing the wall when I sit down. I may still make a few modifications, but for now, it's definitely a happy place.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Guide...


A problem that I ran into shortly after I learned to knit was following a pattern. I understand how knitting works, and I test well on reading comprehension, but for some reason I would always unconsciously make some sort of small adjustment. As it was generally to my liking, I accepted this odd trait, and embraced patterns as "more like guidelines than actual rules."

Later, it became a motivator to write my own patterns. Instead of fighting to follow what someone else had written, to take note of the changes I was inclined to make and ask why I wanted to make them. It was invariably (in my opinion) an improvement, either to the technique or to the finished piece itself.

Now I embrace the journey and hold the written directions loosely (whether they're my own or someone else's). The yarn will tell me what it wants to be, so I let it be my guide.

It's also taught me to listen more closely to God's voice. I can be so focused on the way I think things should be done that I forget He's both infinitely wise and infinitely creative, and also that I am most definitely neither of those things. But if I step back and look for His direction in the midst of the process, I often find that He leads me in a slightly different direction; that I learn a new way of looking at things or a new way of doing them; and that the end result is invariably better than whatever it was that I had in mind.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday!

Cozier and Cozier


August has been a very knitty month (although, for some reason, it doesn't feel like I got much done...) First off the needles was a new design - the Sacred Oak cowl is available on Ravelry, and I had a lovely time knitting it! (Adorable pin was gifted to me, but you can get your own here)


Next in the green vein, I took a week to do a mystery KAL as part of Shannon Okay's #knitgrrl52 project. It turned into a darling tea cozy (which is a thing that I have never knitted before), and until such time as I want my tea kept boiling hot, it's going to be keeping my pretty teapot safe from chips in the cabinet.



Next, a rare commission - I made yet another Dotted Rays (I may be slightly addicted - Brooklyn asked for a miniature one for herself, so that's on the docket for next month) for a friend at church. I adore the yarn she chose, and I'm slightly sad that I'm not keeping it for myself. At least she's local, so I have the hope of seeing it again, on her.


Also not for me, but for a swap - my version of the Beeswax Cowl. The original called for a lighter weight yarn, so I dropped two repeats and then carried on with my chunky, and it turned out great. I cannot speak highly enough of this pattern - it was a delight to knit, and I hope the person it's going to enjoys wearing it as much as I enjoyed making it.


I took the leftover yarn from the acorn cowl and attempted to make a T for Brooklyn - a combination of yarn shortage and failing to account for ease resulted in a too-small garment, but I found someone it'll fit. And I'm glad to have learned on lesson on a larger-gauge project, since the other two she has queued up for me are on sock yarn.


Now I'm working on a sweater of sorts for Tobin, and trying to get as much of it knocked out as I can before Adam gets back. Watch for this cosplay streetwear design next month!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Speak...


What speaks to me most clearly is beauty. Wherever I am, whatever I need, the beautiful is what catches my heart and leads me toward God.

Generally, where I live in the South, beauty is most easily found in nature. But I recently made it a point to visit Crystal Bridges (a surprisingly adorable museum of American art, in Northwest Arkansas) while they still had this special exhibit.

It was a cool, rainy day, and I reveled in my solitude, as well as the striking nature of Chihuly's blown glass artwork. I took pictures, and lingered, and audibly gasped in awe and delight - there was design inspiration and spiritual metaphor and simple, glorious beauty, all wrapped up together.

Perhaps it will speak to you, as well.







Linking up with Five Minute Friday!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Long and Short


July was... a month. It didn't feel terribly long, despite staying home all month, although that may have been because people came to visit us and broke up the time.


My mother in law came for a few days... there were a couple of gatherings with friends (including on accidental movie date, which has never before happened in all the movies I've been to alone)... lots of knitting, here and there...


...and my best friend came for week, to spend time with me because she lives out of state now, and to help with Littles. We had a glorious time knitting and watching an anime series she wanted to share with me, and also engaging in some fairly intense spiritual warfare (I didn't believe in that either, but I have quite a few witnesses to the crazy, so I've been forced to admit that it's a thing). Overall it was a lovely week and the time flew by.


So now it's August. My Bear comes home next month (hallelujah!) so I've only got one more month to finish up all of my unfinished projects, clean the closet, and cover the walls (literally) in prayer before he gets back.


So, cleaning, knitting, and praying... that this month will pass as quickly as July did, because we're all ready for him to be home!