Saturday, December 10, 2016

It's a process

Margaret (Mugginsquilts) from Ravelry has said 2 things that really stuck in my head.  First, pertaining to tension.  In crochet, when you yarn over and pull your yarn through the loop on your hook, you pull your yarn up a little to the height of the stitch, and that keeps your tension and stitches nicely even.  You do the same with knitting.  If you don't, you'll find that you can't even get your needle through the loop on your other needle on the next pass, so.  Very important.  Pull the yarn up a bit when you pull it through.

Second, "Knitting is more of a ‘process not product’ venture than crochet is. If you convince yourself to enjoy the process, it’s very satisfying."   Ahhhhh.   That's why I found doing a long swatch of just garter stitch boring and had to refer to my brand new book "400 Knitting Stitches" to find a knit/purl design I can work on rather than just the same stitch every row.

Garter:   Knit stitch on every row.
Stockingette:  Knit a row, purl a row. (that's the sweater look knit stitch).

Back to that brand new book, it was definitely the right choice for a beginner knitter (determined to be stubborn about learning to knit) to buy.  It includes pictures to show "how to", it includes 400 knit/purl designs, cables, slipped, lacy, and double stitches (and more), then it has a section showing and describing symbols, so you can read both a pattern and a diagram.   Excellent book!


Thursday, December 8, 2016

I'm back!

It's been a very eventful year, this 2016.  Several family members have died, including my  husband's grandmother, father, step-mother, my mother, her little brother (7 weeks after Mom), and several great-aunts and family friends.  I got a new job, found that health insurance premiums are more than my paycheck now, the most controversial presidential campaign and election in my memory, and my touchable "peace", my yarn.  My crochet.  I've made quite a few things this year that I'm very happy with, can't really post pictures yet because some of them are Christmas presents.

But this week I decided, since I'm in a place where it's okay to set my current projects aside, to learn to knit.  I've tried before, using long aluminum needles, and really just didn't like it.  Then someone said that sometimes it's the needles you're learning with, and that really, circular needles are just best to learn with and use no matter what your project is.  So, I ordered sets of size 7 and size 8 Knitters' Pride Dreamz to go with my KP Dreamz Tunisian hook set, so my cords and stuff will all be interchangeable, and definitely, there's a big difference!

This is ILTY, and KP Dreamz interchangeable circular needles size 8. -- Using the right size needle, the right wood, my tension is correct, and I'm finding it much easier to handle and control the yarn and needles.  There are many videos and instructions that are helpful, as well as many local classes (not necessarily here, but in general).

One small step forward, that's all this is, but the point is to open the doors of my mind and creative options.

Some sites I've found helpful for just getting started:
Sheep & Stitch (no longer active, but some excellent helps, tips, and videos)
Long Tail Cast On
Handsome Fibers (where I buy my hooks/needles)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Middle of the Night Godspeak

That is to say, as I sit and crochet with the Word playing in my ears via's audio, I pray that as He speaks through a particular scripture being read, and I stop, rewind, listen, stop and put the yarn down, search elsewhere for corresponding scriptures, listen to what He is saying to me in this present time, I pray that I am truly listening as He speaks.

John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

We get so bogged down in earthly matters that we risk losing Heaven. I'm not talking about parenting, and jobs, and family illness and such. I'm talking about trending issues that take up our time and conversation that WE already know the answer to. Like a woman blogging about not wearing yoga pants in modest respect for her husband and the self-centered ridiculousness that responded to that. Like how modern thinking is a constant argument on the side of sin and immorality, and our younger generation and many of the older generation have allowed it to seep into their own consciousness until they also argue on its behalf. Like how modern belief is that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a thing ... ever see the recent movie Son of God? Was there a scene where Mary M. wasn't there? I'm not sure, I couldn't finish that movie because of that issue. That is down right anti Christ, because Christ was pure and without sin. No deceit, no immorality in Him, until he hung on the cross and took on all our sins. Mosaic law decreed that a sacrificial lamb had to be SPOTLESS.

Satan's specialty is to take what is true and twist it just enough to cause confusion, So a twisted version of truth seeps in because we allow it to, it's what we're watching, what we're hearing, what we're being taught in the world view, until we don't know what to believe anymore. "Traditional Christian" is now spoken with a sneer and many of us avoid the term. Me, I don't want to be a modern Christian. This is not about being puritanical, it's about a balance between living in this world as we must, but living in Him, and balance there must be. To gain that true and proper balance as intended by God from the beginning, what I want is to be a true follower of Christ, focused on Him, His Word, His truth. Not modern man's version of truth. God's truth and Man's truth is not the same!

Habakkuk 1:4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.

Most of us need to do the monkey thing. Hear no/see no/speak no. Get away from all the voices, get alone with HIS WORD. Seek Him, and we shall find Him. Seek Him while listening to the wrong voices, and our humanity struggles in confusion. If we're truly and sincerely seeking Him, He will send us the right people to listen to, people who are in His will. We the individual must pray for discernment to know when we are on the right track and when we're not, when we're listening to the right voices and when we're not. Otherwise, we're just weeds, blowing whichever way the wind blows, our roots torn from the ground. And Heaven will be lost to us because the distractions have overpowered our ability to hear His voice.

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Zoom Loom - the new toy

So I bought myself a little zoom loom, just to see if I would like weaving.  I do!  I've been playing and experimenting with a few different things, just stuff I have in my stash that I'm not using, some VC, some other stuff.  Just for fun, here are my results.  These pictures are awful, can't do it justice.  iPhone pictures, and used my computer to edit them down 50% so they wouldn't be giant here.  IRL these squares are really nice to look at and soft to hold, though way much thinner than something crocheted with the same yarn.

I bought this VC print and didn't like anything I tried crocheing with it.  But when I put it on the zoom loom, it turns into a pretty plaid look.  I like it!

Then I had this other stuff, labeled bulky, that is a riot of oranges/pinks, crinkly kind of yarn that I picked up at an LYS once and never knew what to do with.  It's too bulky to use on the zoom loom, so first I did the winding with black DK that I had in stash, then wove in the colorful stuff.  This is cool, would make a nice scarf.

 And then there's this.  This is Deborah Norville "Carnival" that I had bought thinking it might work for Julie's Modern Blanket coming up, but *holy cow* this stuff.  Unh!  And it makes an UGLY flower. Ugly.

But look what happens when I put this same weirdo yarn through the zoom loom.  I still have to figure out how to join these little squares, but when I do, I'm going to join them in black.  I think it will make a lovely little blanket.

That's just me playing around with my new toy when I have a few spare moments, or just need to go hide in a corner for a few minutes.  LOL, it's giving me hope for yarns in my stash I've stared at with intense dislike.

Here is my "pin loom" board on Pinterest, with so many wonderful ideas and links to instructions.

Zoom loom by Schacht - cheaper when purchased through Amazon Prime, but also available straight from Schacht.

Photos versus Selfies

Photos - a valuable tool for ourselves, family, and friends to peer into our past, remember good times and bad, remember each other, a moment of time forever preserved.

Selfies - a dangerous habit that speaks of constant "me".  What messages are young women sending their peers and younger generation who look up to them, when the young women constantly put selfies out on Facebook and Instagram?  Posing and smiling sweetly or sexily at their own camera.  What message are they sending themselves?  Do they need constant public affirmation that they are beautiful?

Social media is not the place for such affirmation. If a marriage or relationship failed, don't look to the world for your confidence boost.  Look inside, and if that's not good enough, look to the Word, work on nurturing the fruit of the spirit within.  If your fruit of the spirit is healthy, then you won't need selfies.  Don't believe me?  Go back and read that fruit list again.

Selfies promote and advertise egotism and narcissism.  Are you teaching vulnerable young women to be strong?  Or to look EVERYwhere for someone to tell them they are beautiful and sexy?  And then we turn around and try to convince them it's not about their outward beauty, but about the "beauty within"?  

The messages you are sending to your audience is confusion.  Not strength.  Not self confidence.  Not independence.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Nancy Drew

  • I fell in love with palominos in The Secret of Shadow Ranch. I had never seen palominos, but I knew they were beautiful. I also learned about glow-in-the-dark paint. 
  • I became horrified of black widow spiders in Secret in the Old Attic. Didn't need to see black widows to be scared of those.
  • I developed a deep longing for Scotland and and a crazy love for bagpipes in The Whistling Bagpipes. I had never heard bagpipes, but when I finally did hear them, my heart flopped. I had already loved them.
  • I became fascinated with invisible writing in The Strange Message in the Parchment. I never did quite get the hang of writing with lemon juice, but I sure tried. 
  • I obsessively counted steps every time I climbed the stairs at church after reading The Mystery of the 99 Steps. Took me a long time to break myself of that irritating habit.

Nancy Drew mysteries (and Hardy Boys, who could forget the swimming pool filled with piranhas!) helped form parts of me. Ideas ingrained in my imagination for life. (Don't let a leaf touch my foot in a swimming pool, I instantly become a flying fish)
As a child, I also regularly read the Bible, specifically Old Testament stories. Wasn't much interested in New Testament how-tos, or prophecy, though I got all that too. The Word is hidden in my heart, and created the teacher I became.
What is YOUR child reading. Or watching. It's more important than we realize.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tunisian Throw delivered

So.  I delivered the Tunisian blanket to my brother-in-law tonight.  I started off by telling him that over the years he had brought a lot of hurt and pain to this family, and it was hard for me, the outsider to watch the pain in his mother, his brothers, his grandparents.  But that was the past, and just doesn't matter.  I asked his forgiveness for any and every time in the past I had offended him.  I told him about how this yarn, this blanket, was supposed to be for me and only me, learning a new technique I figured it would have flaws, but somehow when I put my hand in the box and touched the yarn for the first time I just felt "Chad", and from that moment I never had a doubt that this was for Chad and only Chad.

I told him that it was after that that Jason (my husband, the oldest of the brothers) told me that he, Chad, had been clean for more than a year.  That that was just HUGE, after all the years of struggling with addiction, he was clean?  And then shortly after that he had the incident where Jason called a friend to get him medical attention in jail (he got picked up again, but this time not for wrongdoing.  He was a passenger in a car that got pulled over, the cop ran him, and found he had unpaid fines and took him to jail for it), he was released and taken straight to the hospital, where they found his L4 through S1 spine is nearly completely compressed.  Chad has a nearly full left leg amputation so has been walking on prostheses for 30 years.

Anyway.  When I pulled the blanket out of the bag and handed it to him, you could just tell.  He knows this blanket was special.  I prayed over it and him for many hours while I was working on it.  I took it to my mother's prayer partners and had them anoint it and pray over it.  In the night time hours when he feels all alone, he has this to hold onto and KNOW that he is never alone, and never has been.  Someone is out there praying for him.  God is watching him and knows his struggles, his pains,

There are flaws in this afghan throw.  I definitely see them, and they make me cringe.  But when he sees them, he will be reminded that he is flawed, but in his darkest thoughts, in his sorrow for his past, in his worst flaws, God has been watching over him, waiting for him to stand and say "no", to look toward the Light, to reach for Him.  His flaws are part of him, and it's okay.

He is not alone.

These words resound in my head every single day.  You are not alone.  He is not alone.  She is not alone.  He watches over you, and in your darkest moments you are to be reminded .....

You are not alone.