Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The December projects are now finished. I can now go back and knit away at projects for fun! The Manchester Jacket is coming along. I had another delay when the cable broke and I had to wait to get a new one (the stitches were scrunched onto a smaller cable in between times which made it hard to knit). The stitches now have a bit more personal space and seem happier.
2 more inches to go on this section then a change. Pretty soon I'll be doing armholes and be knitting back and forth on the pieces and then sleeves. And then I'll see how it's really fitting and if I get upset at this and need to put it away like my Printed Silk Cardi and Sayuri pullover; which I have put in a time out. They may be ready to come out of their corners and be worked on again, after I see if the Manchester Jacket is cooperating.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Today she came in with her mother because they tried to go through Neil Anderson's book, Bondage Breaker. A became very fearful and couldn't pray and said she was seeing things. I'm so glad they came in, they are now in with the pastor. I stood near his office door and prayed for awhile; for spiritual protection, for God's wisdom and leading, for the oppression to be lifted, for openeness and most of all, for the Spirit to be loosed and to fill the room with his sweet presence.
This is the beginning, I hope, of a turning point for them.
Monday, December 22, 2008
It was a bittersweet day. The sweet because she's the first of the nieces & nephews to have waited until marriage to live together and to have completed most of their education. They have a plan for their careers and they are both Christians. The bitter is because there were two key people missing; my mother (her grandmother) and my brother (her father). When she was walked down the aisle, her mother walked on one side and her older brother on the other. Though I was said and teary, I had to admire how the family has stayed so close and loving with each other through all the hard times. The beauty of the moment was in both the bitter and the sweet parts coming together.
Here's my immediate family; brothers, sisters and their children and their children. One niece and her family is missing. There are about 30 now.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Finished yesterday afternoon at Silver Creek Cabin. Got all the ends hemmed in. I'm not sure if I really like the finished results, wish I had had more time to make the bottom blocks longer. Oh well, it's finished. If they don't like it, it's always good for that couch throw or the guest room. the wedding is today.
I did an I-cord border instead of what they recommended in the book.
I also did not bind off my stitches, I kept them all "live" on holders or long circus. This saved a bit of time and also made it easier to "pick up" stitches for the I-cord border.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Here's a photo of the whole team together. I think we get along really well and we had a sense of unity as we got to know each other. And now, I'm really looking forward to serving with everyone in India.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I've been stressed. We have an orientation weekend starting tonight for the India mission trip. My house isn't that clean on a normal basis so I've spent a week or so deep cleaning. On top of that, I've had to try to figure out what we're doing and where, who is staying with who, in addition to whatever else I have to do during that time. Plus, the Christmas Tea is this weekend and I have to decorate a table with things I didn't have (bought quite a bit), find favors, find time to do it, all for just a few hours on Saturday.
I haven't been sleeping well the last two nights. The first time was when I was up late doing the devotional. Last night I found a stray cat who kept yowling at me through the window to be fed. More about the cat later.
I've been a bad aunt. A few years ago, I was supposed to do a photo quilt for my niece and she gave me a photo of her dad (who passed away) and her dressed up. It's the only photo of them two together dressed up and she's getting married on the 20th and wants the picture. I can't find it and I'm heartbroken. I'm disappointing them majorly and I also feel terrible about taking anything away from her wedding day.
Last night with the girl I'm mentoring did not go ideally. The pizza wasn't good, she didn't like the movie, she went home early.
I've found a lump. Which set off a chain reaction for having to go in to get it looked at (next week Friday). We have new insurance and I couldn't go to the clinic I like, so I had to have records transferred and a new doctor.
My body is weak and tired and shaky, it's hard to do anything. I just want to curl up and do nothing.
I feel like Alexander and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Knitting a sweater doesn't seem like a spritual practice, but finishing this one was. The main body of the sweater was fairly easy, it just took time and a lot of yarn. The sleeves knit up quickly and were attached.
I began the cabling and enjoyed following the chart. Each row of cables took about an hour, they were that intense. After a few rows, I noticed that the cables didn't look like the pictures. I did a few more rows and put some more hours into it but it still didn't help. Frustrated, I threw the sweater down and took a break.
The next day, I ripped the few rows out and started over. Surely I had been reading the chart wrong and just needed to review. After a few rows of more cabling, it was clear that I was still doing it wrong. I threw the sweater down with a little more meaning this time.
A day or so later, I came back to inspect the work. When I turned it over, I saw the cables that should've been on the outside! I had been reading the chart backwards; from left to right instead of right to left. Now, I know that you read charts from right to left but on the instructions it had told me to go from left to right. It never said that after the set-up row, you go from right to left. What they had assumed was common sense to a knitter caused my cables to be on the wrong side of the sweater.
I ripped back to the lifeline, again.
This time, I worked smarter. I made up a swatch, a sample piece and tried the pattern from right to left. Voila! It worked, it looked like the pictures and it was lovely. I began again for the third time on the cable pattern.
The cables begin to form beneath my fingers. By this point, I knew the pattern so well that I almost didn't need the charts. Each twist and swoop of the cable was exciting to watch as it formed into a recognizable pattern. All too soon it was over and I only had the rest of the neck to knit and more mindless knitting. The next week, I was wearing the sweater.
The spiritual practice was in the lifeline. Just like life, you sail along with God and make beautiful stitches together. They are perfectly functional, if a little mundane. This is sometimes what everday life can be. But you know that around the corner, there's going to be some complicated happenings. Instead of hoping that everything will go fine on the first try and risking losing somef of the foundation of work you've put in, I planned ahead with the Lifeline.
I threaded my faith though it so that if I judged wrongly, misunderstood or even if someone else's instructions to me were wrong or misleading, I could fall back on my faith and measure my progress again from there.
The true lesson for me is not that I could pat my back and say "good job" for thinking ahead and adding the Lifeline right before the complicated part. The lesson is that I should be putting in Lifelines of faith more often. Who knows when an unexpected event may occur? Faith should be threaded throughout my life more often. Just like a Lifeline, it takes time and planning to put one in. But with practice, pretty soon it'll become like just another habit. When that happens, I'll be ready for anything unexpected.
When I started the Sayuri, I wanted a mindless project. When I started the Manchester, I just liked it and I had the right yarn in my stash. I had forgotten to think about if it was interesting or not. It's not really but I'm slogging along.
Here's the two fronts together with the knit on I-cord border. I'm having to knit an extra row about every time because the yarn has no twist and consequently, no stretch. The yarn is not very forgiving.
But I had to put it aside to crack down on Hannah's wedding blanket. It's due in less than 19 days!!!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
But then, I saw it in the clearance area and even at 1/2 price, it was a steal at $75. Yes, I've been wanting to start this for awhile but haven't gotten around to it because of course I would want to start big and get a floor model and take up a large amount of space. Wouldn't want to start small now, would I? But there it sat, actually there were two.
I talked with Patty at Silver Creek Cabin and she said it was only $50 and so I stayed and talked it over. It was already mine, I only had to pay for it.
Want to see what's inside the bag?
A Kromski rigid heddle loom! I came back to pick it up after work because she didn't have all the parts together. At the time I first saw it, it was just a loom on the floor. She had put it in a bag with all these extras and didn't raise the price.
Here are all the assorted parts that I've no idea what to do with. See that black thing? That's the VHS that I need to watch. Most likely I'll probably end up on ravelry or youtube for support on how to start.
Not sure yet if this is a "Christmas gift" from hubby or not. If it were up to me, I'd take it with up to the in-laws this weekend for a little fiber r&r. But it's not like I don't have anything else to work on and I have plenty that I need to knit. Ah, but I WANT to start weaving right away!
Maybe if I'm good and clean the house this weekend, I can start on something Sunday night.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Languishing in Limbo because of these projects:
- Hannah's Wedding Blanket (which must be done by the 12/19)
- Sayuri (not liking it so much with the neckband but if I take that out then I have to unknit most of the body too)
- Wool in the Woods Scarf (may keep that in my truck for an emergency knitting project
Sunday, November 23, 2008
MY SIL Tagged me to post the 6th photo of my 6th picture folder. Since hubby has recently put most of our photos on an exteneral hard drive, I could only find 5 folders so I closed my eyes and double clicked.
Here's Flint at the headwaters of the Mississippi.
Here are the instructions:
* Go to your sixth picture folder then pick your sixth picture.
* Pray that you remember the details.
* Post it on your blog.
* Tag 5 others, leave a comment to let them know they’ve been tagged.
Feel free to participate, even if I haven't tagged you. I think there are some lurkers who only come out when I offer free yarn. ;)
On Friday, I received a response card in the mail that put me a little over the halfway mark. Half of the money is due by the end of the month ($1,500) and it came in less than two weeks, I have one week to relax and not worry.
On Saturday I received my passport in the mail.
Both of the major pieces are in place! I have no doubt that the rest of the money will come in by the next deadline.
Who knew that so many people wanted to send me away so quickly? Maybe I should remind them that this is a round trip ticket. I'm coming back after two weeks. ;)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I've gotten a few more inches knitted on since the photo last night, but otherwise it looks the same. When I tried it on earlier, the waistline seemed too low compared to the photos and other people's projects. My row gauge may be longer.
Instead of ripping, I tried an experiment; a neckband. The pattern doesn't call for one but the neckline seems very open. I decided on seed stitch because it is along the same lines of the linen stitch at the waistline. I did decreases every 3rd row in the V and at each neck edge. I do like it better. For one thing, it did raise the waistline up. And another thing, it filled in some of the open spaces and covered a bit more cleavage. It's chilly in Minnesota, and a woman could catch cold with all that exposed skin.
I think one more skein will do it. It'll be sad to leave this project though. The yarn is so wonderful to work with.
And onto the next project which I have already swatched for. IK is coming out with the winter issue, my copy should come tomorrow. My next project is the Manchester Jacket. Remember the Cardigan for Arwen? Well I started that and I didn't like how the cabling turned out with that yarn, it didn't have much give and looked lumpy and like I didn't know what I was doing (not commenting on the fact that maybe I didn't know what I was doing, it's always the yarn or pattern's fault). Well, the same gauge is needed for this jacket. I think it'll make a great project.
Sometimes I'll get up at night when I can't sleep or am just restless and knit and spend time with God. It's been awhile and I think I missed a few times that I should have done it.
Last night I had a brief but very neat rendezvous. The phrase "Come life with me and be my love" flittered through my head. I know this poem, and I tried to recite it in my head. And then, I remembered the title, "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love." How appropriate! I never thought of the poem that way before, with God as the passionate shepherd, wooing us to love him.
When I read through the poem a couple of times, it seems to be more of a poem of just being together and enjoying creation. No task or to-do list, only just be and learn to love.
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
by Christopher Marlowe
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle:
A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold:
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning;
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Everyone who has responded so far has committed to pray for the trip! I've also received $895.00 in support, and that's in less than a week. See why I'm a little overwhelmed?
Friday, November 14, 2008
Where's the certificate?
What if I can't find it?
Oh no - I sent out all those support letters and now I may not be going!
A voice in my head said don't be anxious, it'll be okay. I calmed down a little and had an image in my mind of my baby book. I had looked for my baby book before, hoping it had my birth certificate in it (which I found elsewhere) but never found the book. I remembered that there was a photo on one of the pages with me kissing the judge when I went to be naturalized. Near the photo was a piece of paper. Could that be it?
I didn't have much time to look and had something going on in about 2 hours and still had to make dinner. This didn't look good.
I headed downstairs to the room where I found my certificate and rummaged through boxes. When I opened the last box that I hadn't gone through, I just knew it was going to be in there, and it was! There was my baby book. I almost started to cry, I was so amazed at how God had led me to find it so quickly (it was within about 15 minutes). And I had also unearthed some knitting magazines that I had forgotten about. What more could I need? I dug back into the box, curious to see what else was in there. I found a photo album that looked like it may be hubby's and brought that upstairs to put it in the right spot.
Sitting down at the kitchen table, I opened the baby book. The naturalization certificate was not in there. Oh no.
My hand went to the photo album that I had brought up as a second thought. Hey, this was one of my childhood photo albums! And wait, what is that, it's my naturalization certificate and even a letter from Jimmy Carter. I sat back and cried. I had been looking all this time for the wrong book, my baby book, that as it turned out, had no certificates that I needed. But in looking for the wrong book, I found the right papers.
The icing on the cake was when I was flipping through the baby book and saw a note from one of my mom's friends. It said some kind words about them adopting me and then a quote - "Only one life, twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last." The significance for me is that this is something that John Piper quoted in his book, Don't Waste Your Life. Our small group is going through that book and we met that night. The lesson was on risk.
I know going to India is a good risk, one that I'm supposed to take. And I also know that I'm really, really, supposed to go.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Last Sunday, Jan and I got together for a little lunch and a little envelope stuffing for our support letters. It turned out to be a lot of envelope stuffing. We thought it would take and hour, maybe two but we ended up spending 5 hours together. I think they turned out well, I formatted both of them so they would "match" and we'd look like a team from the outset. E-mail me if you want a copy.
She was so thankful that I formatted her letter, that I let her wash my dishes. I think this is the beginning of a great team, don't you?
Tuesday was Veteran's Day, so the letters probably didn't arrive in mailboxes until yesterday. On one hand, I know that if God wants me to go on this trip (and I'm pretty sure he does), then the money and prayer support will come in. It's a real leap of faith to think that in about 2 1/3 week, I'd have $1,500 and about $1,400 more by January 15th.
Okay God, it's up to you now.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
The upper part of the organ in the art room. Doesn't every home need one of these?
Halfway up the main stairway, where many a fine personage made their grand entrance.
Part of a bank of stained glass windows, opposite of the last picture.
The view from the dining room. Just your average hallway.
Part of the decor of the dining room, I think this was either leather or wood carving.
And in the washing room, I found a kindred object; sock blockers.
What we did do was knit and wear a bit of knitting on on our heads. Oh, we also had lots of good food too. Can't have a knitting party without food.
Little Bo Peep
Prairie woman and Raggedy Ann, I think.
A couple of improvised Hallowigs.
Skein Head? She won a prize.
Flower Girl or whatever, she also won a prize.
And that, my friends, is what knitters (or the ones I know) do for Halloween. Much better than the other options, right?
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Sayuri is almost done. It's fitting okay although believe it or not, slightly roomy. I only have the bottom part to do yet. What? You didn't think I was going to bare my midriff, did you?
The lady said that I should've tried to get there before 4:30pm because of the adoption thing and she couldn't call the other office. How in the world I would know that, is beyond me. The person that I spoke with on the phone didn't mention that. But anyway, they accepted my papers and we went through the process and then I realized I forgot my checkbook.
Run home, grab checkbook, run back. Fees paid. Now, everything should go fine and I should have my passport soon.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Part of me thought that I wouldn't find the paperwork for the passport and that I wouldn't be going. I'd be sad and feel guilty about it all, but I'd be staying put. But now that I found it, it's really happening. I'm going to India.
I found it in a bunch of files in a box that were labeled with my health info. Not the most likely place to find a birth certificate, right? Well, when I was a senior in high school I went to Mexico and had all the immunizations and such to go with it. I must have filed all my papers from that into my health file. This wasn't at all where I expected it to be and I was prepared to continue to ransack the rest of the room plus two more areas and maybe the garage before shrugging and saying that it just wasn't meant to be.
Cris had prayed with me during my orientation and said she saw a picture of God handing me my birth certificate. That picture happened tonight.
I'm still in shock and now have to take it all a bit more seriously.
My friend Helen won't be going, though. I'm sad that she can't but fine with her reasons. I may now be the only knitter going on this trip.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Helen is going as a knitter & crocheter and at the last moment, my friend Jan is going too. She didn't know it yesterday morning when she woke up...that she'd be going to an orientation meeting that afternoon for a missions trip. She has a great story of how God has called her to come and confirmed it. She'll be working with the orphanage.
And now, I have a list of things to do. After I get a few of these done, I'll breathe easier:
- Find all the papers I need to apply for my passport (which is really going to have to be God handing it to me).
- Get passport photos
- Apply for passport
- Write letter
- Get immunizations
- Find appropriate clothes
- Figure out what patterns to teach
- Gather materials
- Pray a lot
- and lots more than I can't think of right now.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
My co-worker said that she gets that right before a migraine and to take aspirin and caffeine right away. I did do that, but my eyes continued to not cooperate when I wanted to read. Oh, I could look at things, just not focus too well.
Today I mostly feel dizzy with a head ache.
On the plus side, I got lots of knitting done, I suppose I should use my other blog to tell you about that. And yeah, I shouldn't be on the 'puter much to give my eyes a rest. But it's really hard to NOT go online.
This being at home has given me a bit of time to think about what I'd like to do if only I could walk straight and read stuff.
1. Clean my house. Hubby just hasn't gotten the hang of picking up the slack in housekeeping when I'm not well.
2. Do some writing.
3. Put my Operation Christmas Child Boxes together
4. Go buy some more yarn.
5. Start a podcast as the church librarian.
6. Start knitting a new project because I only have my knitting time booked up until the beginning of Christmas.
7. Find a cat to adopt.
8. Figure out how to knit crop circle designs in a purse.
9. Re-organize my books my dewey decimal system.
Can you tell that I'm one skein short of a sweater in some of my thinking?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Case in point:
1. Berocco Inca Gold yarn bought for the Eastlake.
2. Nixed Eastlake, it's more like "knitting the lifestyle" than actually something that would be flattering.
3. Obsessed over patterns, what to do with all this great yarn?
4. Cast on for the February Lady's Sweater
5. Knit a Hallowig in a day
6. Messed up the Feb Lady and put it aside
7. Obsessed a bit more with patterns
8. Decided that I really wanted to make the Mirabella (Spring IK) into a fall cardi instead of spring
9. Obsessed even more with patterns
10. Swatched & cast on for the Sayuri sweater (Sensual Knits) last night
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I finished the vest last weekend! It's really warm, so warm in fact, that I was a mite uncomfortable at the Mason Dixon knitting event on Sunday. But I will have plenty of use for it this winter.
1. Pocket placement - Did a full repeat of cables before beginning pocket. Also, spaced it a few more inches out on the sides. The pockets are about 5 1/2" long so my hands now fit comfortable inside. Keys fit too.
2. Cable pattern - Added the cable that's on the back, to the front, to even it out because mine is a larger size. Also added in a p1, k1, p1 between all cable sections to differentiate them better.
3. Collar - made it about 1" shorter because I don't like things that close to my neck.
4. Closures - added zipper instead of the buttons.
5. Armholes - did not add the I-cord border. This may change later, but for now it stays as is.
6. Knit this in one piece instead of 3. Added on faux seems with a p1.
7. I twisted the cables a row sooner for a tighter cable.
Something to think about for a next time (if there is one):
- Cast on provisionally. That way you won't have to pick up stitches later for the I-cord, just "unzip" the provisional cast on.
- Knit pockets in the round. After picking up the stitches and making the "hem" for the outter pocket, keep the stitches on the needles, pick up the stitches for the other side of the pocket, and knit in the round until desired length. Finishing can be done by either 3 needle BO, grafting or just sewing.
- Don't have the I-cord going all the way up the collar. It makes it stiff and uncomfortable on the neck.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Singing to the tune of popular songs from Oklahoma, including one about being a ravelry addict. After they were done, Kay & Ann were speechless and fanning themselves.
Lots of knitterly goodness, they had samples from their books that you could look at, touch and inspect the seams of.
Here's Ann & Kay with their alter egos on screen. Which hair do you think looks better on them? (Click on the picture below to see the video on youtube!)
And a wonderful whimsical monkey made its appearance. The person who made it was in the crowd.
N and I both wore our vests, mine was Estes, hers was another from the fall IK. I think we looked like the poster children for the Fall IK issue! The weather was a mite warm, so I shed my vest on the way home. While I was knitting on the February Lady Sweater (what? Did I forget to mention that project here?) someone asked if that was the pattern I was making. She had just made one in the same color. What a small knitting world we live in.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
No, it's not what you think (or what I would think by reading that title if I wasn't the one who had written it and already knew what I meant).
I've been working on the Log Cabin Baby Blanket as a wedding gift but doubling the size because it's for two adults. Yeah, I've had since February to work on it, the wedding is in December. My plan was to do 2-3 skeins a month. It started out well but now that I do my math again, I have to do 1 skein per week. Where has the time gone?
I'll admit, I've been a selfish knitter. I've managed to knit a cable cardi which almost fits, a silk cardi that needs a new collar worked in and an almost finished vest that needs a zipper. So realistically, just one large project finished and that one doesn't quite fit. Wow, is that an impressive list of FO's or what?
Thankfully, a blanket doesn't have to fit, except to be large enough to drape over people.
I've been cracking down on this thing and got 1 1/2 skeins in this week. Impressive? Only because it's garter stitch. My goal is to get this thing done quickly so that I can knit something for myself; or not finish another something for myself.
I'm considering hauling the blankie along to see the authors of the pattern, the Mason Dixon knitters. They'll be in St. Paul on Sunday.
On one hand, this is logical. What person or ministry is ever 100% on? God would have very few people and groups to work with. Plus, the great things he brings about can cause us to grow into greater maturity and learning.
On the other hand, there's a tendency to believe that if God is moving and doing great things, then the person/ministry/group must be right on.
This makes me pause and think of how much I have yet to learn.
Monday, October 6, 2008
I saw another blogger post about a No Spend Month and got to thinking. Could I do it? Probably not. But I could cut down on spending, for just one month.
Here's what I came up with for a goal for the next 4 weeks:
$50 grocery/week. It has been $80.
$15 lunch money/week - I have a staff lunch each week and then have a lunch date with friends on Friday. It has been $20 and up.
$50 personal spending money for the month which may seem like a lot but it will be challenging. I’m going to see the Mason Dixon knitters next Sunday and want their book, will want yarn, etc. Also, will have to use this for postage for sending out the yarn boxes. Plus, if I want anything non-knitting related, it’ll come out of this fund too.
I’m not including gas or anything else, those to me are fixed and something I really can’t change.
I will allow myself to “borrow” between lunch and spending money if I can save a bit more on one end.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Got the last skein for my vest today! It wasn't fun to run out of yarn on a Saturday night because the shop doesn't open again until Tuesday. I have literally inches to go with the side I-cord, I may or may not do them for the arms.
The pattern said to go back and forth with the circular needle, but that was a bit fussy for me. I got out my DPN's and knit the I-cord that way. I'd knit 3, purl2tog then put the yarn in back, slip one from the circular needle, slide the stitches to the right and repeat.
Clear as mud?