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Archive for August, 2011

New yarns coming out this year are self ruffling. Some make very wide ruffles and some very narrow. They have sparkly ones and multi-hued ones and of course beautiful solids. You don’t even cast on with these yarns but pick up loops  or ladders in the edge of the yarn and you unfold them as you go. Then you just knit every row. Some patterns call for you to sew down the loops instead of binding off, but I find that binding off and then pulling the tail through the last stitch works better. You then turn the tail back on itself and stitch it to the beginning row of stitches. The result is a very fun scarf that creates boa style ruffles.

These yarns can be used as accents on other projects where you might want a frilly edge or a touch of glitz. Shawls or sweater necklines or hem come to mind right off-hand. Can’t see them on children’s items as they are for the most part a bit to open and loopy for small ones to not pull or mangle.

The cost seems to run from about $6  a skien to $25 a skien. As far as I can tell there is not a lot of difference in yarn for money. But I guess the more you pay the more it is worth. It is a matter of personal choice and I guess budget. But mainly there are new fun yarns out there for most any budget and you can always go online to see how to use them, I had too. Once you figure it out though they are not hard to work with, a bit awkward at first but not hard. Have fun and play with them!! I am!

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When I consider God forming each one of us stitch by stitch, carefully having chosen the yarn, the pattern, the gauge, the planned purpose for each of us, I am overcome by His grace. Knowing the time and thought required by each item I make, then to see the comparison of God’s handiwork. The item maybe plain or fancy, the yarn bulky or fine, but each has its function and place. We decided which we like best by standards set within the society in which we live. God’s standards are not so. We may be made up of plain knitting out of everyday functional yarn for use in the day-to-day common life. We may be made of delicate fiber, light and airy, a pattern intricate and fragile,  used carefully on special occasions. To God we are perfect, each in our on unique way. What we see as flaws, God uses these to his purpose. Unlike myself, I make mistakes in my knitting, some hinder the pattern and have to be undone, some are carefully hidden, so that no one but me knows where they are, God does not make mistakes, each stitch is formed with purpose in His plan. I may not be able to recognize the pattern, or the construction due to my limited understanding, but that does not constrain God.

In accepting God’s authority to make each of us as he has desired, to be used as he chooses, frees us to be what we were created for. I may choose the wrong yarn for a project and it come out not quite what I had intended, put it away never to see the light of day. Not so with  God, he has chosen the right yarn and  the correct pattern for each of us. In his eyes we are what he wanted us to be. Unlike my knitting that has no choice, we have a choice to be what we were made to be, or struggle against it and miss the beauty of our life. The beauty of  God’s grace  is that it is never to late to be what he created us to be, living in his purpose and plan.

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One Stitch at a Time

The thing about knitting is that you do not do it because it is cheaper than buying items, it is not. You do not do it because you can crank them out so fast that you get instant gratification, you can not. The thing about knitting is that you build it one step at a time. You either find yarn you want to use for something and then a pattern or you make up a pattern for the yarn you want to use. Next you determine the size and the gauge of the knitting project that you want so it will turn out the way you want it. Many new knitters and some knitters who have been knitting a long time want to skip the gauge part, but unless the item is something that size and yarn quantity does not matter gauge is the most important part of your pre-knitting. Then comes the casting on of your stitches. Now you begin one stitch at a time building the item.

There is something so fulfilling to the  step by step, stitch by stitch, making of shawls,  sweaters, caps, scarves, mittens and you get the idea. To see the fabric grow on your needles. To see the pattern evolve, to correct mistakes and move on from them, not letting them defeat you, even if that means starting over. There is a rhythm of the knitting that brings peace (yes, even in the complicated patterns). The process of making the stitches, transferring them one at a time from one needle to the other, that is an outlet for feelings that need to be released. Then when the item is finished there is the sense of accomplishment that goes with the item. It is a feeling of bringing to life something that was not there before. The piece will have character of its own and yet something of you in it. Whether you keep the item or give it away the making of it is what matters. I have been told many times “I can buy something like that”, and I answer yes, you can but for me it is the making of it One Stitch at a Time.

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Of Shawls, Prayers and Grace

In 2003 my mother died very suddenly and I was left shocked and grief-stricken. In the spring of 2004 a young woman I was helping to learn to knit told me about the Prayer Shawl Ministry. I thought, “that was what I had needed” a shawl from God to wrap up in. I bought the book “Knitting Into the Mysteries” and made my first prayer shawl intending to keep it for myself. That did not happen. In our Sunday Bible Class there was a woman whose husband was dying that shawl went to her and so began the Prayer Shawl ministry at our church The shawl in the picture went to a woman who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. No I don’t know her but I know that God knows her and He will wrap her in the comfort only He can bring. For myself God has comforted me over and over through each shawl that has been given away now for the last eight years. God has wrapped me in grace beyond measure through this ministry.

I continue to knit shawls, for those in need of comfort, healing, grace, or celebrating births, graduations, birthdays. There are  many reasons to knit a shawl the purpose is always to convey love. Those that receive shawls respond in many ways, that is not the focus whether there is a thank you or not the focus is the sharing of God’s love and grace.

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Not sure where this will lead or what it will create but to begin any knitted project one must first cast on the needed number of stitches. So here goes nothing.

I have been  knitting for more than 40 years now and over those years the one thing I have learned is that unless you actually begin a project it can never be completed. Talking about, thinking and wanting to do something will never accomplish anything until you get busy and start it.

Not all projects have to be completed some just need to be set aside until a better time some need to be ditched, but when you do begin and the project grows there is a sense of accomplishment that is worth the work.

This is the Cast on of this blog. There is no pattern to follow, (which sort of intimidates me somewhat). What it will be is still to be determined. It may be a project that gets set aside or ditched or it may grow into the finished project.

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