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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

As Time Passes

As time has passed over this two plus years since I last visited this site and wrote anything, it seems that life too has had passings and changes that have brought sorrow and joy. There are loved ones who are no longer here and there are new ones who have come into my life. Joy and sorrow walk the same road together. It is easy to embrace the joy and it is easy to try an shun the sorrow. Truly though you cannot live in this world without the two of these. All joy would lead to an unbalanced life that would be shallow. All sorrow would lead to a life broken and devoid of life.

When craft mirrors life, there are challenges to create and there are challenges to discard. If all you create is easy and without challenge it becomes mundane and has no captivation of spirit. On the other hand if your project is all complex and difficult there can be a difficulty in finishing. A mixture of complex and simple reveals the beauty of both. The finished piece becomes a story of the making.

In music if there is no rhythm there is just noise. In creating if there are no simple places the pattern is confused and confounding. In life if there is no place for sorrow there is then no recognition joy.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,  That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.   Psalm 30: 11-12

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There are times in my life that even after 43 years of knitting, I get it wrong. The problem is not the getting it wrong, it is what am I going to do about it. Do I stash it in a bag in the closet, hide it in a drawer. Finish it and pretend it does not matter, yet never wear it because it stands out like a sign post reading “You Made A Mistake”! Or the tried and true method of unravel it and start over.

Mistake 2 Problem with Hand Painted Yarn

The Modular Sweater above is an example of not remembering that “Hand Painted” yarn really has no dye lot and that when knitting with it you should alternate rows or in this case diamonds. Why did I keep going once I saw the difference? Good question, the only answer is I made a mistake. Pure and simple, now what, hide the thing and pretend it didn’t happen or start over. Well that is a good question for life as well. Can we admit a mistake, can we deal with the necessary steps to correct it, or hide it away and never let it see the light of day?

I prefer the start over, is it a pain yes it is. Does it scream of the wasted time of having done it wrong in the first place, yes it does. Fixing things always takes time. Making things right is not easy or fun for that matter.  But in the long run, it is worth it.

Not all of life’s mistakes can be pulled out and redone, but where they can be healed it is best to do the work of healing. Leaving mistakes and pretending they don’t matter never solves them, they just usually raise their ugly heads at the most inconvenient times and cause more pain.  It is never easy to say I was wrong, I am sorry or please forgive me. Those words have such power to heal and yet we fight against them so strongly. Why? Is it the delusion that we can do no wrong? The same old “blame game”, “if you hadn’t then I wouldn’t have”. Whatever it is it is destructive and poisons our lives. It is as old as Genesis 3, Adam blamed God…The woman you gave me…Eve blamed the serpent. What would it have been if Adam had said, I blew it, Eve said, I blew it, please forgive us? Ah but no,  hide the mistakes behind fig leaves and struggle on in our own misery.

It is not the beginning again that is hard it is the deciding to do so. Sometimes what is hard is the process of unraveling, or facing up to the need to set things right. Beginning again is easy once you step out and just do what is needed, unravel the sweater, apologize, forgive and enjoy getting it right.

2 Corinthians 8:21
For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It has been a while since I last visited my blog. So much has transpired since then. It seems that at any age one can be a work in progress. Becoming a grandmother, moving to a new city, and turning a new attitude are all works in progress. And again I draw the comparisons of knitting and life. The fabric of life is built one moment at a time and knitting one stitch at a time. Patterns simple become the background for the complex and intricate stitches that bring interest to the garment and the life one lives.

When the Psalmist says, “You have knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13), I think of the individual DNA that builds us in the womb in to the unique person we become. Seeing a grandchild born brings home the incredible beauty of life created and the artist that creates and gives life. Each cell connected to the next, each stitch connected to the next. No accident and unlike my knitting no mistakes.

Each time I begin a new project I cannot help but think of the ones I have started and there they sit not finished. Works in progress that are waiting completion. They are not forgotten, nor are they cast off to never be finished. Just waiting till the time is right or when there is actually no other things that have taken over the must get done list.photo (2)Some projects like life require more effort, mistakes in the pattern, mistakes in understanding, changes that have to occur for the project to come to life and completion. We too have obstacles to over come, changes that have to happen, patterns in life that require altering for us to be made whole. In Philippians 1:6 we  told that: “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” We are works in progress, being made perfect. That takes time but it does happen.finished kendra's sweaterGiven time and perseverance projects are finished and  new ones begun. Life changes some parts are finished and new beginnings start. Knowing that as we begin new areas we will be stretched, challenged to not just sit back on where we were or cling to what was.

scarf blueNew patterns, new colors, new life.

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It has come to my attention, that I do not stop to be grateful. Now for some of you that may seem strange. I love knitting but I can turn that in to a task master very easily. Finish this project and now rush to the next one. Don’t rest, don’t enjoy the finished piece. There is a deadline, there are the ten other things that need to be done. Knit, Knit, Knit.

When something, yes, even if it is a thing you love to do, becomes a driven goal it can lose it’s pleasure. Even the giving of it to the appreciative recipient can lose the happiness that it should bring. It is at that time, I have to stop! Stop and enjoy, stop and admire, stop and breathe in the gratefulness of having finished something that is lovely, or lose the beauty of having done it to begin with.

So in reflection and gratitude I look back on recently completed projects. There was the fun cover-up for my daughter in Turkey.

A very fun project for a very fun person.                                     A very fun cover-up for a very fun person.

A very fun cover-up for a very fun person.
The next project to reflect on and enjoy is a smaller version of an afghan that I did for one of our other daughters and her husband. This smaller version of the Yggdrasil Tree of Life afghan is for the son they are expecting in September.
 
Gavin's Blanket

Gavin’s Blanket

Of course there are other small projects to think on and enjoy finishing, a fun cloth that is reversible. This cloth is called Claddagh from the Irish symbol for love, loyalty, and friendship.

cloth 2

The Irish symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship. The Irish symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship.

Both sides of this piece are knit at the same time and is a very fun cloth to make. These are given to those friends who meet with me regularly to knit and crochet. The Claddagh symbol is very appropriate for this group of wonderful people.

When we stop and reflect on things we do that we are grateful for we find our joy in doing them.

Gratitude is the birthplace of Joy. “Joy is prayer–Joy is strength–Joy is love–Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. She gives most who gives with joy.” Mother Teresa

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January, February, and now most of March 2013 have come and gone and I don’t know where the time went. Much knitting has been started, finished and given away. Why is it so hard to keep track of things? Life goes on and all of the sudden you just can not figure out how or where it went.

I have had a bit of an epiphany over these past few months after my mother-in-law passed away. What has happened in having to figure out what to do with a house full of life’s accumulations, is that, it has made me stop and think about my own life’s accumulations and who would have to deal with all of the stuff.  Suddenly it all seems a bit futile. Shelves of old knitting magazines. most of which I haven’t looked at in the last 4 years since I moved them from one set of shelves to another, without really looking at them then. I did give two large boxes away a few months back and now it is time to start in earnest getting rid of more of them along with a lot of other things that are in boxes and have no purpose.

In going through some of my mother-in-laws items there were hand knit items that most likely her mother had made. No longer wearable, and not really meaningful to anyone today. It sort of made me think of things I have not let go of as well, old sweaters no one wants or will ever wear again. Not baby items that might actually be useful at some future point in time. Old things, that were made years ago and sizes ago as well, styles that if they do come back the yarn will just not have with stood the ravages of time.

Now why did this not hit me when I had to deal with my own mother’s belongings, I do not know. Maybe, because my sisters helped in taking some of the item, maybe, because we had already gone through things when she moved into a smaller apartment. Maybe because some of it is still in a store room at my home. Maybe because some of the items at my mother-in-law’s home should be important to someone, they have monetary value if not memory values. Yet it seems that no one wants them and that is sad.

I love making things and giving them to people, who I hope will enjoy them. I do not keep many of the items I make, I do not need that many cowls, scarves, afghans, or any of the other items. The joy is in the new yarn, the new pattern, the making and the giving.

“O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.” (Part of the prayer of St. Francis”)

So though sometimes these lessons are painful, it becomes a time to let go of the past and move forward. Accept that at the time they served the purpose as will new things now serve their purpose.  But do not drag the past into the  now and even more so do not drag it into the future.

” for the former things are passed away. And he that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new” Rev. 21; parts of 4 & 5.

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It may seem a bit strange but having been a knitter and crocheter for over 40 years, I have to admitted I do not understand “Yarn Bombing”. I see pictures of trees, buses, and many other things wrapped in knitting or crocheting and I wonder who has that much free time and yarn on their hands? It isn’t that I think it is silly, well actually yes it is, I do think it a silly use of time and yarn. Yes, I know everyone has the right to make or do what they will with their craft but really all that work for a tree, or a bus or a park bench, really?

Time? Yarn? Really?

Maybe it is that I see so many people in need, children, infants, homeless, and powerless and there is such gratification in making things for those who are in need. That I just don’t get time spent on this. It is called “Yarn Graffiti”. When I think of graffiti I just don’t want my work associated with it. Well as I said each to their own and “art” maybe has no reason. Where as knitting or crocheting for charity is a reason unto its self.

The art of knitting or crocheting to me is a unique art form, in that it not only is beautiful but practical as well. The art of charity is also beautiful in that while the recipient is blessed the maker and giver is blessed even more. While the “yarn bombing” is unique (to be sure). I cannot help but think of how many could have benefited if the person or persons creating these covering would have turned that effort in to blankets for programs such as; The Linus Project, which provides blankets for children who have been traumatized, or Chemo Caps for cancer patients, Prayer Shawls, or Hats for the Homeless. All of these projects create beautiful items, wrap unique people in warmth and love, and bless the giver in so many ways.

The Linus Project

Chemo Caps

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Hats for Homeless

Art, at its best brings beauty to the world, blesses the world, and blesses the artist. What I just haven’t understood is how the time and yarn used to create all of the coverings for trees, buses, and so many other things really blesses anyone. I do believe it causes people to stop, stare, and wonder “Why”

Why?

So much time, so much yarn, such silliness, when there is such need for beauty to be spread among humans. Each of us as artist must choose what we create  and how it impacts the lives of others.

“And now there remains faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.” 1st Corinthians 13:13 KJV

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Sparkles

Sometimes we all need something that shines, something that reflects light. In general life rarely sparkles. So we do things to try to make it a bit more reflective, sparkly. Just a bit of flash that makes us feel a bit more, well, glamorous. In trying, sometimes we succeed and for just a moment the dull is lifted and shine and sparkles spring forth.

A sparkly shrug made from Feza Night yarn.

Yarn can come with the sparkles included and bring pop and life to the project you are knitting. The trick is in the pattern you are making  does sparkle add to it or take away. Not every project is right for glitter, and or shine but those projects where that little bit of flash sets off the outfit lift us to a place that makes us smile and shine.

Life on the other hand is not meant to be dull and without luster. We think we will pull out the shine for just the right time and place and then we find that the sparkle is not there, it has tarnished. While not every moment will be filled with glitter and star-dust, we need to live life so that we bring light and not dullness to ourselves and our surroundings.

Red sparkly, shrug on Kendra.

When we do live with that sparkle in our eyes, in our smile, in our heart, then everyone we encounter even if for just a moment go away with a bit more sparkle in their life as well.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5: 14-16.

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