knitting


I dialed the phone, not sure what to expect.  1 ring.. 2 rings then a click and pick up.  I’d never heard the voice behind the smile before.  I wondered what to expect.

A sweet but sad voice answered the phone.  The voice dissolved into tears… we talked.  I heard both her heart and the scary details of her situation….. I felt overwhelmed.  This was a bigger problem than I could fix.  I listened.  We talked through potential solutions.. we prayed together… and then hung up.

What on earth can I do to help?  The need was way bigger than what I had to offer in help.  What I have to share wouldn’t make a dent.  I couldn’t even wrap my arms around this person and hug her.  She is too far away.  I took some time to think and pray… I knit.  I sat.  I wandered around the house wondering how I would feel if it was me…. I felt overwhelmed with the size of the problem…I felt powerless to help.

I remembered the words of Mother Theresa..”There are no great things, only small things done with great love” That is how Mother Theresa faced the overwhelming poverty and need that surrounded her… one person at a time…  one small, loving act, at a time, and trusting that it made a difference.  It did… and still is.  Her ministry of love is known all over the world….  I thought about the knititng in my hands.. and how each small stich adds itself to the garment…and creates something useful. (one stitch— not so much:)

” Would small things done with love make a difference here?  now?  for this friend? “ I just kept wondering. I thought some more… I prayed. and then I decided to ask her permission to help… and to enlist the help of others.  Together we offered up bits and pieces.. ideas… words.. yarn (you knew yarn would be involved at some point) books, thoughts prayers….all the little bits started forming themselves into a plan… and then the plan launched.

The plan was to hold a small fundraiser- simple paypal donations made directly to a family in need of their rent money. Each donation would have the chance to win a  prize donated with great love.   Nervous.. we waited…. (maybe a bit nervously) Then… the donations started pouring in.  Ravelry knitters- especially Loopy Ewe Yarn Shop group members- are giving small things with great love.  Sacrifices…small and large … each whatever they can do… and together making a difference.

The world is full of bad news.  Fraud, inflation, economic messes.  Watching the news is overwhelming- I try to avoid it, mostly… because I feel at a loss to be able to change it.  I know,  I can’t.  Not alone.. I don’t have the time, the money or the resources to change the world… or do I?  Maybe changing the world means doing small things with great love…maybe changing the world means doing what you can when you can, where you can… maybe it all adds up.

It sure is adding up for one family. As of this moment- we’ve raised enough to keep them in their apartment.  Now- we’re working on making sure they have groceries.  People are looking to see if jobs can be found.. they are checking their contact lists to see if they know anyone local to help….they are making a difference.  Not just for this family… but for the generations that come after this one.. and for themselves.. because they know they are making a difference.

Why share this?  Because— there is hope.  There is hope that we can make a difference… hope that God can provide…hope that things can get better— if we each do small things with great love.

For Ravelry members… you can click here to see what we’re up to… and maybe even help make a difference.:)

If you’d really love to help-but are not a rav member… you can look in my sidebar for my e-mail address to contact me and I can share with you how you can make a difference.

I know— I know.. how do you know this isn’t yet another internet hoax…. more people manipulating for profit?  I’d say you can take my word… but why?  The truth is — there is always risk involved in helping.. always risk of backlash of fraud…. personally? I refuse to let that stop me from helping… Because if we STOP helping.. stop trying… we all lose.

Most readers know that I am a Christian… someone who desires to follow God.  Not just in my words.. but in my actions. My convictions affect my choices.  Here is the example I have to follow… and I may be walking with a limp and wandering around… on ocassion… and struggling to even find the path… but I am.  One small step at a time.

The good samaritan

molly and her cohortsIt’s just one of the many things I am culinarilary (just made that word up- I like it)  dependant on. 

It takes up my counter space and requires constant cleaning.  (Why can’t ANYONE put paper-towel or a napkin over what they are cooking????  Including me:()

Like a magic black box- (sometimes considerably brighter than me) it heats everything from spaghettios to cold coffee-it has faithfullyu served.

In addition- as a SAHM- it is one of my few and much trusted friends/co-workers. The microwave- has just been so close to me- being in the kitchen and all— where I spend so much of my waking LIFE!) (along of- course, with the washer-dryer, the  stove, dishwasher and fridge- we also chat- but they tend to be more reserved.)

At least- it was. Until Sunday night.

When my microwave gave up the ghost. 

We (ok- maybe it was just me)  quickly went through all the phases of grief:

Shock- (WHAT? Something is wrong with my microwave?)

Denial- (It’s just a fuse- it’ll be fine) 

Bargaining- (Maybe, if I clean it- it will work…)

Guilt- (maybe I worked it too hard…I should have cleaned the vent more often.. it’s all my fault.)

Anger- (I can’t believe I ever bought such a piece of crap!)

Depression- (I have no microwave. *sniff* )

Acceptance/hope- (I can get another microwave… maybe it will even be better!  I CAN live without a microwave!)

By Monday night- I could stand it no more.  There was no popcorn… I am incapable of cooking vegetables on the stove-top and I had a pile of pans with burnt spaghettios begging to be cleaned (that part isn’t true- I swear FlyLady!- but sounded funny) …so I trudged off to Walmart- in search of a replacement.

I stood in the microwave aisle like a deer caught in the headlights of oncoming traffic.  I had no idea there would be so many demands on me so soon after my grief.  Overwhelmed, I looked from shiny microwave to shiny microwave. 

There were: White ones.  Black ones. Stainless steel ones.  Microwaves the size of my first car.  Microwaves barely big enough to make a bag of popcorn.  Microwaves with grilling capabilities and microwaves with more buttons and options and computer memory than my laptop.

I settled on a (cheap) stainless/black model with a grilling capability.  (Which I will probably never use- but- my kids (probably to bring green army men to a painfilled, melting doom) will.

As you can see in the pic above- she now proudly sits on the countertop.  Maybe, a little too proudly.  Although, she’s already proved competent in the cooking of last nights green beans, I have a concern.  She seems to be glaring at the toaster and cavorting with the coffeepot.  I think she is unhappy with the cultural diversity on the countertop. 

Apparently the toaster is not of their “ethnicity”.  White plastic is frowned upon by the much  prejudiced stainless crew.  Too bad.   It’s my house.

I like cultural diversity.

I think I need to get out more.

Instead- I’ll distract you with my  shiny pretty current knit:

flowerbasket shawl zephyr wool/silkIn a fit of unoriginal hat overload  rebellion- I cast on a new piece of lace that I plan on wering for Christmas. 

 It’s the Flower Basket Shawl- from Fibertrends/ interweave press. A very simple 10 row repeat.  I love the yarn- Zephyr silk/wool laceweight- 2 strands held together- Ruby and Garnet.  I’m knitting on US size 5 Addi Turbo Lace Needles.

Maybe this will calm my Christmas cleaning- shopping nerves…. more pics are on flickr.

Personally- I think it’s mis-named.  To me- it looks like angels with their wings raised over their heads…. like this-  but then- I think I need to get out more— or maybe use less fumey cleaning supplies;)

And now- to work on painting the trim where the bad cat has scratched away the wood AND the paint….

sp pkgSomedays, I just LOVE my Mail person.  Yesterday was one of them.  (Too bad I scared him with the whole swollen eyes and blotchy face thing) No worries- It wasn’t personal.  It was SP 11 package-related.

 I received my reveal package from My SP 11 – Carly!  Inside this pretty package were goodies galore!

the goods

There were 2 gorgeous hanks of Ultra Alpaca- these will be mittens for ME;)   A beautiful skein of Silk from The Natural Dye Studio.  There are also adorable sheeptastic stitch-markers from Sunneshine! 

You can also see in this pic- the reason for Sami’s extreme interest in this package. Newnman’s Own Doggy treats— Sami is a cookie eating Dog after my own heart- ;) She says thank you as well.

cappucino has nip issues

Here, we see what could only be evidence of the addictive nature of catnip.  Cappucino has been sniffing and cuddling and whacking the daylights out of his (No.  He is NOT sharing with Truffles. And, if Sami comes within toy snatching distance- he promptly slaps her in the nose- good thing he’s de-clawed!) new cat nip toy.  ‘Cino meows his thanks, and wonders if you may know of a 12 step program that would include his keeping his nip.

sami sniffs out her treats

             ohhh shiny

stitchmarkers and alpaca closeup

 

Thanks so much again- to Carly– for being such a  remarkable SP11!

 

unoriginal hats My I present the first set of “Unoriginal Hats”

In my artistic series- titled “unoriginal hats for all.”

 Sounds so much better than admitting to my OCD tendancies are once again running free… but count them- 6 hats done! (bring on the Christmas knits!)

Clockwise from the top- Malabrigo Chunky in Olive for my middle son. (US size 10.5)

 Malabrigo Worsted held doubled for my niece. (US 10.5)

Berroco Ultra alpaca haled doubled for hubby.

Paton’s classic merino camoflage for my oldest. (size 11 he has a pumpkin sized head;)

Jaeger Natural fleece- for my FIL- us 11 should have gone down a size on this one.

And Lion brand chenille- size 11 should have gone down a size here too.

More hats in the queue- Malabrigo chunky in teal for my step dad….etc….these are quick and simple- but cute- sorry no one would model for me– and well- I look like a dork in hat;) (hair too short- none sitcks out- makes me look bald;)  which would be fine if I WERE bald… but I’m not and I have too much invested in hair dye to not let it be seen;) 

Can you do me a favor- I have a few friends (a bunch actually) with health issues that could use  prayer — a young woman, a new mom, a dad, a pastor.. my SIL and well my hubby too— seems like when it hist the fan— it really hits the fan and spreads.  thnx

 ps the boy’s face is still healing- looks like he’s a foot ball player now- down to dark marks under his eyes a aross his nose…. what a month!

fade to... green?This boy is just a fount of knitting inspiration.  Please note- the nicely matching hat I’ve made for his big brother from “The Yarn Harlot’s” “Unoriginal” Hat Pattern.  (Actually- It just happened to match- I swear!)

 I used Berrocco’s Ultra Alpaca in some randomly stashed green color.  I held the yarn doubled and used a set of five US size 10.5  DPN’s.  This could very well be, the Hat of Christmas 07 around here.  It’s a nice knit (not boring- but still easy) and FAST….. Have I mentioned I like FAST?  Will be trying to work out a matching scarf pattern later. Then- I need to find a pattern for THIS.  That would be perfect for the middle boy.

I’m experimenting with Jaeger Natural Fleece on a size 11 for my potato headed, oldest son.  (boy has a huge head… just like his Dad;) It’s a very marled look- totally different than middle son’s hat.  Which is both good, and necessaary as they do not “Do”-matchy- matchy. 

I’ll also be working up a smaller version for the youngest… he DOES do matchy matchy;)

More pics later.  BTW… my down stream sp reently received a pkg and posted about it- she likey she likey. Whew.  Let’s just say our tastes are not exactly the same so I was REALLY glad she liked her goodies;)

Oh- and just for fun…. if my boys don’t clean their rooms before logging on to runescape…. I’m going to make them play a japanese girlie KNITTING GAME online.  No lie.

pancake magicThe boy’s face is healing.  Unfortunately- the bruises look worse before they get better.  It doesn’t show well in the pic— but let’s just say, that in the battle with the coffee table- my little warrior was not triumphant.

No worries- he’s certainly workin’ the pity factor. I can barely look at him without feeling bad and like I should fix this boo-boo face- he is assured of pretty much whatever he wants.  And he knows it.

Today- it was pancakes.  “‘N butter and syrup”.  He also wanted them to be “famous” and put on the blog.  Hence the pancake post.

Yes- it made him feel better. He admits his face doesn’t actually HURT, unless he pokes  it. Stinker.  Cute stinker, but stinker, just the same. chevron

As we are currently awaiting diminished bruising and swelling- a lot of knitting is getting done.  I “Accidently” cast on another chevron scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. 

It’s an experiment in yellow.  I don’t like yellow. But- I do like black….. so we’re workin a bee/tiger thing here.  It’s a special gift for someone;) I’m using the Debbie Mumm Traditions Yarn available at Joann’s.    Using a US size 6 needle on this.  Turning out quite nice.

 More soon;)  After the swelling goes down.

And the pity factor wears off. ;)

Knitzi I take knitting with me EVERYWHERE.  In the car- to the store…the mall… everywhere. 

Knitters know, the best travel knitting is small, portable and with a pattern that can be memorized.  Socks, are perfect.  Except for the DPN’s poking through your bag and getting snapped in transit. 

No more.  This morning, on Ravelry–  I found a new product made right here, in Michigan.  The Knitzi.   It’s handmade from Great Lakes hardwood.  each end simply screws on and off- a slit in the side keeps the knitting and the DPNs perfectly safe inside.  No more snapped needles.  I also ordered the Knitzi bag- which perfectly holds my knit in progress and knitzi- perfect for putting in my purse or knitting bag.

I have used other types of DPN holders.  Elastic one with plastic caps- fine, but, I’ve also had them pop off while in my bag- resulting in lost and broken needles.  The elastic has also lost it’s stretch….

My new knitzi is quality.  Hand finished- smooth and light.  Available in loads of sizes and more styles are in the works…. I’ll be popping in their site to pick up a few more- I have an SP who’ll be needing one of these in her reveal pkg;)!

OK- I’m not affiliated or anything….. I’m just happy as could be with a new and innovative product- produced right here in Michigan!  Besides- they kindly upgraded me to “pony express”: shipping and a few hours after placing the order- my Knitzi was delivered to my front door! Turns out they are located within just a few miles of my house;) 

I’m always impressed when an order I place online arrives within a week… this was remarkable;)

Go ahead- pop over for a visit— you’ll love them;) 

And here’s a bonus- a beautiful FREE sock pattern! Twinkleberrys It’s your gift for stopping by their site!

I’m sensing Twinkleberry socks for Christmas! 

UPDATED- still loving the Knitzi- and my post is up at LACED WITH GRACE – Just call me twisted— or Crooked….,;)

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