Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010


I remember when I first started (or re-started knitting) about 5 years ago now. One of the first things I read was, "remember to never be afraid to pull out your work, and start over from the beginning." This particular author called it "the Zen of knitting." I remember promising myself I would boldly embrace pulling out my hard work, my investment of time and myself, to get a new, fresh start---mostly likely, embracing in the process, something better! I remember how enlightened I felt, how free---knowing I could knit and knit and knit, and then pull it out if necessary and start completely over (and no one would be the wiser!). It was like a freedom to create something beautiful came deep in my spirit, and the knowledge that I could have unlimited fresh starts empowered me to create without condemnation!

Well, knitters know the term for this is called "frogging" and frogging can be a knitter's best friend.

And...sometimes not! Somehow, between my awakening to ripping my work out, and the practical application of that action---(you know, the actual ripping my work out part?)---some weird, well---feeling came over me. All that Zen stuff was gone, that bold me was nowhere to be found, and now it was just me and "my work that I have spent so much time doing so far, and, well, it does not really look that bad, the small mistake part, and after all, nothing made by man's hands should be perfect anyway, right...don't the AmishJewishCatholicNativeAmericans or somebody believe that? I agree with them...." and on and on I droned....including some creative attempt with a crochet hook to cover the spot, and weave in the mistake, the tiny flaw seamlessly---or so I wanted to believe. But the flaw was there, and it was noticeable, and it took away from the rest of the work and so, regretfully, painfully and with moist eyes....I started ripping it out....

And it was okay.....eventually. I did start over, and I got some support from a knitting mentor on the part of the pattern I did not understand, and it worked out beautifully! I created a lovely new baby dedication blanket because I was not afraid to rip it out, and then, to try again.

Well, if only I could embrace that frogging thing in my relationships. You know, the ones that were going along just fine until that person did/said/acted on something that HURT me! And I have been left here with this gaping hole, stitch or flaw of some kind, that I do not know what to do about? Can I put on expensive enough clothes, or enough make-up, or keep busy enough doing good things, so that my character flaw, the pain and hurt does not show? Maybe I can ignore it away? But unfortunately, like my terrible attempts with that crochet hook, the disappointment, pain, anger, hurt still stick out, and take away from my overall beauty.

I remember one of my Friends saying how He loves me, and gives me mercies that are new every morning. I wonder how He does that? I wonder if He can teach me how?

So, here I am. Trying to learn how to apply that frogging concept to my life and not just my knitting.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Look What I Made!

So I've made some fingerless gloves before but never with a thumb.  I finally worked up my nerve to try it.  So here are my first pair.  I need to weave in the ends but other than that--they're completed!  I LOVE them and have already starting tweeking this pattern so the next pair will match (a bit more).  I went on and let this pair be the trial pair.  [And who knows, I may frog the one I like the least and do it again.]

Well, just wanted to share it with you (and anyone else reading our blog)!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

What's NOT on Your Needles?

(Shared with permission from Knot Sew Much)

I usually see posts about "What's ON your Needles?"  When I browse crafting/knitting/crocheting sites, this is a frequent question.

Well, I've been taking time [in this blazing heat] to knit.  Yep. Knitting.  I'm determined to complete my started projects BEFORE starting new ones (and boy do I have some new ones I want to start on)!

So here's the completion to a winter set for me:

(I made the scarf previously--it was crocheted.)

So, what's NOT on your needles?? (or in your sewing machine?)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Your Sign

I've been meaning to share this photo with you!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Growth takes time or bloom where you are planted

So it has been a long time since I have posted anything. For a while (the month of March) I did a technology fast. My goal was to have more time with the Lord, and to address some of the areas of my life I have been avoiding.....I think about posting, I plan to post, I mentally rehearse my posts---but alas. Unfortunately, I am in an unusual place now---and since I feel I can only post when I am happy, upbeat and excited about life...well, I have not been feeling those things consistently, so....

Today, however, I am in a good place. It is still an in-between place---planting, watering, being rained upon, reaping, and then the darn pruning! I am learning to wait patiently for the Lord to lead me, guide me, and nurture me. I do a lot of nurturing of others---and I need someone to help me nurture ME. Sure, I do it, and it would be nice if there were someone regularly tending to my needs and, my weeds.

The children and I worked in the yard today--we planted several things geraniums, tomato plants, jasmine among them, and watered. We had a lovely time.

Now comes the waiting. Because growth takes time.

And so it is with me---I am needing some things in my life to change, yet I feel they will not. Is it pruning time? Or weeding time? Lord how do I know?

My mother always would tell me when we moved, "Em, bloom where you are planted." And so, I try.....

Growing and/or blooming,

Friday, April 16, 2010

2 More Dresses

Well, it appears that my side is indeed crunker!! lol!  I feel like I'm on a roll.  Must keep it going.  I made this between all the rest of things I do every single day!  Hope you're good!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 13

Dear Emilie,

It looks like it's been a while since you've been around.  I do hope that things are going well for you and your family over there on your side.  I'm still in the clearing out/purging stage of this move.  I've been able to let go of a lot, thankfully.  As I sort through all my clutter, giving away the usable and throwing away what isn't usable, I'm also thinking about my personal, emotional and interpersonal clutter. The poem I read/shared earlier today is playing over and over in my head.  I'm releasing....making some choices about my life. :D

Well, I've decided.  As I sit here in my creative space (which also dubs as the classroom, library, collection room) that I'm going to pull out the fabric I kept and said I'd make things from and MAKE some things.  My first ideas are to make a few sun dresses for my pretty girl.  Since she is the eldest, she usually gets the first batch of "hand me overs" which are then past on to sweetie-pie.  She is also the one who gets the brand spanking new items.  Well, I've been wanting to make her some things for awhile.  I normally wait until I'm at my mothers and we both sew together (it's such a nice thing!).  But I don't want to wait for another trip, especially now with the move.

I'm also thinking about making some bags.  Not that I need any more bags, but I've been wanting to make some as gifts.  We'll see.  Oh, I can make myself some reusable bags for shopping.  I purchased a set of handmade produce bags last week.  They're really nice and would be easy to make myself.  Hmmm.  I'm getting some more ideas here! :D

Of course I need to think about something to make for The Boy as he'll be sure to ask me why I'm not making him something.  He's still at the stage where he WANTS me to make him something, so I'd better take advantage of this time and not miss out!  What do you think?

Hopefully by the end of the day I'll have ad least one item finished.  And if so, I'll update this note with a photo or two (or 3 or 4--you know me!)! :D

We've been busy the past few weeks.  Yesterday I spent most of the day in the kitchen--cooking mainly and cleaning, sorting, purging.  Got the pantry looking lovely.  Organized my table cloths and napkins so we can get to them quickly and easily.  I even want to do some embroidery on my cloth napkins.  See, I just have too many crafting interests! lol

I'm very interested to hear all about your daughter's sewing classes.  She should be designing and putting things together on her own now, huh?  Or am I imagining too much passage of time here?  Another question is what have you been up to, craft-wise?

Wishing you time and space to create!


Well, here is what I made today.  Between cooking and encouraging the children to straighten up their rooms, and answer their questions.  I was hoping to have completed two.  But one isn't bad!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Making It Happen!

Hey Emilie!!
Look at my new scarf!!!
Isn't it lovely??

I've decided that EVERY day I'm going to take time to work on some knitting, crocheting, quilting, and/or sewing project.  Since making and completing those preemie hats, I've already established a little routine for myself.  No, it's not habit...yet!  I figure if I can keep the kitchen clean, feed people and animals, keep a cleared path to/from the doorway daily I should be able to craft each day too! :D

I still have a good bit of this yarn left, so I'm planning to make a matching hat.  Will share photos of that when it's done.

I hope that you're taking time for your craft as well!  LOVE YOU!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Project(s) & Life Update!

Dear Emilie,

I just have to share with you some of the things I've been doing since the last time.  Surprisingly, when I step away from the computer I get soooo much more done.  (Go figure!)  As I shared previously, I was asked to knit a preemie hat for charity.  Well, I want to make two--and I've done that.  Then I decided that I'd make one for each of the full-term babies I was blessed to have. 

The first pattern didn't work for me so after frogging it and restarting (using a compilation of two other patterns) I was able to complete it.  I think it's nice.  It does sort-of look like a "first."

The second one I simply did what I do--knitt my ear.  LOL!  I think it's adorable!!

I'm not working on my third, which is a nice deep blue.  My hope is to have it done by the weekend so I can ship them all off on Monday.

During this time I've learned to crochet.  And let me tell you...I whipped out a scarf in less than four hours.  Crocheting is definitely faster.  Not sure if I really like the look of it (I do so love the look of knitting), but I am open to learning it more and making things for others--again, because it so quick! :D

I must say that I'm feeling very proud of myself for trying new things!  I used 4-5 needles on the preemie hats so now I'm ready to try a pair of socks.  This has definitely satisfied my need to create and give.  It's also made my crave out time each day for this--which I've wanted to do for some time.  I think this is a habit I want to make--so between sorting and packing and reading and cooking and cleaning and homeschooling and running errands and'll find me either knitting or crocheting. :D

Oh, on my "break" last week, I found a yarn store.  Em, it was so good to be in that space!!  It was almost as nice as Knitch (the one we went to to knit in the ATL).  You can read more here (and see photos).  I thought about that commercial you shared with me...touch, touch, touch, touch, feeeeeeel!.  Yeah, I was doing a lot of feeling! LOL!  And I stumble upon another great little shop called Just Be.  This really spoke to me.  There were hand made items from local and national artists who inspire, encourage and share simply beauty with someone like me. :D  I'm looking forward to visiting again and getting a few of those pretty things.  (Perhaps we should plan a date there!?!)

We are definitely moving forward with "the BIG move" plans scheduled for mid-June.  Yesterday I got through most of the stuff in the office--turned storage room.  It's still in 'storage' mode but all the trash, junk and things to be donated OUT.  Melvin said that I'm welcome to back everything else up--which, I probably will.  However, I'm now thinking, if it can be packed up now, do we really need it--ever?  So, perhaps I'll have another conversation with him.  lol.  I've gotten two boxes of books together to donate.  Realizing that I don't have to HAVE every book.  We need to better utilize our library systems--this will definitely free up some space in my house and in my life!

I miss you.  We must get together soon!  What things are on your needles these days?


Monday, March 1, 2010

Knitting for a Cause

Dear Emilie,

I just wanted to invite you to join me in knitting a hat for a preemie boy or a girl.  One of my dear friends, Laverne, invited me to join her in doing that this month.  I really want to do two, but am committing to one since, well, you know how my life flows over here. :D  I also know that you can whip one out in no time (perhaps the big girl over there can make one too).  You can read here to find out the particulars.  I know you've done this before, but this is my first time.  I mean, I knit because, but haven't done it for a cause! LOL!

Either way, just wanted to let you know what else I'm doing!  I'll definitely share photos when they're done (see, I'm speaking of more than one already!)

Have a great day!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Knitting Lessons

Dear Emilie,

Yesterday I started the first of several knitting lessons I'll be giving over the next six weeks.  Take a moment to read this before reading on.  (I'll wait.  I'll even hum a little music for you. lol) ;-)

Well, let me begin by saying I made it through...and I think we are heading in the right direction.  I've ended up with three students in addition to my oldest.  The first lesson, which included her and her friend, didn't go as planned.  But I somewhat expected that.  That's why I'm thankful I'm flexible. (smile) The little girl immediately started pulling, very randomly, at her skein of yarn before I could stop her.  So, after I showed them different sized needles, different types of yarn, she (and her mother--mainly) spent the rest of our time untangling her yarn.  I had my daughter roll her skein into a ball and let this experience be the lesson for today!  We will learn on cast-on at our lesson next week.

The lesson I gave to the High Schooler went a bit more smoothly.  He was able to pick it up so that at the end of our hour and half session he'd learned to cast-on and the knit stitch.  He was so proud of himself.  He quietly asked me if my husband knew how to knit.  When I said no, he said, "Good. I'll know something he doesn't know."  [A little background: my husband has taken this student 'under his wing' for the past two years. He admires my dh greatly!]

While instructing the High Schooler, I got another student. One of the teacher asked if she could send her daughter over and I agreed.  Now this little princess (middle-school age I'm guessing) was a knitter in a former life.  She picked it up in about ten minutes.  I was blown away.  Now, she definitely has to practice it and learn about tension, but she can knit.

I gave them both the homework of practicing the knit stitch.  They each are going to be making a scarf.  Depending upon how much progress they've made and how things are looking we may move to the purl stitch.  I'll play that one by ear.

So, as you can see, things went really well for my first of many knitting lessons.  Perhaps after these sessions (and a few more) I'll offer my skills at a local Michael's.  We'll see.  Just thankful for some more possibilities!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I did knit quite a bit over the weekend! I made 2 hats, and finished a scarf in seed stitch. I was amazed at how much I could get done when someone else is doing all the cooking and cleaning! I took pictures and I will send/post them soon.

Much love!

Knit Two Together

Dear Leslie, and Family,

As you know, this weekend we (my husband of 15 years) and I had the privilege to attend a marriage retreat. Even though we have attended one before, somehow, this time, I did not know what to expect. My Love and I have been living apart during the week for nearly 3 years now (he is home every weekend, and naturally, during that time there has been the week here or there, that he is either here, or I am there! LOL). So, going in to the weekend, I was tired. Emotionally and physically. And marriagely (yeah, I just made that word up).

Ephesians 5: 21, 22 "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery..."

A great mystery indeed.

The time at the marriage retreat was so refreshing for me. I encourage every husband and wife to MAKE the time to go (and I am willing to come babysit when you do!) We attended the one in South Atlantic Conference. It is always wonderful. There were 189 other Africian-American couples there, married from 6 months to 50+ years. The love, sharing, encouragment---having other couples surround us and pray for us, our marriage--it all touched me so deeply.

I have struggled, at times, to see God's design for marriage from the beginning. I know His plan was perfect. Some days I wonder what happened! But, it was good to be reminded at the retreat how difficult these years can be at times, years 4-25 or so. So much of life happens---career building, childbearing and rearing, running to everything, and that couple time is often put on eternal hold. After all, these things are important, right? Well, I am learning I have to make, well, demand time for just US---and I see my Love doing likewise. We must tell other things no, so that we can have time for just the two of us.

So, in our away time together this weekend, he helped me roll my yarn into balls---and I, in turn, helped him with his balls. (Yeah, OOC, huh?) We laughed, we talked, we shared---some things we seldom get to do in our real world time, because there is always some child, dog, or church situation requiring our attention.

Most importantly, I had time to humbly thank the Lord for giving me the gift of my husband. And I reflected on God's plan for our marriage, and how He is continually weaving the two of us into one.

Who knew God was a knitter!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sewing Olympics

Dear Emilie,

As you know, the Olympics started on Friday and with that the race for gold!  I was reading on Alex's blog about the Sewing Olympics.  I thought is was a cool idea.  I've been reading about different Knitting Olympic Challenges as well on a couple other blogs.  The idea is to create/complete a project during the two weeks of the Olympic Games.

I can't say that I'm participating, but then again, it might be nice to try something.  If I do, I'm leaning towards the Sewing [crafting] Olympic Challenge as there is plenty for me to choose from with regards to completing projects around here.  It's left up to me what my "events" will be.  (Now that I'm thinking about it, I should have started a "Clean-up-your-house" Olympic Challenge, as that's really what I need to be doing here!)

I simply wanted to share this with you.  Perhaps you'll want to participate or make plans to do this for the next Olympics (I hear this is a regular thing).

I hope you had a great weekend!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday, February 7

Dear Emilie,

We got a lot of snow over the weekend.  Like 12-18 inches!  WHOO HOO! The kids have had a blast playing in it and I've had fun watching them.  It's kept us in--which I'm so not mad about! ;-)

It's also given me some time to think and rethink about the things/projects I want to tackle this year.  In January, I took the time to write about all of those things.  You can read about it here.  But yesterday, as I sipped on hot chai and watched the kids from the window, I decided that I'm going to give myself a clean slate.  In looking over all the projects I've started, I have to be honest and tell you that I really don't want to complete most of them.  I'm still loving the yarn I've chose, but not so much that project.  And that's ok.

I took additional time to look through some of the knitting books I currently own--even took a moment to browse through the Ravelry site for more ideas.  With that, I'm thinking I'll be "frogging" most of this unfinished work and reworking it into something else.

I'm excited!!

What things are you working on?  Have you complete those baby gifts?  I'm currently working on a soft gray scarf and another lap quilt.  I'll share some photos soon.

Happy Weekend, my friend!


Thursday, January 28, 2010


Well, here I am, again. Finally. Today is my birthday. So many people have reached out to me today, including my sister-friend, Leslie, and for that I am grateful. And blog was on my list of things to do today. I am back, baby! I am blessed, and grateful for life. And I am working on complaining less this year. I'll share more about that later.

My knitting keeps me sane, relaxed, and the Serotonin levels at even, normal levels!

I feel transition in my life---and since I enjoy knowing ahead of time what is going to happen, so I can plan for it, I find this place to be uncomfortable---well, at least unsettling. My son's feet are as big as mine, and my daughter is driving! Where have the years gone? So, I am working on enjoying today, embracing now, embracing change and reminding myself that God is here too.


Happy Birthday Emilie!!

It's a special day for Emilie!
It's her birthday we've been told
God has cared for her the whole year through
And today she's another year old!

I am blessed to call you my cousin...and honored to call you my friend!
Have a wonderful day!!!
Love you

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year & A Give-Away

Happy New Year to you!!

What a nice way to begin this new year, here, by sharing with you a give-away I found out about at Natural Kids.  There is a beautiful stack of fabric squares being offered by Cloud9.  I've just entered and decided to share the information.  Yeah, it may lower my chances of actually becoming the winner, but this would be great for anyone who sews.

If you're interested, click here for more information and to enter!

Wishing you well in this new year!!